Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What does Trust Women mean to you?

I value choice, and I value the work of its defenders. And yet the slogan "Trust Women" encapsulates for me so much that pro-choice rhetoric should not be. It is well-meant, I know, but I resent its implications. When it comes to abortion, I neither want nor need anyone's "trust".

Why should I be trusted? My right to define what is beneath my own skin as my own should not be contingent on me being "trustworthy". My right to choose should not be contingent on me making the right choices. Equality is not conditional or one-sided; the moment conditions are set, it ceases to exist.

Who is doing the trusting? Who takes it upon themselves to magnanimously grant me the right to decide whether I or not I reproduce? Those who can't get pregnant? Bodily autonomy is not something to be earned. It is something to be defended, regardless of the ways in which it is expressed.

I want equality to be real. I don't want crumbs from the table of the privileged. I am a woman and I don't want to be "trusted". I just want to live in my own body, freely. Shouldn't we all?


  1. It is well-meant, I know, but I resent its implications.

    Your post was well meant, but their rhetoric is not, of that you should not have a shred of an infinitesimal nth of a doubt.

    Peace beneath your skin and wonderful post.

  2. I actually agree that 'Trust Women' isn't a great political slogan.
    The problem with 'Trust Women' is that it was one doctor's reminder to himself why he practiced medicine in spite of the danger it put him in.
    When he was assassinated, it was turned into a political slogan.
    So, it's natural that anyone would resent its implications because it was never meant to be the rallying cry of a movement. This was one man's credo. It is just as important for a doctor to have faith in their patients as the other way around.
    That's what made him so remarkable.
    It was our tragic loss of Dr. Tiller that turned 'Trust Women' into a political slogan.

  3. Joshua, thank you for the explanation. As you can tell, I wrote this post as a personal response without doing any background research (I mean this as a confession, not an excuse). I am extremely sensitive to apparently pro-choice rhetoric which seems to leave bodily integrity a hostage to fortune. But I think your position - this may not work as a slogan on its own terms but still has to be valued in the context of someone's life and sacrifices (if I'm understanding this correctly) - makes absolute sense.