At Adonis Mirror, Richard Leader has posted a provocative essay about expressions of rape and dominance in the evocation of metaphorical “tops” and “bottoms” in the mainstream political discourse. It’s an interesting if depressing essay, in which he writes:
In her 1983 Rightwing Women, [Andrea] Dworkin accused Democratic men of purposely failing to protect abortion rights out of their own selfishness, those men being bitter that feminists had abandoned the so-called sexual revolution. She wrote,”When feminist women have lost legal abortion altogether, leftist men expect them back:begging for help, properly chastened, ready to make a deal, ready to spread their legs again. On the Left, women will have abortion on male terms, as part of sexual liberation, or women will not have abortion except at risk of death.”
I’m confused about what is meant by an assertion that “feminists had abandoned the so-called sexual revolution,” but I do think the possibility that “liberal” politicians use reproductive freedom issues to manipulate women bears further consideration. The fact that 34 years after Roe v. Wade feminists are still having to devote so much time and energy to this issue demonstrates pretty powerfully that Democrats haven’t done a very good job of instantiating or defending abortion rights. In part, they know that they don’t have to, because Republicans are so much worse on the issue. But maybe they also rely on abortion as a way to deplete our resources, and deflect our attention away from issues that they prefer to dominate and control.