Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Man Who Trusts Women

I trust women.  I like women.  Most of them.  Well, most of the ones I know.  The rest I largely have no ill-will towards, and those I might dislike, I do so because of rather specific actions of theirs.  Like threatening to nuke Buenos Aires, turning international politics into a joke or failing to use their indoor voice for my entire childhood.

But even these women that I might not like so much, I do not feel any sense of ownership over.  I do not have any power or responsibility to guide them or cajole them, to judge them or to denigrate them.  What they do, while I might dislike it and I might complain about it, is up to them.  It has never even crossed my mind that these women, even the ones I don't like, should be subjected to my whim by force of law.  So why is it that millions of women, across the United States and the world, are finding their choices limited and their motivations prejudged and second-guessed?  Why is it that women's health care is a divisive issue that the entire country is talking about?  Why is it a bargaining chip, seemingly requiring a shrewd poker player to keep it in the stack.  It seems baffling to me that it was on the table to begin with.

Today is International Women's* Day.  I don't know if there is an International Men's Day, and I don't care.  While there are always issues that affect men that are worth talking about (social pressure to conform to the constructed concept of 'masculinity', fear of getting probed in the butt to check for prostate cancer, etc.), it isn't often that the entire gender finds itself the subject of political humming and hawing over whether or not they deserve access to basic health care.  Lots of men don't get access to basic health care, because they are poor, unemployed or already sick ('born this way' doesn't fly with Republicans for this issue either).  But they don't get denied because a certain segment of a certain religious sect firmly believes they should.  Viagra isn't something you need a trans-urethral ultrasound before you're allowed to get it (except maybe in Ohio).  Women are, as ever, the ones punished for daring to have a sexuality, and are shackled by the idea that they are somehow too fragile or stupid to make decisions for themselves.

Rubbish.  I know plenty of women who are perfectly capable of making decisions for themselves.  I also know a handful I wouldn't send out for a sandwich, but that has nothing to do with what's between their legs.  And the same goes for men, and for anybody else who might consider themselves trans or whatever other gender.  Individuals are different from one another, and every individual deserves the opportunity to make their own health care choices without a third party's religious or moral convictions interfering.  That men largely get this and women do not is a scandal and a stain on the reputation of the faithful.  Faith, if it is to be anything, is to be a help to oneself, not a hindrance to another.

Your moment of zen today is a video involving some women who do not appear to be fragile at all.  As I have mentioned in the past and in my bio, I'm a fan of professional wrestling, and one of my favourite companies right now is Shimmer Women Athletes.  While I find the name a bit daft, and the DVD covers make my mother think I've ordered a stack of porn, this product is incredibly refreshing for a jaded wrestling fan.  It involves people (who happen to be women) with talent, enthusiasm and a little bit of fun, mixing all that together in the ring to make for a solid wrestling show.  It's entertaining, it's engaging, and it's not "good for women's wrestling"; it's plain good.  As it should be, there's no reason women cannot wrestle just as well as men.  Some of the women happen to be attractive, but that's besides the point.  Plenty of male wrestlers are attractive too.  What matters is that I appreciate and enjoy their work, and I trust them to have their own agency and make their own choices in life, without myself or anybody else throwing hurdles in their way.  Would we really accept trying to force John Cena to watch a brain scan of a football injury victim before allowing him to get into the ring? 

*That apostrophe is in the correct place, despite it being a plural.  Don't ask me why.  The English language was never meant to make sense.  Its arbitrary absurdity is probably why the English invented Monty Python.

No comments:

Post a Comment