Sexularism and the Religious Wars on Women
So here it is: freedom of/for religion has nothing to do with my body or my daughter's or any woman's or girl's body and what she gets to do with it. Contraceptives are a woman's right to control her body. Freedom of religion means you are free to choose and practice whatever religion you want to, if you want to, but it does not mean that you get to have any particular view of anyone's bodily integrity. Reimbursement for contraceptives is my right if I choose it. In a secular state I get to freely choose what my body needs and that means that I need access to/for my choice. The Affordable Health Act should make sure that this is so.
The clear divides between public and private; political and religious; church and state; secular and religious never hold. The realms are never separate but they are distinct and different and need careful negotiation and re-scoping. If the state defers at the start to religion while posturing a guarded distance, it does not bode well for women's rights or their sexual freedom. Female bodies are the canary in the mine. If you allow misogynist religious practices to be normalised politically, then they parade in secular form and destroy the possibility of democratic sexual rights for women.
There is a politics to sex because the personal is political. If the "western" woman is to be ever truly liberated, we need to stand with women here in the US and in Tahrir Square and the streets of Delhi and across this globe to end the war on women's bodies. Compromise on this will not do.
Hopefully, you might join "A Billion Women Rising" as we take to the streets on February 14 - women and girls - with men, across this entire globe standing against sexual violence and for sexual rights. Our bodies. Our lives. Our sexular selves.