This is a great article that unflinchingly speaks truth to power. It is so important that people make the connection between the oppression of women and the patriarchal, male-supremacist religious fundamentalist right wing, a tool of the ruling plutocrats.
Saudi Arabia remains a bastion of male supremacy and, as pointed out in this article, only complied with sending a couple of tokens to the Olympics because they were forced to in order to participate. It is a disgusting example of a culture steeped in a repressive patriarchal religion and the absence of freedom that results when the church rules the state–a cautionary tale for this country which is well on its way to becoming a theocracy. Saudi Arabia needs to become secularized in order to join the 21st century and make some real changes like voting rights, driving rights, and educational rights for women if they want to show the world they are serious about progress.
Did the author mistakenly leave out the word “not” in the following sentence about these nuns’ activities, “a week of openly and actively fighting for the right to deny lifesaving medical care based on personal prejudice”? Because if not, all we’re talking about here is a stylistic difference from the bishops and the Vatican in the war on women that I fear is being missed by the readership. If these nuns were doing anything remotely just or worthy, it would read, “a week of openly and actively fighting for the right to lifesaving medical care, NOT the denial of it based on personal prejudice.” Otherwise as it is written, these women are participating in the persecution of their own gender based on their buying into the patriarchal misogyny of the Catholic church and deserve CONDEMNATION, NOT PRAISE! Talk about social INjustice! This is testimony to how victimized women are in these churches and how much they have been beaten into submission that they turn on other women in order to get the approval of the male bishopricks (“k” added for clarification) and a male supremacist god.
It is very telling that this webpage starts out with a Biblical quote about “choosing life so both you and your descendants may live”, which says it all regarding their motives, in my opinion, and confirmed my suspicion that this is a smear job. Missing from this treatise is any statement about the background of the writer or the “say so” marchers other than that they were “ministers”, which again exposes their true motives. These are ministers, you can be sure, of patriarchal Christian fundamentalist sects, most likely ultra-conservative Baptists who, like their fundamentalist papist and Islamic counterparts, take a particular dislike to any freedom on the part of women, especially sexual freedom, while taking great umbrage to what they perceive as racial prejudice. It is amazing how hypocritical this is, though it is par for the course. While it is undeniable that there was racism inherent in eugenicism, sexism is inherent in patriarchal religion.
The “immigrants” who were flooding the country at the time Margaret Sanger was campaigning for birth control were overwhelmingly Irish, so if anyone should be so offended by her work, I suppose it should be someone like me with my Irish heritage. Instead, I am very thankful that Irish women were able to not be powerless over their lives and not live in squalor, and it seems to me no one ought to be offended about a movement if it helped their ancestors gain some control over endless childbearing and resulting poverty through birth control, which is voluntary. Forced sterilization is a different situation; however, why anyone would think forced childbearing is preferable escapes me. The issue is CHOICE!
Nobody forces anyone to go to Planned Parenthood, use birth control, or submit to any procedure, nor do certain groups get targeted for services over others, regardless of any attitudes anyone might have had who started the birth control movement a century ago, when ideas about so-called racial superiority were widely held. The use of current attitudes to judge people in the past and apply that to the present as if everyone who promotes birth control now is a eugenicist is faulty reasoning—not to mention we have to judge people by the standard of their times, and Margaret Sanger is a hero to anyone who is sane, regardless of any such attitudes.
The other glaring issue I want to point out is the flip side of this argument. Do people have a right to dominate others because they choose to overpopulate and have endless children? It’s no accident that the Catholic church and the Mormon church promote unbridled childbearing because they not only want to repress women’s right to self- determination, but they crave huge numbers of followers over whom they have dominion and whom they can control. Children born into Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, and fundamentalist Protestant sects such as the Baptists, are conscripted into these patriarchal belief systems involuntarily in order to swell the influence of these churches over their followers and society at large, which we have witnessed increasingly because of their extreme fanatical views on abortion and birth control and resultant overpopulating. I believe the rest of us have some say in being taken over by sheer numbers and about having the earth destroyed because people are so hellbent on procreating in such outrageous numbers, hiding behind their religious justifications. The people having huge numbers of children affect all of us on this planet and threaten all of our survival and if they think it is ok to force women into childbearing, perhaps it is time for them to be forced to stop overpopulating us into extinction and spreading their oppression!