The Chattel Slavery of Women

I am furious with the current Supreme Court. It’s been only two days since the Roe v. Wade overturn, and I’m barely coherent. But I am starting to cool, just a bit. Almost down to the melting point of copper.

I’m starting to think that the Court was correct to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This issue has never been about “right to life.” That has always been an empty slogan, a misdirection, a propaganda phrase to manipulate the masses and confuse them.

The real issue is the chattel slavery of women, to serve as breeders.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The original colonies of the United States were founded on chattel slavery. Chattel means “property.” It is property in the same sense that you might consider a cow, or a pair of pants, or a leather wallet your property. Chattel slavery means that the slave is owned by someone. Like a cow, the slave can be bought and sold. If the slave is more trouble than he is worth, he can be “put down” by the master, like a sick cow. The slave could — in principle — even be carved up and eaten, just like a cow.

The slave is property.

Likewise, going back thousands of years, girls were born property of their fathers, and chattel ownership of the girl was transferred to a husband — as in “husbandry,” the care, cultivation, and breeding of crops or livestock — typically in return for a bride-price. A woman without a husband was that most miserable of beings, a slave without a master, a sheep without a shepherd, an old maid or a widow.

Two of the consistent reasons for a man to “put away” his wife throughout history have been infidelity, and a “barren womb.” Infidelity confuses the ownership: which man owns the offspring? Failure to produce offspring means the woman is defective merchandise, and if she cannot be returned for a refund, she should be discarded and replaced.

That is why all of the “medical” arguments for abortion fall on deaf ears among the anti-abortion folks, because these arguments miss the real point. Women in the US are chattel breeders, and if a woman dies in childbirth, the ancient rule is to save the child, not the mother: if the child lives, the woman has fulfilled her sole purpose as a breeder, even if she dies. If the child dies, or is born with defects, it is the woman’s fault as a defective breeder, and she should be discarded and replaced. If she refuses to breed with her husband, by abstinence, contraception, or abortion, she is being willful and disobedient, and can be forced to breed. This is not considered rape. It is only rape if she is impregnated by a man other than her owner.

Among the anti-abortionists, there is absolutely no valid reason for a woman to terminate a pregnancy. The “sanctity of life” argument is a red herring to deflect from the real issue, which is the sanctity of property rights.

Women did not get the right to vote until 1920 in the US. The woman was property. She had one function, which had nothing to do with politics. Would you allow your cow to vote? Your pet dog?

Women were not allowed to speak in the church my mother grew up in, through her adulthood in the 1940’s, and well into my childhood memories in the 60’s. What would be the point? Would you allow your cow or dog to speak in church?

The reason oral contraception was so outrageous when it came out in 1960 was that it gave the power to breed to the woman, taking it away from her husband. Unthinkable!

So the real abortion question is this. Are women chattel? Or are they citizens?

When the US fought the Civil War, it was over the choice of whether to expand or abolish the chattel slavery of workers. It resulted in the Thirteenth Amendment, and then the Fourteenth, which freed the slaves and made them citizens. It is still a matter of great dissent in this benighted nation.

After Roe v. Wade was decided by the Court in 1973, there was an expectation that Congress would follow up with some kind of “Women’s Rights” legislation. That never materialized, and that is where the real problem lies.

As much contempt as I hold for this current Supreme Court — and it is substantial contempt — I don’t think the solution is to expand the court or impeach the justices.

The solution is to fix Congress. By whatever means is necessary.

And then we need to settle this matter of the chattel slavery of women as breeders, by law, and preferably a constitutional amendment.

Will it take another civil war to accomplish this?

Probably.

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