“This is MY Body—But I Don’t Want It!”

From the CCBR blog.

Fellow feminists,

In case you haven’t noticed, women (or “womyn,” if you prefer) are immensely powerful. And I’m not just talking “Lady Macbeth” meets “Charlie’s Angels.” While there is something to be said about feminine beauty and strength, our power lies in the very thing that makes us fundamentally different from men. In case you need a reminder, it’s that women have the extraordinary ability to help create and facilitate the development of another human being—inside her body! The life within her begins as a tiny single-celled human organism which then rapidly grows and develops over the next nine months or so. And she (the mother) can in a way “grow” that little person within her while going for a walk or checking the mail or even in her sleep.

Strangely enough, I know of some people who would actually be offended by some of the simple statements I have just made. Some might accuse me of reducing “womyn” to barefoot baby-making machines who have no other function in society than to be a soft, pretty incubator for the “products of conception” within her. Some might accuse me of overlooking men’s capacity to nurture. I sincerely believe that these accusations are born of a fearful, confused ideology. Since when does the natural function of the womb make a woman less of a woman? Since when does the absence of a womb excuse callous or negligent behavior from our male counterparts?

The differences between males and females (and, yes, they do exist) do not lessen the intrinsic value of either sex. Biologically speaking, the male anatomy and the female anatomy were designed to complete one another, ultimately to bring about the life of a new human being. This is not to say that every man and every woman must “claim” their sexuality by becoming parents—otherwise, what would I be at this stage in my life?

At my university, we dismiss the idea that a woman’s ability to bear children somehow renders her incapable of doing anything else. No one should reduce women to human incubators any more than they should reduce them to objects of pleasure. That is why truly chivalrous men honor women’s unique receptivity to the gift of life as part of who she is as a whole, unique individual, instead of coercing her into rejecting such an integral aspect of herself. As women, we should not have to compromise our ability to bear children in order to keep up with men in the workforce, or elsewhere. Besides, if fertility in women is a sign of good health, why are we using pills and hormones to make her sick? Only a poseur “feminist” would drive a women to reject her womb—it’s an utter paradox.

Republished with permission from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.