Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a threat to all women, and a threat to other genders whose mere identity is a target for the conservative members of the court. Reproductive justice now firmly takes a proverbial backseat to reproductive justice, and we know from the abundant evidence from research conducted in the US and around the globe that the people who will bear the brunt of this conservative assault on women’s bodily autonomy are women of color, lower income women, and women in rural areas where abortion services were already limited.
These justices do not represent the majority of the US population that, in survey after survey, state their conviction that women have a right to determine their reproductive labor, and who support the right to abortion, even when that right is conditioned upon the preservation of the
mother’s physical and mental health, indications that the fetus has severe abnormalities, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. These justices do not represent the “right to life”: they are forced birth extremists who view a woman’s womb as an incubator in service of state interests.
For everyone who thought this matter was settled — who voted cavalierly or did not vote at all — this serves as a reminder that each vote counts and will count for years to come. #NovemberIsComing.
I recently posted a Twitter thread suggesting that we give a grateful shout out to those academics who mentored us, encouraged us, who were the bright lights that illuminated our academic paths. It is heartening, and so necessary midst the horrendous events at Harvard, to remember the goodness we were fortunate enough to encounter along the way. Arturo Escobar! Life-changing classes and wise advice. Elisabeth (Libby) Wood and her brilliant kindness. And Sally Merry, whom I miss so much. She was wonderfulness incarnate. Finally, look at how many of us who identify as female are thanking the male mentors who made a positive difference in our lives. Those decent men who saw bright intellects, big dreams, and future colleagues when they worked with us. Thank you.
This past week has been “triggering” for many, exhausting for many more. I appreciate all who have reached out, and also know that working on the topics of sexual harassment and assault can wear us down. I believe the term is “weathering.” Call it a tempest, please. I have been inundated with messages, and want to reach out to each of you and support you. I also know I cannot. Boundaries and limits. While those of us who work on these issues — campus-based and beyond— struggle to respond, there are many more professors who are writing peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and monographs: they are probably white, cisgendered, middle classed, able-bodied males, and someone else is caring for their children or elders. Someone else cooks their meals and cleans their homes. For the rest of us: take time, take care. It may be a fleeting moment: a flash of sunshine; a canine familiar licking our ear; a loved one giving us a hug; a former student reaching out to let us know we made a difference. There are many ways to measure our days and our contributions. A resource below.
Say their names. The perpetrators. The cowards. The complicit. And these women whose names we should embrace and shout out loud. Give them support. Harvard will bring all its money and power to bear to grind them down.
I found this post disturbing on various levels. The documentarian informs the viewer that “When Taavi’s mom failed to show maternal instincts, animal care specialists intervened to hand raise him.” WAIT: In addition to the disturbing imposition of hegemonic maternal scripts, I wonder if some zoo-interned animals refuse to raise their young under such conditions. For those with more knowledge on this issue, might this be maternal refusal rather than failure?