As the old adage goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Accidental brilliance similarly struck Alyssa Milano, an actress you’ve probably never seen act, but hear about constantly due to her incessant need to bitch. I can say that, I’m a woman. Over the weekend, Alyssa tweeted this number, thinking she was being clever. And she was clever. Just not the way she intended:
Our reproductive rights are being erased.
Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.
JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019
Let’s go through this point by point, because it’s fun. If you don’t think it’s fun, why are you even here?
“Our reproductive rights are being erased.”
No. Abortion isn’t a reproductive right, it’s an act which results in the murder of an unborn child, in lieu of accepting consequences of a woman’s (and a man’s) actions. But thanks for playing. Next point.
“Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.”
This is the brilliant part, right here. Because no form of birth control will ever be 100 percent effective. Birth control fails all the time, and people often feel justified to get abortions if their birth control failed. Like “Hey, we were responsible. We used all the things. Still got pregnant. Ergo, suck it out.” What does this have to do with “legal control” over a body?
Set aside the legal part of Alyssa’s tweet, I’ll get back to that in a jifferino. If a woman has sexual intercourse, there’s a chance she’ll get pregnant. Sex is shortened for sexual intercourse as much as it’s shortened for sexual reproduction.
You may feel this sounds a little patronizing, but we’re talking about Alyssa Milano here who finally stumbled upon the answer to life, the universe, and everything: if you want to avoid pregnancy, don’t have sex.
“JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.”
Body autonomy just is. It isn’t something decided by the government, medical procedures, vaginal and penis accessories, or technology. Think of it as an unalienable right: it’s self-evident. Not determined by what medical procedures are or are not available to her, just as your right to free speech isn’t dependent on communication systems like quill and parchment or an iPhone on the 4G network.
A woman’s body autonomy isn’t defined by an outside force, like her proximity to a Planned Parenthood. A woman’s body autonomy is defined by her body and what she does with it.
Let me concede a point here: there have been times in the past where women were treated as property. Heck, there are parts of the world now where women are treated like shit. I’m not going to deny some of these “ra ra ladies” talking points stem from this kind of patriarchal history. But in 2019 America, women choose their own destiny. Abortion needn’t be a factor, and as Alyssa demonstrates, if abortion isn’t a factor, personal responsibility comes swinging in like a wrecking ball.
What Alyssa stumbled upon is the truth: women get pregnant. Laws or no laws. All women should assume, if they engage in sex, there’s a chance they could get pregnant. Even if the people getting it on are using every device and drug available. Body autonomy is not what’s up for debate in Georgia or anywhere else: abortion laws are. So Alyssa is just as free to abstain from sex as she is allowed to engage in sex. She’s exercising her rights to choose right now. She’s choosing to do what women have known for centuries: to avoid pregnancy, don’t have sex. If you can’t risk getting pregnant, don’t engage in the practice which results in pregnancy.
Sounds like choices. Sounds like body autonomy.
The same notion applies to other personal choices: if you don’t want to deal with the consequences of drunkness, abstain from the over-consumption of alcohol. If you don’t want to deal with prison time, abstain from breaking the laws. If you don’t want to deal with frustration, stop watching CNN.
So let’s all thank Alyssa for saying what we’ve been crying for ages: we already have the right to choose, all we need is a little responsibility for our actions.