You know, those of us who have read The Handmaid’s Tale have begrudgingly joked that reproductive rights for women in the United States are heading in that direction. However, it’s become increasingly clear over the past couple of years that there are some individuals that view women in the same light as the ruling powers within the universe of The Handmaid’s Tale. You know, the type of person that believes a woman’s worth is only based on what’s between her legs and how many kids she can have?
Today’s gem focuses on Oklahoma State Representative Justin Humphrey. In an interview with Intercept, Humphrey tried to justify to the press how his unconstitutional bill, a bill that would force women to go to the father of their child in order to get written permission for an abortion, was important. However, all it did was reveal some rather disturbing and disheartening views of how he views pregnant women:
Ultimately, he said, his intent was to let men have a say. “I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” he said. “I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”
In what has become a mind numbing occurrence, once again a male politician has made comments about a woman’s responsibility in getting pregnant and has neglected to discuss the man’s responsibility in the matter. Because it totally takes one person to get pregnant. Again, it’s the woman who has to be careful. And, although we may think our body belongs to us, it doesn’t. Once we are pregnant, it belongs to the father of the child and the fetus. We are relegated to the role of a host, a sack of flesh purely designed to carry children and nothing else. Doesn’t this just remind you of a favorite science fiction franchise with chest bursters?
It’s moments like these where I wish we had Aliens to come to our planet in order to show men like Humphrey what it means to truly be a host. However, this is reality.
Overall, labeling women as hosts to a parasitic presence isn’t just dismissive of women as a whole. It neglects to take into account the influence being pregnant has on a woman and the life altering changes that having children has on all aspects of a woman’s life. Ultimately, statements and stories like this one today helps to put another spotlight on how we are continuing to take multiple steps back in terms of reproductive rights, women’s rights, and the overall progression of this country.