Women Are Incubators? Or Cattle?

Our bodies -- our right. Unless women don't have bodies.

Our bodies — our right. Unless women don’t have bodies.

In non-patriarchal societies women are valued.

Not so much in patriarchies, where men rule and men are valued over women — whether you’re talking present-day America or the world circa B.C.E.

Wyoming: Women = Cattle? 

Oklahoma and Wyoming Republicans agree women aren’t people, disagree on just what they are.

So proclaims a Daily Kos piece written by Laura Clawson.

As evidence she points out that right now the Wyoming Senate is considering a couple of bills on women’s reproductive rights that are being handled by the agriculture committee.

Women’s health is being overseen by the agricultural committee? What are we, cattle???!!!!

Oklahoma: Women are mere incubators

But in Oklahoma women aren’t cattle so much as incubators.

Oklahoma Rep. Justin Henry explains,

I understand that they (women) feel like that is their body (but) what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’

Women think they have bodies but they really don’t? They are mere incubators that simply host other people — who do have actual bodies?

Rep. Henry makes this argument in his attempt to push legislation that seeks to give men more rights than women over potential abortions — even though women’s bodies are directly affected by pregnancy and men’s aren’t.

But then men are actual people, with actual bodies. So they deserve more rights than mere hosts do.

Oklahoma legislator has a body. But not a brain

This guy may have a body. But not a brain. As he continues with still more nonsense:

You (women) know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant.

After you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.

But of course, right-wing extremists also fight against contraception.

Corporations are people. Women are not.

These same legislators claim that corporations are people. But women are not. I’ve written more about that here: Corporations Are People; Women Not So Much

Compare all this to women under patriarchy, historically.

Women: incubators in Judeo-Christian tradition… and Greek

Ancient Hebrews once saw men as the life givers. Women were demoted to mere incubators. Men produced the live seed which women simply held in their wombs.

That belief remained well into 18th-century Christianity under the concept of preformationism, which claimed that only men give life. Women are just nurturers.

Moving to Greece, once patriarchy took over mother-murder was deemed no crime. Because mothers aren’t actually related to their children. Only fathers are. Once again, mothers are simply incubators.

Drip, drip to removing women’s rights… and dignity

Whether we are talking ancient Greece, our early(ish) Judeo-Christian tradition, or modern-day Oklahoma and Wyoming, a lot of folks have fought — and keep right on fighting — against women’s rights and dignity.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on February 15, 2017, in reproductive rights, sexism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Being a woman, it is very strange to think of myself as non-human. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around HOW some men have arrived at this conclusion, it must mean they are devoid of any scientific knowledge and rational thought. If humans come out of women’s wombs, then are women not humans? How could I, someone with more thought and understanding of the world be less than a man who can’t comprehend individual rights (specifically those of women)? What can we do to get more women in powerful positions in order to change the way this country is run, because I want to do something about this stupidity and ignorance that has come down to women’s only use being an incubator.

  2. It has been a long-standing tradition in our political forum to treat women as though they should have no control or say in what happens to their bodies, this most recent rhetoric is just more of the same from men who have no understanding of general anatomy. Politicians are increasingly using women’s health issues as a platform to win votes, if they want to claim that women are simply hosts then there should be no issue with me referring to a fetus as a parasite. Let’s draw these conclusions please, so the next time a politician claims to be pro-life (whatever that means), then we can simply point out that if women are hosts, fetuses are parasites and we treat parasites by ridding them from the body. Please do not mistake me, I do not believe that fetuses are parasites, however I also have basic knowledge that women are people, not hosts. Using terms such as host creates a detachment between a woman and her body further pushing the agenda that she should not have any domain over what happens to her. It is dangerous for any person or persons in authority to throw around terms such as these referring to human beings.

  3. How come they think like this!!! It seems there’s not much difference between the thought process of conservative, politically influential, rich land-owners of some places in India and the so-called reps of one of the most advanced countries of the world. This again proves that patriarchal societies rear some age-old, eternal mindsets against women.

    • Yeah, you tend to get this focus on controlling women in any fundamentalist/ traditionalist/patriarchal group of people. People with more conservative/Right-wing viewpoint tend to be very uncomfortable without a sense of structure and control. And feeling like men control women gives them both. Well, the sense of it but not the actuality since, For instance, making laws against abortion has almost no effect on the abortion rate. Desperate girls and women take matters into their own hands and too often die in the process.

  4. Hmm, Wyoming bill HB-182 would require women to be given government-specified information regarding ultrasound procedures.

    Against which you argue women should have unfettered right to destroy the living being within them without being given information.

    So just to make sure you are consistent, do you argue people should have unfettered suicide on demand without being offered government sponsored Counselling? People should control their own bodies unfettered right?

    • Making abortion illegal has almost no effect on the abortion rate. Desperate girls and women take matters into their own hands and too often die.

      People who are against abortion are not actually pro-life.

      If you look at so-called pro-life states, based on the laws they pass, they are against Obamacare, Medicaid expansion, universal health insurance, food stamps for starving children/elderly/disabled/working people who are below the poverty level. They are against pollution controls which in short clean air and clean water. They are against environmental laws which will save the planet from climate change which will cost many droughts, more and more intense hurricanes and floods and tornadoes…

      No. They don’t really care about life. They care about controlling women.

      And a fertilized egg is not equivalent to a human being. If a fire broke out at a stem cell research lab and someone had to choose between saving one two-year-old child Worth thousands of fertilized eggs (people) because they couldn’t save both, I guess you would save the vats of fertilized eggs and let the child die in the fire.

      I don’t think that counseling for suicide needs to be mandated. Once again, people will just take things into their own hands and kill themselves.

  5. It appears to me that the religions that came out of the middle east (Jew, Christian & Moslem) all seem to keep women down. If that is right, it may not be as much a gender issue as a religious issue.

    We are so close to a woman president of the USA; but how close are we to a woman Pope.

  6. I saw this a few weeks ago. That guy is such a POS. The scary thing is how he, with his mindset got voted in, in the first place. I sure hope that doesn’t pass. Some don’t understand or are clueless and thing women’s marches going on now are about trumps comments about women, which were bad. But to fight against this shit, as well as fighting against legislation that is trying to end roe vs wade amendment. I have mixed feeling with abortion, but punishing women doesn’t prevent it, but makes it more likely but just unsafe for the women. And also scary is, it’s a dangerous road.

    You take away an amendment that was fought for, means you are reverting back to pre 1970s right? Doesn’t that open up more things and rights to be reverted? We don’t want segregation and racism right? Yes, I know it still exists, but you know what I mean as far as things were before. We’re supposed to taking steps forward not back. All this damn effort, to revert back. So I hope people don’t allow and enough people with their heads on straight to not allow this to pass and keep fighting.

    • Yeah, this is scary time for women, Given all of the attempts to disempower and diminish them. What is wrong with these folks who want to do that?

      And a lot of people don’t understand that making abortion illegal doesn’t stop it since women just try to do it themselves, as you note.


  7. The quotes from the guy in Oklahoma just make your head spin. Frightening to think laws are being created by complete morons.

  8. I managed to miss the Wyoming women-breeding legislation. (Somehow?? I dunno. It’s almost as if I’ve gotten overwhelmed by a tsunami of political sh!tshow news these past few weeks…? Huh.)

    And if you’ll excuse me, I gotta now go gargle drano until I can get the taste of all this “great american FREEDOM!!!!1!” outta my mouth.

  9. Omg!! And I thought America is progressing

  10. What about surrogate mothers that help homosexuals and aren’t allowed to go back?

    • So you are on the side of seeing women as incubators or cattle?

      If surrogate mothers change their minds later and keep the baby, I think that is more important than a business contract. Because women are people, not baby factories.

      • I understand you’re side. But here we have a contract problem. I am a sceptic, so I see both sides.

        In this question I wanted to show that’s sometimes in the name of other rightes women lose their childe, and it’s ok in today’s society. Some people would call it pink-washing.

        Here I think the women know that they can’t go back and they evan get payed. And some woman rights activists would claim that the woman has a right to help people to have children and gain money.

      • I don’t think that it should be right for women to lose their babies just because of a contract. I think that human lives are more important than business contracts.

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