Columns

Abortion is the issue, but control of women's bodies still the long game

Franklin
Johnston

Friday, September 21, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


In the beginning man was afraid of woman. She was more perfect, could reproduce; jealousy rose and a morbid focus on her sexuality — incest, rape and more.

Abortion is about power. Women must not achieve mastery of self, so the patriarchy (man rule) controls women for its benefit: “I own you and your vagina!”

I once thought the Pentateuch was about sex and real estate — who begat whom and fights about which land God gave to whom. God's wayward kids; enemies, perverts, slave masters; fleshpots, idols, virgins and bacchanal — the King James version is graphic as a Marvel comic or a video game as magical boys down giants with puny weapons and wizards with wands get water from rocks or part seas; simply awesome! Man was first, but beta model 2.0 (woman) was improved. But God is male; man was made in His image, so woman serves.

Man is self-possessed; his penis his own. Woman; smile, hair, breasts, vagina, womb owned by man. Father Abraham inspired Jew, Christian, Muslim and patriarchy tightened its grip — Muslims with great enthusiasm, Jews less so, and delusional Christians consider themselves gender-just. The patriarchy hated abortion. What? Kill man seed? But they made exceptions. The lion kills cubs by a former mate. The joy of a victor was to sow his seed in the wives of the vanquished. But no man wants to see his enemy's face on his wife's son; forever shamed! Joseph was unusual as real men banish wives enceinte by an enemy; she heroically takes belly into the wilderness to abort, and if she lives and returns alone is forgiven.

Conflict on abortion is new as man's rule on women's reproduction was never disputed. Medics, priests, philosophers weigh in, but abortion is old hat for many reasons. Some nations saw daughters as detritus, despite modern living and science. My own church was founded by a King who wanted a son and had serial wives, miscarriages, and abortions until he got one. Today science enables what soothsayers could not.

Abortion is not for child or mother, it is about chattel. Men own women and show it in many ways. Even in the West laws on right to sex, property, custody, divorce, etc are skewed. Arabia, Africa, Asia have male wealth, very modern, but practise male genital mutilation. Women are arm candy, baby-bearers; no feeling, no fun!

In the UK many Muslim women abort and daughter-murder is rife as husbands want sons. China's one child policy was abortion holocaust. My friend from a farming family in Nova Scotia has five older sisters as his mother was not “allowed” to stop breeding until she had a son for her “loving” spouse. De facto abortion is all around and the patriarchy decides what women do with their bodies in subtle ways. What an uprising if men were restricted in using their penises? A penis dedicated to one woman? “Ralph, I told you not to breed the maid, yuh a bring me down in society!”

As small fish in a militaristic era Jews had reason to control women's bodies. Christians, Muslims were missionary patriarchies for Jesus, Muhammad (PBUH), and some required a woman to be burned alive on her husband's funeral pyre. She was his! Ever see a man burnt with his dead wife? Never! Women have been conditioned into giving their bodies (even to dead men) and men to receiving. Today many still move to the Neanderthal impulses of the Torah. What would happen if a woman controls her body as a man controls his? Armageddon? Peace on Earth?

A Gallup poll says 48 per cent are pro-choice and 48 per cent are pro-life in America. The former aver that a woman should decide her reproductive matters, and the latter say abortion is murder. The State must affirm life begins when sperm meets egg; but most think the mother's life is valuable. Half say, “Abortion should be legal in some circumstances,” and “slightly more say it is more morally wrong than morally acceptable”.

Americans with extreme views “come down on the side of abortion being legal under any circumstances (29 per cent) than being legal in all circumstances (18 per cent).” (Gallup, Jeffrey Jones, 11/06/ 2018) What do Jamaicans think? How much is pass-through from America, informed conviction or patriarchy?

Abortion is not about sperm, egg, foetus, unborn child, it is about the death rattle of patriarchy. If women control their wombs the Abrahamic paradigm shifts. Old truth dies; new truth is born; and women, men may freely grow in equity, respect and love.

Jamaica is not a player in most intellectual or ethical duels, and not on abortion. Our philosophers are pastiche, pedestrian; weak leaders, unproductive people; we cannot even protect our women, kids or feed ourselves, yet men rule. Can women do better? Let's try!

Is what is right for America always right for us? Patriarchy may adopt new tactics. Abortion is the issue, but control of women's bodies is still the long game. We must pick our fight. Stay conscious!

Franklin Johnston, D Phil (Oxon), is a strategist and project manager; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK); and lectures in logistics and supply chain management at Mona School of Business and Management, The University of the West Indies. Send comments to the Observer or franklinjohnstontoo@gmail.com.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT