The Silly Sexist Conceit of Fetal Personhood

I just read this wonderful blog by Valerie Tarico. It is brilliant and she puts biology and baby-making right where it belongs – with the woman. She also puts men and their worship of their own (and others’) penis in its’ place. Women belong to themselves whether they have sex with a man , and his penis, or not. If they choose to do so, they do not turn from one kind of person to another kind of person. They just are……a person! I hope you all like this blog as much as I did. Thank you, Valerie, very well said!

Bhutanese ribboned penisThe notion that life begins at conception is a variation on a very ancient cultural theme: penis worship.

I’m slow sometimes, but after years of writing about abortion rights it finally occurred to me that “life begins at conception” is one more version of a multi-millennial infatuation with the penis as symbol and proof that manliness is next to godliness.

On the surface, conservative Evangelical and Catholic insistence that life begins at conception appears to be aimed at elevating the status of fetus over woman. But just beneath the surface, what it elevates is the status of the penis—and anyone who has one.

What creates the wonder of a new person? Forget about the maturation of germ cells, and the nine-month labor of a woman’s body, and painstaking parental nurture. It’s a sperm, a penile projectile shot forth by the ultimate organ of demi-divinity. Sperm penetrates egg and voila! A…

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