Friday, December 21, 2012

Hostages: Over the Cliff or "Not One of Those Thelma and Louise Bitches"

Guest post by Holona Ochs

So, Democrats have taken to Twitter to fight the mythical “fiscal cliff” based on the notion that the middle class either matters most or is the most mobilizable ideal But, who is truly the most at risk? 

Interestingly, the fight over tax breaks for the wealthy intersect with the discourse on rape, specifically rape of Indigenous Women.

One has to wonder why Violence Against Women is somehow conceived as a threat to sovereignty. That is – unless we recognize that sovereignty is a concept that has protected a feminist ideal that does not exist. In essence, sovereignty is a concept that provides the illusion of protecting some women by intentionally making “other” women more vulnerable. 

I, for one, am “not one of those Thelma and Louise bitches” willing to (or having to) sacrifice myself to prove a point about the humanity of women. Therefore, I refuse to concede any power to any man or woman who intends to or pretends to dominate

The mere fact that Cantor is able to hold hostage an “uncontroversial” bill retaining the authority of the Violence Against Women Act is ridiculous. What is at issue here is more than simply a matter of women (all women) being held hostage. The issue is that the protection of women is a bargaining chip in a battle over fiscal policy. Pitting women, particularly women of color, against policies defined by either party as “essential for economic growth” is fundamentally problematic because the value of a woman is not a function of sexuality. Furthermore, the use of violence against women as a strategic mechanism for control is absolutely a choice made by those who wish to dominate in that particular way.  Sexual violence is chosen as a strategy because it is feasible and/or because it is somehow morally justified. The resistance to the Violence Against Women Act in the U.S. currently is a strategic choice intended to divide women into protected categories and use violence to subjugate both women and people of color by separating categories of people with access to legal protections, dehumanizing those with the least power through sexual violence, and capitalizing on the rhetoric that this is a function of some rational, cost-effectiveness calculation and/or moral reasoning that is promoted as an “issue of national security”. 

First, if there is indeed a cliff, I’m not going off it. If I’m not benefiting from the current definition of “national security”, I’m not sacrificing my life to promote ideals that make me the most rapable type of woman. I love “Thelma and Louise”.  One of the primary themes had to do with women being in this together, and I support that, but I simply do NOT believe that driving off a cliff is necessary to somehow retain humanity.   

No comments:

Post a Comment