What if women used bodily autonomy to acquire real bodily autonomy?


The comic play “Lysistrata” was written by playwright Aristophanes in 411 BC. In it, the women of Greece, tired of their husbands making war all the time, stop offering sexual favors to their husbands and lovers until they agree to stop all wars. 2,432 years later, little has changed; in fact, the more things have changed, the more they have remained the same.

Women are still seen as irrational creatures, in need of protection from their male partners and friends. For example, it took until the 1960s for women to be able to open a bank account independently. And it wasn’t until the mid-1970s, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, that women could actually control their own money, apply for a credit card, and apply for a mortgage without the co-signature of a man.

Today we see parts of the United States where a woman cannot find a surgeon who ties up her fallopian tubes without her husband’s permission. If she happens to be unmarried, surgeons routinely refuse to operate with the excuse, “but you might want kids one day.” Men can have a vasectomy at any time without their wife’s approval, but, heaven forbid, a woman wants to control her own reproductive destiny.

Other barriers also exist – doctors and pharmacists who refuse to prescribe or dispense oral contraceptives because of their personal religious beliefs. Still, a man can see a doctor (or even visit an online website) and get Viagra or Cialis for his erectile dysfunction issues.

Given these barricades on issues of women’s health and bodily autonomy, is it any wonder that SCOTUS is set to rule this summer on Texas’ abortion ban? Under federal law, men and women “should” have equal rights, including the right to bodily autonomy, and yet, day in and day out, women are still treated as somehow less than a man. man. As a result, they are paid less, they cost more to insure and fewer are employed.

If men were treated the same as women, I suspect there would be an immediate change in the laws. Imagine, my male readers, if you were paid 80 cents on the dollar for your work, or it cost you over 20% more for medical and life insurance. Imagine if you had to get your wife’s permission to buy condoms or get medicine to help you perform your marital duties in the marital bed. And yet, these are things that women face every day.

They are regularly victims of abuse and intimidation in the workplace and in public. “Oh, these are just locker room discussions,” some will say. “Hey, the President of the United States said it, so it can’t be that bad, can it?” For some loudmouth jesters, that’s normal…at least until they have daughters of their own and have to deal with the end result at home.

Bodily autonomy is imperative for everyone, including children and young adults of all genders. No one has the right to exercise physical control over another’s body. Suppose a man or woman finds themselves identifying with another sexual identity. If so, they should be celebrated and encouraged to seek help for their change. They should not be subject to dead names, lawsuits from family to stop them, or resistance from the medical community.

The same goes for a woman who is pregnant and does not want to be. Other people have no right to impose their personal beliefs on another person, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Your personal beliefs are yours, inside your own home and church, certainly not imposed on others in a business that serves the public. And changing the law to reflect your personal beliefs should be anathema to all religious people.

What is good for the goose (male) is good for the gander (female). Perhaps the women and ladies of today should take up the torch of Lysistrata. I wonder what changes that would bring…

Until next month, wear a mask, get vaccinated and boost. Trust your doctor (unless he is a religious fanatic) and the scientific community. And ignore the boobies of margins on both sides.

— Mike Aurelius is a member of the Times Writers Group. He is a semi-retired business owner and professional writer who takes a hard look at the pronouncements of far-right and left-wing politicians.


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