Monday, February 09, 2009

The status of women, Vatican-style

Well, now it's official: women are simply baby-making machines, fleshly containers at the disposal of the patriarchy. The far-right Premier of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, has overruled the Italian Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) by decree, after consulting with the Vatican, and ordered the continued life support of a woman who has been in a vegetative state (read: brain-dead) for seventeen years.

Because she is "in a condition to have babies."

Visions of factory-farming come unbidden to my mind. Why? Because I used to have a repellent fantasy about those places. An image of headless hens, forever producing eggs, calmly, in an orderly fashion, no unseemly pecking and buk-buk-bakawing. Nutrients delivered by tubes down the neck. Eggs collected by conveyor belt.

O brave new world. No wonder so many "right-to-life" articles omit all mention of women. Because for such people women as persons either exist as distractions from their bodily purpose--or needn't exist at all.

[H/t Pharyngula via CC]

UPDATE: Commenter Eamon Knight wants context. Here it is--and it's worse than I thought. Il signor Berlusconi dice:

Secondo la mia personale coscienza, dovevamo produrre ogni sforzo nelle nostre possibilita' per evitare la morte di una persona che e' in pericolo di vita e che non e' in morte cerebrale ma che e' una persona che respira in modo autonomo, una persona viva, le cui cellule cerebrali sono vive e mandano anche segnali elettrici, una persona che potrebbe anche in ipotesi generare un figlio in uno stato vegetativo che potrebbe variare, come diverse volte si e' visto.

[According to my personal conscience, we should make every possible effort to avoid the death of a person whose life is endangered and who is not brain-dead but a person who is breathing independently, a person who is alive, for whom the brain cells are alive and sending electric signals as well, a person who could also hypothetically have a son while in a vegetative state that could change, as we have seen many times.] (emphasis added)

Video here.

UPPERDATE: And this dreadful travesty comes to an end.

[H/t CC]

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