St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Bahamas: Reproductive Rights

Two female Caribbean bloggers, in light of the recent debacle over U.S. congressman Todd Akin‘s comments about women and rape, are discussing the issue of “the war on women and their reproductive rights”. From St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Abeni says that “persons making foolish comments about rape never fail to irritate [her]”:

WHEN OH WHEN will it be openly realised and accepted that RAPE IS ROBBERY with violence? That it is an ASSAULT on another human being for purely personal reasons.

HOW MANY persons, male and female -but predominantly female today- have had their lives tainted…reliving their trauma every waking moment! Looking at, and loving, or inwardly rejecting her child because of how he/she came into the world! Any idea, Rep. Akin? When will it be accepted that when a woman says ‘NO,’ SHE MEANS NO!

Akin's video apology did little to appease her:

BEFORE MAKING UTTERANCES, words need to be weighed, because of the sentiments that they convey…to use this in the context of rape is to say the least, reprehensible: In all fairness, there has been some retraction, but these ill advised statements continue to heap massive damage to the cause of women and it will take some time before it is repaired!

Pure Fawkery, who references the Pussy Riot case in her post, takes issue with:

Men who have no concept or understanding of what it means to be a woman. Men who epitomize the stereotypical caveman, beating their chest claiming ‘me man, you woman’, only to knock us over our heads and drag us into the cave. Well today those men no longer need clubs, today they are armed with laws, edicts, ceremonies and regulations all aimed at keeping women in a reproductive prison.

She makes the the point that the indoctrination begins with two things: socialization, which “innately reinforc[es] the oppressive mandate of the good girl”, and that pervasive double standard, in which “there is no such edict for good little boys”:

Locally, we have even more archaic repressive policies that provide an unending artillery supply in this war on women's reproductive health. Teenage girls who become pregnant are routinely removed from their school and transferred to another school, if she returns, after the birth of the child. No such policy exist for teen fathers.

Pure Fawkery also cites tweets by @RodneyMoncur, who is a Justice of The Peace for the District of New Providence and Paradise Island in the Bahamas, saying that his opinions “[espouse] the purefawkery that continues to propagate this reproductive war”:

With each capitalized tweet he fires another bullet arming and enabling this kind of misogynistic bondage.

But she admits that the issue stretches far beyond the Bahamas:

There is something in the water globally. Women around the world, engage in a daily battle to fight repressive religious, political, cultural and economic forces to gain or retain control of their own bodies; their own reproductive health.

Women are already oppressed and discriminated against in almost every other facet of society. Women are paid less then men for the same job, not allowed to ascend to leadership positions in religious organizations, humiliated and sexualized in the justice systems (don't even get me started on the legitimate rape comment), denigrated in music and entertainment. Is that not enough for these men?

Abeni agrees that women should have rights over their own bodies:

I am sure there are babies who were aborted because they were the product of rape. On the flip side there are instances of babies born of rape, either because abortion was not available, or because the mother believed that all life is sacred. Clearly, the choice is hers and should be respected by the foolish law makers-mostly men who seek to make decisions about a woman's body…

Pure Fawkery signs off with a “promise”:

You keep trying to repress our inalienable basic innate right for reproductive health and we will take up our cause and give you more than a fight. We will take up the call of Liberia's Leymah Gbowee’s and create ‘peaceful, feminine havoc’, well will not only win the battle, but also the war and in process will incite a pussy riot!

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