Government Shutdown is about Patriarchy, not Federal Budget

By Saswat Pattanayak The fact that possibility of government shutdown is squarely dependent upon the abortion issue is less about budgets, and more about the sexist society we collectively have fostered in this country.

A bunch of conservative men across political and socio-economic spectrum have somehow taken up the mantle of deciding what is appropriate for women when it comes to their most fundamental right – the right over their body.

Were men capable of reproducing, a question over abortion would never have become a public debate. It is only a “white knight” society that would presuppose the men have inbuilt intelligence superiority when it comes to mapping out not only what women are capable of doing, but also what they must be allowed to imagine of doing.

Contrary to popular discourse, abortion issue is not a legal question. Anti-abortion campaign is a social fix that heralds patriarchy, one that renders women as baby-producing machines, and worse, one that looks upon at women as a child-rearing gender. A glorification of motherhood, a sanctity upon women as gendered creatures that are born to reproduce to male whims, and a mandate that demands women to comply to male standards of family roles. Women in effect must turn into dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves, and mothers.

It is not merely unfortunate that the United States is at a crossroads over a most fundamental human right that uniquely belongs to women. It is in many ways, a predictable continuation of a strand of worldwide reactionary movements serving as backlash to feminists everywhere.

And most importantly, the possible government shutdown is a crucial reminder that the most pressing issue in front of the world is the one involving women’s reproductive rights, the ones being controlled thus far by the men. It will only be fruitful a debate if the President and rest of the politicians reach a consensus that it is not about federal budgets. It is about patriarchy. There is no telling how both Republicans and the Democrats contribute to the gender status quo.

If Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. feels the nation is full of cowards when it comes to holding honest discussions about race, the reality is when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and human rights of LGBT, the country is full of stinking shit. And despite what happens at the Capitol Hill today, cleaning up the shit takes more than a bunch of sexist pigs.

In fact, quite the contrary.