This idea may be radical. But it’s ancient, not new. Probably won’t please everyone. But it just might work.
Stuck with the Supreme Court’s cruel edict to ban abortions, and stuck with states’ various versions of the new law, women are deprived of personhood, dispossessed of the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies–a right men have. Since those justices who made this ruling are likely to be around for another 40 years, women had better come up with some clever way to free themselves from this unjust clamp on their human rights.
The suffering incurred by women (especially women of color) under pregnancy, childbirth, rape, incest, psychological and birth-related complications, includes death. Do you know that, statistically, the U.S. is one of the worst developed nations for death in childbirth? This–and most things pertaining to pregnancy–is not understood by men nor those men and women who would push their religious beliefs on all of us.
Since the U.S. is sanctioning Russia in order to stop the war in Ukraine, it occurred to me to think about sanctions women might employ to keep their reproductive rights and stop this abusive Supreme Court ruling.
Perhaps we could take a lesson from an ancient Greek playwright, Aristophanes, who in 411 BC wrote a comedy entitled Lysistrata. In this play, the women of Athens are eager to end war and they come up with a plan to stop the men from fighting. They refuse to have sex with their husbands and lovers until the men stop the war. And it works. The war ends.
What if all women throughout the U.S. united in refusing to have sex with their husbands, lovers, all men–including those on the Supreme Court and those of all political affiliations? This radical plan ought please “Pro-Lifers” because there would be no need for abortion if no one got impregnated. Men are pretty certain they have the right to please themselves with women’s bodies, so to be denied that “right” would get to the crux of the problem. And while we’re asking important questions, why do men have a right to our bodies but we don’t?
If all women everywhere vowed to end sexual relations until men woke up and realized women’s human right to her own body–just as men have the human right for theirs–then the abortion issue might end. No impregnating. No abortions.
This plan, however, might not end rape and incest, so perhaps this idea is not as effective as one would hope. Since both rape and incest are violent crimes, tougher laws and heavier prosecution against both would have to happen in tandem with the Greek idea.
But even then, this problem is not easily solved. Afterall, men like women; women like men. Forbidding intercourse is not likely to work in practice as well as it did in an ancient Greek play.
What will work? Upholding human rights for every individual. Nothing more nor less.
Artwork: Morning Light in the Studio, pastel, 30″ x 25″ framed, $675. Nude drawing has existed since the beginning of art making. Drawing or painting the human figure is similar to capturing a landscape in all its beauty and dignity. For six decades I’ve drawn and painted from live models in charcoal, pencil, watercolor, pastel, and oil. For its softness and range of hues, I especially enjoy doing figures in pastel, like this one.