Justin Trudeau, Naomi Kline on CBC
On last Sunday’s CBC Sunday Edition, Michael Enright interviewed both Justin Trudeau and Naomi Kline, well known writer and activist. Trudeau was interviewed first. He was strong on preserving Canadian women’s right to safe, legal abortions. Abortion is still a contentious subject and Trudeau didn’t flinch in his decision that Federal Liberal MP’s, should they form the government, must not vote against a women’s right to choose. I admire him for this. Especially at a time when the US is losing ground on the issue, and even imploding in some states. But Trudeau is weak when it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy (he won’t). He isn’t that strong either, in my opinion, on the environment (he promotes the Keystone XL pipeline). Naomi Kline certainly has my vote on the environment as she points out that it is the capitalist system that is killing the planet. But that leaves me with disquiet. While Kline sees the redistribution of wealth as a must before we can progress as humans, a socialist thinking I share, she doesn’t see women as being pivotal in this transformation. At least she doesn’t say so.
In her interview, Naomi Kline was careful to emphasize that she didn’t consider motherhood as being the impetus for her own worry about the environments as she was three years into her latest book “This Changes Everything” before her first child was born. I agree that women don’t have to be mothers to be worried about the environment. Women don’t have to be mothers to be feminists. But there is a difference between women and men. Women’s brains and nervous systems are wired differently from men’s brains in order to accommodate the necessary reproductive work of building and nourishing infants’ bodies. This biological difference influences the thinking and feelings of women whether they ever actually have a baby or not. Because of this, I believe we will never have the transformation into a higher human consciousness that encompasses a “deep ecology” unless and until women demand it. So back to Justin Trudeau.
Why does Trudeau’s polices of insisting that Liberal MP’s always vote to protect women’s right to safe legal abortions strike such a deep cord with me? Two reasons. Now at eighty-six years old, I was having children back in an era when many desperate women died from bungled amateur abortions. My own cousin bled to death from one of these attempts. While Canada is not, at the moment, actively trying to bring back the days of what I consider state maternal murder, it is certainly happening in the US. Many states are losing women’s health centers where abortions are provided, and the provider physicians are being threatened or killed by religious fanatics.
The second reason that women’s right to safe, legal abortions is so important not only to me, but to human evolution everywhere, is that unless women can control the time and place when they will become mothers, their very ability to control many other aspects of their environment is threatened. Any concept of human freedom, of individual decision making, of human evolution, depends on the recognition that our bodies belong to us. It is only when our bodies are recognized as sacrosanct to ourselves and to others, that we, as women, have the self-confidence to say to the men that are tearing up our universe and the women who support them for whatever reasons, “Listen, you guys, stop it! Just stop it. We will hound you every day, we will shame you, we will not rest nor let you rest until this disgusting destruction of all we hold dear is halted.” Justin Trudeau and Naomi Kline, please get on the same page.