I must be honest in saying that it is quite difficult to take myself out of the 21st-century millennial white feminist lens, and write a non-biased blog post, looking at these texts objectively and through the eyes of the writers, themselves.
I’ve heard it said that feminism is a “white women” sport–that it is actually exclusive of black feminist issues, and only focuses on the concerns of the white community. Actually, this was said to me the other day by a friend of mine. When I asked her what she meant, she told me to look at the example of contraceptive and reproductive rights, “Those issues are important to white women, sure, but they don’t appeal to the black or hispanic communities. And they seems to be all that feminists are focused on, nowadays.”
When she said this, I understood what she meant, but couldn’t understand why. However, after reading An Instrument of Genocide, it all made sense. The cultural avoidance of contraception issues within the black community has its roots in the fear of racial genocide.
This is not the first time a theory like this has existed. There is the theory that the AIDS virus was created by government scientists to eradicate black people and homosexuals.
However, what is interesting is the religious aspect in all this. According the the Humanae Vitae, conjugal relations are meant to transpire only within a marital relationship.
“As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.”
According to Catholic law, it is the duty of a man and his wife to procreate. To limit that would be to go against the forces of both God and nature. However, the Humanae Vitae carefully avoids issues of feminism. At the beginning, it briefly mentions the challenge of working around women’s newfound “dignity” in society, yet does not go on to say much more about the woman’s choice in her reproductivity. It is God’s choice, and she is God’s creation. Therefore, her lack of choice in the matter has less to do with her sex, and more to do with the fact that she is below God, and must therefore abide by her wifely duties.
What’s interesting is Martin Luther King Jr.’s perspective on the matter, since it ties in both Christianity and the black community. However, as a Protestant, he shares different views than are expressed in the Humanae Vitae. MLK claims that women are more than “Breeding Machines,” though motherhood is their primary responsibility. The common denominator being that motherhood is a woman’s responsibility. However, MLK believes that women have a say in the matter, unlike his counterparts.
It is interesting to examine how this issue is one that transcends over time. It is, and always has been a hot topic in the Christian community (Catholics especially) and amongst feminists as well–even the Black community is involved in, though, according to Genocide highly opposed to the contraceptive debate.