The Fistula Foundation Charity: Treating and Preventing Obstetric Fistula

by FCM

i cannot overstate the impact the fistula foundation has had on my radical feminist awakening: it was the catalyst for it.

the fistula foundation is a charitable organization that works to prevent and treat obstetric fistula worldwide.  obstetric fistula is a devastating birthing injury that causes urinary and/or fecal incontinence in women who experience prolonged, obstructed labor; it is frequently the result of young or malnourished women birthing where their pelvises are too small to safely pass the fetus.

when i saw the PBS documentary “a walk to beautiful” highlighting the work of the FF, it stopped me in my tracks.  at the time, i had just begun blogging and i was still feeling my way through the gender-politicking and this “what makes a woman” post-modernist doublethink: i admit that i was still confused about it.  what makes a woman?  well, there are years and years of patriarchal abuse, including sexual abuse of girls and women, by men; grooming to be a wife and mother; fuckability mandates, etc etc.  these things do appear to separate women from men (women experience them; men perpetrate them), and these things are problematic, yes.  but the gender politickers have that covered: apparently, there are men who wish they could experience these things, as victims, and women who believe that they can overcome having experienced these things, as victims, just by wishing it.  oh, okay!

and i admit that it can be difficult to separate the female “sex” from the female “gender” under certain situations (where somewhat-reliable contraception is available, for one) and particularly when internalizing certain dialogs that are deliberately meant to obfuscate the difference, like PIV-positive rhetoric and bullshit genderqueer tropes (see above).  but once these obfuscating influences are removed, and we observe (and identify with — we are women afterall) what women experience both objectively and subjectively in the absence of these influences…well, see for yourself:

ah, okay.  it suddenly becomes very clear doesnt it?  what makes a woman…is female reproductive organs! and half of all human beings are born female, and they live and die as females, in a world where men routinely stick their dicks into female-bodied persons, which is objectively and demonstrably harmful to us because it causes unwanted pregnancy and resultant medical events, and a shared-fate which all female-bodied persons are subjected to, across time and place.

if we are very, very lucky, perhaps some of us, for some period of time, can mitigate the severity and frequency (but not the occurrence) of the female-specific harms perpetrated on us, by men.  and female-specific harm includes the risk of female-specific harm…which is harmful in itself, because its stressful and requires behavior and thought modification, because we were born with babymakers in a rape culture, and that has meaning.  oh yes it does.

and it doesnt *just* have meaning for female-bodied persons, either.  men know that women are impregnable, as a sexual class, and thats why they rape almost exclusively girls and women, and almost exclusively *not* other men.  raping female-bodied persons is like throwing spaghetti against the wall, and knowing some of it will stick: by raping women, all women, regardless of age, and not men, (individual men perhaps, but not men-as-a-class) they know that pregnancies will result.  they just wont be around to see it.  kinda like insisting on PIV-centric sexuality in fact!  but i digress.

women as a sexual class, around the world, are defined by our ability to become impregnated by men.  our biological reality, and mens exploitation of it, is our shared reality, and no amount of bullshit PIV-pozzie rhetoric will ever cure it.  it may attempt to erase that shared reality, and it may well succeed.  but it will not cure it, and it cannot change it. so why are they trying?  this is not a rhetorical question.

for more information on the fistula foundation, or to donate, please click through to the FF website in the sidebar.

7 Comments to “The Fistula Foundation Charity: Treating and Preventing Obstetric Fistula”

  1. Oh HELL yes!! This is a beautiful piece of work, FCM. I have nothing to add. Sex MATTERS.

    if we are very, very lucky, perhaps some of us, for some period of time, can mitigate the severity and frequency (but not the occurrence) of the female-specific harms perpetrated on us, by men. and female-specific harm includes the risk of female-specific harm…which is harmful in itself, because its stressful and requires behavior and thought modification, because we were born with babymakers in a rape culture, and that has meaning. oh yes it does.

    Oh YES, it does! There IS a shared lived reality that women experience. Being born with a babymaker in a rape culture says it all. I have been trying to mentally articulate my thoughts about the pro-trans “myth of shared girlhood” argument. Again, denying the influence of rape culture, denying the reality of female sexual RISK and how that AFFECTS female development, how it controls entire aspects of our lives. It even denies–and this is my favorite counter argument at the moment 😉 — compulsive heterosexuality!! It’s all so maddening that ANYONE would seek to deny women the reality of our SEX for their own comfort and convenience.

  2. Well, girlhood is equal to child abuse isn’t it, so I think anyone would be crazy to envy us that specifically (and I know many of them do envy us that). And the fact of the matter, as you say, is that certain aspects of it ARE shared. The female specific things, which is what we are talking about. Being groomed to be masturbatory aids, for men…and BE-ING masturbatory aids for men, while we are still children. What’s the youngest girl anyone knows about who has “found herself pregnant”? Four or five I think? And those are the ones we know about, OF the ones who had extraordinarily early menarchy. Piv-centric abuse (which can also be seen as grooming, although grooming encompasses less drastic means as well) of young girls is rampant, and it only leads to one place, for female bodied persons as a sexual class: pregnancy. And no matter how bad a male-bodied person has it, he will never be impregnated, and noone will ever use him as if he can be, or will be.

    So what are any of the trans politickers even talking about, when they say that something is shared between girls, or that something is not? Anything a boy can experience, a girl can (except ejaculation I guess, but that comes later, even for boys). The same does not work in reverse, and they are ignoring crucial info if they believe it can.

  3. Anything a boy can experience, a girl can (except ejaculation I guess, but that comes later, even for boys). The same does not work in reverse, and they are ignoring crucial info if they believe it can.

    SERIOUSLY. Ejaculation does not MEAN what impregnation MEANS, either. So the mere fact of difference, is just the first part. The QUESTION is about CONSEQUENCES: how do biological functions DICTATE our behavior, thoughts, dreams, etc– individually and in the aggregate? How do biological functions INFORM social structures and interactions? Etc, etc, etc. Which is not even TOUCHING the unavoidable HARMS of impregnation– a state that most of the world’s women can expect to find themselves in at one point or another. The way society RESPONDS to our physical, biological reality is changeable. Female SEX is not. And you say in the post, we can try to MITIGATE these harms, we can dream of getting outside this rape culture. But circumstances will never, ever be such that female biological sex is inconsequential to female reality or everyday experience (hello, I’m menstruating).

  4. So many great things in this piece, FCM, beautifully argued.

    One thing that struck me while reading the last two comments. Ejaculation is seen as a thing of power, strength, force, vitality, etc. It’s something wonderful to own and a great thing in and of itself; so what if it has deleterious consequences? those don’t accrue to the powerful ejaculator. Being able to get pregnant? Pretty much the exact opposite: a sign of weakness, being pathetic, being hooked by one’s weaker biology, etc.

  5. GAH! Great point, Noan!

    so what if it has deleterious consequences? those don’t accrue to the powerful ejaculator.

    Males are totally and completely off the hook, DESPITE the fact that their sperm is the biological CAUSE of female impregnation. They remain completely untouched. And in regard to the social MEANING of ejaculation, I cannot believe how much ejaculation-imagery I see on TV. Things are always penetrating and exploding. It’s overwhelming. And disturbing.

  6. women as a sexual class, around the world, are defined by our ability to become impregnated by men. our biological reality, and mens exploitation of it, is our shared reality, and no amount of bullshit PIV-pozzie rhetoric will ever cure it. it may attempt to erase that shared reality, and it may well succeed. but it will not cure it, and it cannot change it.

    so why are they trying? this is not a rhetorical question.

    The only reason I came up with that they are trying is that they don’t want women to organize in a strong and meaningful way. I often wonder about matriarchal, non-hierarchical cultures. Are those more natural, wholesome, healthy cultures for women (for all humans, actually). If too many women caught on, i.e., if the realization became too strong, perhaps women would begin to organize a matriarchal culture. Perhaps they would succeed.. Is that what the witch burnings and murders were really about? Men are more easily addicted to power,. They don’t want women to have it.

  7. Saw this article today, and am putting the link here, as it’s pertinent to this discussion. Thirty two teenaged girls in Nigeria were recently freed from a child-trafficking ring; they had been kidnapped, held prisoner, and forcibly impregnated to produce babies for the illegal adoption market.

    h ttp://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110601/wl_africa_afp/nigeriacrimechildtrafficking_20110601143218

    (Link broken at http)

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