Sunday, March 21, 2010

Human rights are not a commodity

They are not something to be bought and sold, bartered or traded, earned or won. They are fundamental and eternal. They are always true, even when they are not practiced or acknowledged or even legal. They are true even if we don't know they are true yet. 50 years from now, clean water may be the human rights fight of the moment, or technology access, or the right to worship or not worship our robot overlords. Hell, we might even get around to realizing that drug use is a human right. You have a right to control your own body, even in unhealthy ways. It's yours, I don't care what you put into your body or take out of your body so long as you get to choose it.

What human rights boil down to is the right to self. The right to control over your own body, your own mind, your own opinions, your own needs, wants and desires (provided those needs, wants and desires don't interfere with someone else's body). That's it. It's basic. It's simple. It's not special rights to let lgbts marry or serve openly in the military or get or stay employed or housed. It's not special rights to allow women and girls access to much needed medical care, including abortions. It all falls under the right to control your own body.

Human rights are not something to be patient for, to wait for. Telling someone who doesn't have these rights to hold on for a bit is like telling someone to hold their breath. Selling the human rights of women to the lowest bidder in order to pass a craptastic healthcare bill is not okay. It's not politicking finery. It's a human rights violation. Period. We have just been told that our right to our own body is up for sale, and the only people on the market are powerful men in tacky blue suits.

Don't let anyone sugar coat it for you. Don't let them tell you how this isn't really about rights, but about votes and federal dollars and blah blah blah. The government spends money on shit we morally object to all the time, like say killing families in Afghanistan or paying Blackwater, KBR et all to rape and pillage. This little bit of politicking is just one more of the thousand paper cuts which will just as surely kill us as a full sweeping no abortion ever bill would. And it's been brought to you by Democrats, the party made mostly of women but run mostly by men.

Now if you have the time, I recommend you watch this movie on Hulu, Rain Without Thunder, about a future society where abortion and birth control have been slowly but surely outlawed. And then try to tell me how very little Obama's fucking executive order is going to matter to us living, breathing, human women.

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