Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977) popularized the song “In the Ghetto” written by Mac Davis in 1969. The following TikTok video, featuring an artist with whom I am not familiar, is better—in my opinion—than any other rendition I’ve heard. Such depth! Such raw passion! Such strength! Such vulnerability!
The recent backlash against women and feminism, highlighted by the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, has left many people asking: Is feminism dead? Or if it isn’t dead, is it lost? The decision dealt a blow to one of the most basic freedoms of women—control over their own bodies. In the rush to protect the life of embryos and fetuses, the lives of millions of women will be compromised if not lost altogether, especially poor and BIPOC women.
The Court is inflicting its right-wing views on a country that does not share its values; a majority of Americans support a woman’s right to abortion. “The “triumphal right,” says Susan Faludi in an interview with Michelle Goldberg, “has taken the gloves off and is pursuing a scorched-earth campaign against women’s most fundamental rights.” [i] And although the feminist movement cannot be reduced to the fight for reproductive justice (with issues such as maternity leave, equal pay, childcare, healthcare, etc., still on the table), banning abortion has become the tip of the patriarchal iceberg.
Greetings Feminism and Religion family! It has been soooo long and I have missed you so much!!
I have been working on a few projects that were rudely interrupted by a heartbreaking divorce, decisions of survival, and the subsequent recovery that followed this period. I have spent the past at least 6 months healing from the shame, guilt, pain, and blame that was placed in my lap for the collapse of the marriage. Needless to say, that shit is heavy and it kept me in an endless and perpetual night- not the beautiful mysterious, infinite, expansive darkness that I have come to know but the night that I was afraid of when I was young. No one could save me from the ways that I tormented myself or questioned my womanhood, motherhood in particular. Even more, no one could save me from being an emotional punching bag from my ex-spouse, who also torments himself.
That being said, I am on the mend and am settled in my own apartment furnished with peace, wholeness, and healing for myself and my daughter. As an earth sign, stable ground and a comfortable home in which I can be myself means the world to me. I am a spiritual advisor at a recovery center in Massachusetts and therefore have studied the art of recovery in many ways. Recovery from loss and recovery of self are two procedures that I address in my upcoming book, Black Gold: The Road to Black Infinity!!
Along with the words of Justices Sotomayer, Breyer and Kagan.
The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe was expected, but there was nothing that could prepare me (nor likely anyone else) for the devastation of the actual decision. My gut is reeling. I thought it would be useful to survey the landscape through the lens of patriarchy. Thanks to Carol Christ for having always written insightful comments about the roles of patriarchy. This is inspired by her work.
The dissenting judges were quite eloquent, so I will work off their words.
“Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.”
“After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away. The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.”
My Commentary: Through the eyes of patriarchy here is no need to consider life-altering consequences because it only recognizes two roles for women: madonna or whore. We are never seen as full humans with civil and independent rights. Patriarchy doesn’t just hate the sexual freedom of women, it has spent millennia trying to quash it, make it into something dirty, control it. It’s a love/hate relationship with sex. Rape is really OK (look how hard it is to prosecute). Pedophilia OK too (look at the church). But a woman making her own sexual, reproductive choices . . . a bridge too far. Patriarchy will always force us to pay a price for having sex, for being alluring, for being female.