Hint: It’s Because We Have Vaginas

In response to my post on veiling yesterday someone responded that in ancient times veiled women were unable to participate in civic life.

That is wrong.

People with vaginas were unable to participate in civic life, whether or not they wore a veil.

There are a lot of Pagans out there studying ancient practices and seeking ways to revive them in the modern world. Women in particular are interested in finding ways to take the best of ancient practice and marry it to a modern sensibility. We live in a world of hybrid cars and iPads, so many things the ancients did obviously don’t make sense. That doesn’t mean that studying them and learning from them lacks value.

Practicing religion in the same vein as ancient women will not mean you abdicate your rights. The way they practiced their faith and kept the spiritual sanctity of their homes is not the reason they lacked civil rights. They lacked civil rights because they had vaginas.

It’s just another version of the principle behind slut-shaming. What a woman wears, whether or not she uses birth control, or if she is married have nothing to do with with the misogyny she experiences. They are convenient excuses, but she faces misogyny because she has a vagina.

There is some idea floating around that if we all behave in compliance with some feminist orthodoxy we won’t face misogyny, or that if we shun the trappings of feminist orthodoxy we won’t face misogyny. This is false. Sandra Fluke wasn’t called a slut because of her testimony or her assertion of her right to birth control. Any man could have made that testimony without incident. Sandra Fluke was called a slut because she has a vagina.

So we need to stop worrying about whether a woman is in submission to Apollo, chooses to be a Pagan homemaker, covers her hair for religious reasons or subscribes to a more conservative view on religion or politics.

We need to be asserting, emphatically, that people who have vaginas are entitled to full human rights.

People who have vaginas are entitled to full human rights.

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