Posts tagged: assisted suicide

Reactionaries, TERFs, and Bodily Autonomy

A couple of things have been stewing in my brain for a while, and I can’t stop thinking about them.

First off is a term that describes people who don’t believe in the right of individuals to make decisions about their own lives and bodies. Radical feminists (TERF or not) don’t think that sex workers have that right, in much the same way that US Republican conservatives. Whether drug use, transition care, sex work, assisted suicide or abortion, the resistance to it being allowed in society is that the person doing it cannot or should not consent. They want to impose their values on the lives of people they don’t know or care about. Reactionary kind of fits, but not really.

The other thing is that the resistors of bodily autonomy are rarely honest in their assessments/debates. They will use a rhetorical trick of treating a systemic issue as an individual issue and vice versa. A good example is the issue of mass shootings. The fact that cis white men commit the majority of mass shootings routinely gets treated as a “lone wolf” or as a “mentally ill” rather than it being a systemic, societally based issue.

On the other side of this trick, TERFs use individual trans people being awful that have no systemic/institutional/societal base at the root. TERFs will claim that self-identification of gender will cause harm, say this is a “valid question”, and repeat it ad nauseam. But they never respond when the question is answered and that their “valid question” hasn’t resulted in the systemic harm they claim in the 18 countries where it’s the law (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Switzerland and Uruguay).

And that’s just it; the people at the centre of the question never want to answer it. Like Young Earth Creationists, they have a belief that is centred and anything that agrees with it is true; anything that counters it is false. It isn’t a debate, as it is a propaganda campaign that tries to get more people to try and command other people’s bodily autonomy.

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