Your honour, we object – to everything!

July 10, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

For goodness’ sake- for cryin’ out loud- what the hell is going on? Name the rest, but it is about time we began asking in earnest.

This morning I read about the Taliban’s increased rules on the suppression of women in Afghanistan: now their beauty parlours are too close. They are not allowed to work even for the UN; they must dress so that only their eyes are showing; they must be accompanied by a male relative if they are travelling further than 72 kilometres (who chose that number?); no school, no freedom, no life.

I sincerely hope there is a way for women to escape from Afghanistan. I hope there is a powerful and well-organized “underground railway” for women to leave and never return to this savage treatment. Currently, it means for sure that domestic violence will be a non-issue, that men- misguided by the attitude such a regime promotes – will understand they can treat women however they please.

Afghanistan should be empty of women. They should live in their thousands in any way they can because reason will never budge such tyranny, and a country without women is a prison where little tenderness will exist.

Tyranny against women is born of fear of women, of our sole power to propagate the species, and this has always been at the base of both the deep reverence and the cruel abuse of women and girls. The fact is: if we refuse to bear children, that’s it for new people.

Let’s have a look at the astonishing turn in the United States about abortion. Criminal new laws against women’s most fundamental rights – right there in the land of the Free – so much for that idea. 

Of the 50 states, only seven have no restrictions on abortion, while 13 have an absolute ban on abortion. The rest vary between six and 26 weeks allowance for an abortion. It is unusual for a woman to know she is pregnant at six weeks. 

Now, here in Canada, the long and hard work has been done by dint of years of determination on the part of Canadian women and men to see that there is no law about abortion here; abortion is legal throughout pregnancy and is publicly funded. Period. 

Even here, where the absence of law dictating abortion conditions set the gold standard for a woman’s right over her own body, even here, there are rumblings, eyes looking south for examples, backbenchers threatening to revive the debate that has no place in our houses of government.

And we need to be vigilant about keeping things as they are.

How did any of this happen? It almost doesn’t matter, except to define and stop it. At the top of the pile of reason, a woman must have the right to bear or not to bear a child. The circumstances of conception in the States are still a matter of flex, and I am sure that “rape” will be re-defined in cases of pregnancy.

Look around us; how crowded this world is, with a rise from 4.143 billion in 1976 (randomly chosen) to 8 Billion today. Of that number, a statistic shows some 9.2 per cent of people globally live in extreme poverty. Here in Canada, 8.1 per cent of people live in poverty, which costs the country between $72 and $84 billion annually.

What is the rush to have as many babies as possible in the US? What is the motive for this increased totalitarian control over women?

Beware: the return of laws against abortion in our own fair-minded and reasoning land could lead to more restrictions, more pushback against women rising in business and other enterprises – it becomes a package of repression and removal of freedoms, like bank accounts and borrowing: back to when a woman could not get a mortgage on her own. Like women not being allowed in some places without an escort. Those days feel as though they are gone forever, but who would believe the issue of abortion would come up again as conversations now are showing?

In Afghanistan, abortion is illegal, and doctors performing it are punished to the “full extent of the law,” in the United States, there are laws against abortion clinics and doctors there, too now.

The rot sets in too easily.

Look at the prophetic writings of Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid’s Tale, where women become property and men resolve their primary fears about women taking control over birth.

Isn’t this the 21st Century? Isn’t this 2023, when science fiction writers of the ’50s to the ’80s assumed we would have so much figured out?

Look at the space shows so many of us have adored – Star Trek, Voyager, Star Wars – lots of others – where the humans have pretty well rid themselves of the struggle between the genders, acknowledging that ability is equal, that life is shared on the same footing; that the only road to progress is shoulder to shoulder without the acrimony and the repression.

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