"Fatherhood" & Control over the Female Body (was re: Yoshie's sacred sperm)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Mon Aug 23 22:27:46 PDT 1999

Steve Perry wrote:
>Meeting your argument on its own ground raises an interesting
>point. If a pregnancy is reducible to a mere "biological contingency"--just
>another lifestyle choice--then what of a man's rights vis a vis an "avoidable
>biological contingency" that *he* wants no part of? I'm not suggesting he
>ought to be able to compel a woman to abort a pregnancy (or carry it to
>term); that is clearly an unreasonable invasion. But by your standard--a life
>free of "gender-specific burdens"--shouldn't he be able to legally renounce
>his interest in, and responsibility for, any child issuing from a pregnancy
>unwanted by him? The financial and emotional responsibilities of
>fatherhood being a gender-specific burden and all.

You speak contemptuosly (by using the term 'lifestyle choice') of *women's desire not to become mothers when we don't want to*, or to be able to *control and plan* our lives to the extent we can, which is the meaning of avoiding an unwanted biological *contingency* in the case of unwanted pregnancy. Is there any reason why you must trivialize women's desire to *plan* our life courses to the extent we can? Do you not understand that the lack of control over avoidable biological contingencies results in an obstacle for women's liberation ("biology is destiny")?

Pregnancy is a sex-specific physical burden that can only take place in each individual woman's body, which without women's self-determination becomes a cause for women's oppression. In contrast, parenting, which is not biological, can and should be shared by both genders, and not only that, a responsibility for raising children should be a social one, not an individual one; and the lack of such non-gender-specific and of social provisions for raising children leads to women's oppression. Not to understand these two causes of women's oppression is not to understand feminism, of which you certainly seem ignorant.

The above paragraph by Steve is, however, wonderful in that it clarifies, once again, one of the foundations for men's desire to control women's sexuality & reproductive capacity: unless a man is sure it is *his* child that *his* woman is carrying, and unless also he has a say in the fate of *his* woman's pregnancy, he is absolved of responsibility; and if a woman expects support from a man, she must allow him to control what happens to her body. Now you are bringing back Chastity Belts (see Engels).

Ellen Frank wrote on PEN-L:
>The idea that the state has an interest
>in the fetus that can be imposed regardless of, or despite,
>the desire of the mother, is founded on
>a deep contempt for women, a horror that the process of reproduction
>lies, ultimately, in women's hands.

The same analysis applies to individual men's desire to control women's bodies and have a say in our pregnancies.

Steve also wrote:
>>>Yes, indeed, every sperm is sacred.
>>a stumper! i'm trying to decide if yoshie advocates spitting or
>I believe she favors choking on it.

You certainly exhibit hatred and contempt for women whose ideas do not agree with you.


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