Woman & Fertility: A text on woman and fertility politics in the patriachat and the right of abortion
..La verdadera mujer...hundirse en ella devuelve a castidad.
Es estéril, pues detiene la rueda del tiempo... (1)
[...the true woman... evolving into her brings back chastity. She
is sterile, for she holds the wheel of times.]
The above text is an excerpt from a book on Tantra. Reading it in our usual state of mind, the first reaction to "sterile" is to reject it, for we are socially conditioned to the need to fulfill our biological function. "Sterile" is therefore to be seen as a deficiency in the politics of fertility in our patriarchal socienty.
Fertility politics in the patriachat
Where does this demand for "biological utility" come from? First of all, women are the key group that must be controlled in order to achieve a growth in population. The ability to give birth is in its ultimate consequences a means to achieve power. The more children, the more potential soldiers (and fertile women) there will be within a span of 20 or 25 years. A warlord will welcome any explosion in population, as it supplies him the army he needs for his ultimate seize of power. But a potentate with short-term aspirations is not the only one who wants this, as population growth generally leads to more power for any political leader. (3)
So women, through their ability to give birth, take on a central position. They carry the key to successin their hands - and therefore must be controlled.
A female privilege: the decision
But from a spiritual point of view it is the privilege and responsibility of women to decide for or against anew life. It is they who should have the weight of the decision, for everything happens within their bodies. They alone have a comprehensive view of things in this momentous decision.
"...I therefore have the choice, the full-force. I can come into contact with the child, with myself, and perceive, which decision for me has internal accuracy. Then I can give room to my decision, consciously to let it grow, or not. If I no longer have the courage to do so, to take this responsibility, I no longer can teach the child to which I will give life to. What is a true MOTHER? One who gives a sure framework for the light and the darkness of life. One to which the child can entrust itself in the most helpless time of its life, because she, the true mother, includes "everything" in her framework of life. Then children could learn something very fundamental from us women, something fundamental for their lives, namely true spiritual respect and devotion to everything that exists. From a powerless mother, a sacrifice-mother, one cannot learn these fundamental spiritual attitude, even if she tries to be as dedicated as Mary. Mary is too docile to give the child a sure framework, so this is often delegated to an authority-figure Father/God..." (2)
To take away the right over her body from a woman therefore has a far larger effect than what it may seem at first glance. One more human will be born, but society as a whole is weakened, in a sublime spiritual manner.
The self-negating mother, our "docile Mary", gives birth children who are full of an internal neediness, for she cannot teach them strength she never was allowed to live herself.
Perhaps that is where this exaggerated egocentrism comes from in our society, as all women and men today are all sons and daughters of such self-sacrificing mothers. Or maybe: mothers who got sacrificed?
What will people think in 100 years about the fact that in our society a woman has no (abortion-) right over her body? The same way we feel today when we hear of women with no legal right to vote? A society of barbarians?
Participation in society through... prostitution?
By making it almost impossible for a woman to have her own job, to actively participate in politics and social life and by restricting her activities to fulfilling biological function alone (and that is what happens by not letting her choose whether she wants to be a mother or not), one drives women into something that is in its last instance prostitution. For nothing remains to the woman other than her body and her ability to give birth to be able to participate in worldly life as the married, child-bearing wife of a man. (That explains also, why in so many societies widows and elderly women have to live in marginalization and poverty: they have become useless). By what else a marriage is motivated then, if by pure desire for survival? And how would this differ from the motivations of a prostitute?
For a liberal abortion policy
Today it basically makes no longer sense to force women for carry out unwanted pregnancies. Even for would-be dictators, because for some time battles are no longer won on the field, but rather at the computer terminals. And there a well-trained woman will be just as skillful as any man.
If only a women can choose the life as that pleases her - a live as a scientist, a manager, a politician or whatever else, and no unintended pregnancy to prevent her. To force women to carry out unwanted pregnancies and thus renounce their own lives brings more damage than benefit to a society. One more human being will be born, but the contribution of a gifted woman will be lost.
Also relationships between men and women would see changes. Suddenly relationships could emerge where both the persons, man and woman, count - and not just their ability to produce the new generation.