Not content with waging war on sovereign countries around the globe, the US has also launched a civil war against half its population. And in the front line of this offensive are the women of Texas. Its over two decades since Louise announced that she wouldn’t set foot in the state, but with the recent developments happening there its a wonder that there are any women left that haven’t fled for the hills or driven themselves over a cliff.
Last month, even although Planned Parenthood don’t offer abortions in the state of Texas, the state authorities banned the charity from receiving funding because it provides that service elsewhere. Over 50,000 low income Texas women currently rely on Planned Parenthood for free contraceptive and health screenings. Presumably the main reason that Planned Parenthood dont offer abortions in Texas is because of ethical issues with the demand that all women seeking an abortion must be raped 24 hours prior to the procedure, then listen to a detailed description of the fetus, traumatising many women already going through a difficult time in their lives. It is a frightening reality which faces women in Texas – no access to affordable contraception or ethical gynecology.
And it is a reality which belies a dangerous mindset in the region. When an eleven year old schoolgirl was gangraped by eighteen men last year who then distributed video footage of her ordeal, the question on the town’s lips was “could their young men have been drawn into such an act” for after all “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives“. With the child described as a “willing participant” by NBC, the juveniles in the case all received suspended sentences, while another suspect managed to escape from the courtroom, prior to sentencing. In a separate case, a teenager who was suspended from school for refusing to cheer for her rapist in a football game is faced with a $45,000 legal bill for the unsucessful challenge to the decision to kick her off the cheerleading quad. Her rapist received a $2,500 fine for the rape and was free to continue to play with the school’s football team.
Perhaps the only reason that Texas has a female population at all, is that just over the border from purgatory is hell. While Texas still has the death penalty and corrupt judical system, in the Mexico border town of Ciudad Juarez unchecked misogyny has led to a femicide, where the the murder of women is seen as natural, and victims are traded as part of a protection racket between multinationals and local mafia, suggestions that the women are being killed for sport or snuff abound. When Susana Chavez took to the streets chanting “not one more” in response to the murders, she was abducted, tortured, maimed and murdered, a month after the murder of Marisela Escobedo a campaigner who demanded investigation into the killing of her 16 year old daughter. The perpetrator was released after confessing.
Blood of my own,
blood of sunrise,
blood of a broken moon,
blood of silence
Blood, Susana Chavez
In Ciudad Juarez, if you speak against femicide, you will be killed and in Texas, if you have unapproved sex, you will be impregnated; if you seek control over your body, you will be violated; if you betray the perpetrator of your rape, your community will target you.