Something is happening around the world right now and we in the UK are not exempt. Our mainstream politics are shifting to the right. This historically is to be expected. A financial crash, a desperate need to feel secure and a nostalgic view of the past clouded with fear. Right wing gains happen, these things come in cycles.
Ultimately the left wing gain which will follow in 2015 if you’re optimistic or 2020 if you’re not will not fix the damage done now if we do not fight back. The last period of Tory majority rule led not only to the Tories being reworked and rebranded but to the decimation of the UK left by the need to become Tory lite for Labour to appeal to the middle class, centre ground swing voters.
The housing crisis is a result of yes the mass sell off of council homes and the legislation to stop them being rebuilt but also a failure of the left to fix this because they had moved right and could depend on a working class vote through nostalgia and no other option.
The left also depend on the progressive vote. They depend on those most at risk when the right are in power. Women, the black and asian communities, immigrants, part time workers, students.
I want to talk about women. How will we fight back?
Right now the pressing issue is the current attacks on our bodily autonomy. America and Australia loudly and with a small push back but also here, quietly and with no real opposition.
What has happened here is interesting because a right wing, oppressive and anti woman agenda has co-opted the language of feminism in order to silence critique. Women are no longer defined by their sex. Fighting for female bodily autonomy is not the progressive fight, however females at risk of femicide is a conversation that can be had. On their terms.
When a female foetus is aborted for being a female in a world where females are undervalued, women and girls are raped, beaten and killed because they are females the right tell us we need to stop this. Not the raping killing and beating of women and girls of course but the murder of the foetus which was determined to be female prior to it being a person.
A foetus does not have human rights. An adult female with one inside of her does. This is a fundamental truth as of now. How long this remains the case is up to us.
Glenda Jackson must not be allowed to be mocked and jeered by the right wing press or by the progressives because she took a stand for women. Our bodies are our own and she recognises this.
“Clarifying the law” on sex selective abortions is not to help women. It is not to help girls. It is not to prevent femicide. It is an attempt to chip away at the integrity of the 1967 abortion act and our right to choose.
Our MPs must know that leaving Glenda Jackson to stand alone is not good enough. They must stand with her and with women. They must fight for us. Because despite what happens to our bodies and the bodies of our daughters women and girls matter. And forcing a woman to birth a girl when both mother and child will be punished for it is not feminist. Not ever.