"On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points." --Virginia Woolf
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Illustration of a handmaid from Atwood's book
Religious leaders+a zealot president=human rights violation
That's my equation for what is going on with Eluana Englaro, the 38 year-old Italian woman who has been in a coma for 17 years and could stay that way forever if Silvio Berlusconi and the Vatican have anything to say about it.
This is like Italy's Terry Shiavo. Only, fortunately for this woman and her family who want nothing more than for her to die with dignity--to die the way she would have chosen to--the doctors are moving forward with her food rationing and letting her go, as the Italian supreme court had ruled in favor of.
What angers me most are these absurd comments made by Berlusconi:
"This is murder. I would be failing to rescue her. I'm not a Pontius Pilate."
--yeah, and she's not a Jesus, so get over it!
He also stated that Englaro was "in the condition to have babies."
--unbelievable. This is like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, reducing a woman to indentured servitude to the State, simply because men in power like to control women's bodies en masse. The right to control her own body (or, in Englaro's case, how her family would control it) is not considered a civil right, after all, she's still fertile!
Again, as with my previous abortion rant, I must ask--what would happen if Englaro was a man? When one notices the double standard, we are left with an issue of women's rights. This "right to life" argument is just smoke and mirrors, a way to avoid the real topic at hand.
I am uncommonly mobile; I have circumnavigated the globe eight times, walking amazing distances. Through the South Island of New Zealand to the Southern Alps. From Chile to the Andes in Argentina. Across the Serengeti in Africa. I made 300 ascents of mountains 10,000 ft. tall or more, including the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, and Kilimanjaro. I traveled alone, aided only by my porters, sketching volcanos and collecting wildflowers along the way.