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October 2012

Reproductive Freedom Has Always Been An Economic Issue

The truth is, reproductive freedom, rape and capitalism have always been intertwined, especially for Black women. When the GOP (primarily White men in many cases) start trying to redefine rape, act as rape apologists, and try to limit access to birth control and abortion, I recognize the foundation of a narrative that’s already played out in history.

When White male politicians speak of offspring from rape as “gifts,” it simply alludes to a time when some of these same men would have purposely raped Black women slaves (who had zero rights to prosecute them for rape, as they were not deemed human) to increase THEIR ECONOMY. Their wealth. If it seems ludicrous to connect elected public officials to rape for dollars, obviously American history is being blatantly ignored. Elected officials and other “forefathers” owned slaves and raped them. And no, people do not have consensual loving relationships when one party owns the other and one is not considered human and is an object for work and sale.

At no point in time has forced birth not been an issue of economics or control for White men. It’s always been economic. Always. It’s just a matter of whose economy that’s changed (i.e. now that women can work, earn and have some control over their reproduction) over time. When the GOP states that women do not care about reproductive freedom and only care about jobs and the economy for this election, this either/or approach is a distraction tactic. Both matter and both are connected.

The control of and disregard for women’s bodies, especially Black women’s, is collective American history. It is fact. Plenty of reprehensible, hateful, sexist and misogynist actions towards women over time has been justified as “god’s will.” And, while some men of colour (especially some Black men I’ve encountered) applaud (whether for religious, identifying with the aggressor or male privilege-induced reasons) these anti-choice actions by White men, they seem to forget that slavery was also deemed “god’s will” before. All types of injustices against men of colour have been associated with “god’s will.”

I don’t really care about any deity’s “will.” I’m concerned about the very HUMAN White men (and others who share their views) who seem to confuse their own genuine pleasure with control in this White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society as something divine. No. This is human-dictated. This is about control and power. It’s never been about life. It’s most certainly has never been about any “god.”