Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sexism At Its Finest

Over at the Ottawa Citizen, we find David Warren spouting off about sex and contraception - and managing to make it all women's fault when they find themselves pregnant:

"A woman must have the right to decide whether she is going to carry a baby." Whom do these people think they are fooling?

A woman, who is not the victim of a rape, has always had that right; and even my Catholic Church recognizes a method of contraception that is quite infallible. Gentle reader may guess what that is. And while it is only a rule of thumb, "no sex without babies, and no babies without sex" does in fact provide adequate guidance for any conceivable life issue.

How delightfully medieval of the man. What really annoys me about this kind of simplistic logic on Mr. Warren's part is not just that he has essentially made the whole issue of contraception and family planning the woman's job. Clearly, in his world, men bear no responsibility for their actions.

If men were good, there would never be abortions. If men were good, women would never have cause to seek them. If men were good, women would be loved.

Therefore, regardless of the state of any law, the immediate answer is for men to be good, and to address their Valentine wishes accordingly.

Why yes, Mr. Warren - the perfect solution is for everybody to follow the same rules. How insightful of you. Of course, Mr. Warren is conveniently ignoring the biblical nonsense about 'wives submitting to their husbands', which all too often is interpreted quite specifically with sex in mind.

Then there are situations like this where women's bodies and integrity are clearly violated - again for purely religious reasons. There are also societies in the world where it is illegal for a woman to deny her husband sex. Think about that a little bit.

Pardon me for being thick about things, but I think it's appropriate to note that there's a certain hypocrisy in Mr. Warren's thinking. On one hand, it's all the fault of those awful women for spreading their legs for their partners, and on the other hand, those same women are obligated by "biblical law" to submit to their partners? Hmmm...sounds to me like the power is being placed firmly in men's hands, while the responsibility is handed elsewhere.

Sorry Mr. Warren, but where a woman's body is involved, it is the woman's perogative to decide what happens with it - up to and including terminating a pregnancy through abortion. This deserves to be true here in Canada as well as elsewhere in the world. Until men like Mr. Warren cease to wave their bibles in our faces, and start respecting women as equal members of society with all the autonomy that comes with it, there will be a fight. This is why Mr. Harper's 'maternal health' initiative is a bad joke on the world stage.

Lastly, Mr. Warren might want to consider sex from the perspective of how couples bond with each other. Although children can be an outcome of sex, it would be folly to assume that something as incredibly intimate as sex doesn't play a dramatic role in cementing the emotional bond between partners. As much as the Catholic Church likes to view sex as purely fulfilling a reproductive role, we know that it has other benefits as well. To restrict it solely to spawning more children is probably more damaging to a relationship, and yet that is exactly what he is proposing.

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