President Donald Trump’s recent remarks on the scrapping off of the provision of free birth control to women by their employers have evoked several feelings and concerns, especially among feminist organizations. This act of hegemony has been viewed to be that which suppresses the will and civil rights of women. Trump has used religion as one of the basic reasons behind this administration-based decision. Contrarily, Tawfik, (2017) observes that the decision suppresses the happiness of most women who not only depended on the program for birth control but also for the treatment of diseases such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome. The move by the president has been viewed as that which selectively focuses on intersectionality and uses gender to affect women and their bodies for political mileage.
Intersectional identities such as gender, class, and sexual differences have purportedly been used by Trump to exercise the harsh rule on women by advocating for non-provision of birth control. In an interview with BBC News, a woman outcries that if it were an issue that affects the male gender, it could have been viewed from a different perspective and not ruthlessly implemented without the consideration of its effects on the subjects (Tawfik 2017). Notably, the effects of this rule would be intensive in the bodies of women especially those who can barely afford treatment away from the Obamacare. Significantly, Trump exercises hegemony by politicizing the Affordable Care Act to gain popularity among his people at the expense of the well-being of American women. The intersecting identity of class evidently pops up in this harsh implementation against women contrary to McCann, (2013). For the record, Obamacare ensured that each American was able to obtain quality health treatment under a subsidized health coverage. This made most poor and middle-class Americans to tame the impact of premature mortality among them and the birth control program also helped in the regulation of the American population. However, seemingly, Trumps strives to gain political mileage by inconsiderately scrapping off anything that had previously been tied to the Obama era.
Women experiences have always revealed that a large number has been suppressed by cultural and religious beliefs (Davis 2007). In his bid to implement the Act against birth control, Trump argues that it violates the religious beliefs of other people especially that of Muslim believers. In the article, women have carried placards refuting the use of religion to demean them. Although most church leaders have openly congratulated Trump on his move arguing that it would prevent immorality within the society, there has been increased ignorance on the impacts of such on the bodies of women who use birth control for treatment purposes. Seemingly, there has been less consultation among the Congress on the feasibility of the decision. Female senators and congress members have criticized the move and portrayed it as a motive to suppress the right of women using religion as a scapegoat.
The theoretical concept of personal is politics has been exhibited by Trump on his decision. It would be remembered that, for him to be the president, he had been opposed by the outgoing President Barack Obama who had already made Obamacare a health necessity to all Americans. Seemingly, Trump strives to settle political scores by eliminating anything that was brought up by the former president irrespective of its impact on the life of Americans (Tawfik 2017). This evokes the concept of race used in the infringement of the rights of a specific group depending on their gender and sexuality. Obama was an African by race, this may prompt Trump’s decision to scrap off the birth control program as for the record, and Trump has been termed a racist especially due to his tough conviction against non-Americans living in the US. He uses racial discrimination to push for a law that would lead to the emanation of negative bodily and health impacts on American women especially those of low or no wage. For Trump, this is strategic essentialism as it would boost his popularity among the Republicans.
The woman body has always been stereotyped and subjected to violence. This is due to differences especially in the hierarchically controlled society which places the male gender on top of its female counterpart (Ahmed, 2010). This concept has its roots in the pre-colonial period whereby women were considered lesser human than men. Seemingly, Trump is good at this. He understands that the woman body should be an experimental tool thus orders for non-provision of birth control without analyzing the impacts of such a move on the general implications to the health of women. It may increase immorality, but, it prevents spread of infections. In the current era, there have been several acts of violence meted upon women with cases of rape and physical violence emanating daily. Through the use of birth control, women have been able to tame the bodily repercussions of such acts against them (Davis, 2007). Unfortunately, Trump assumes that irresponsibility generates from women due to use of birth control and promotes immorality but ignores the fact that the male gender must be directly involved for any sexual act to be termed immoral.
- Ahmed, S. (2010). Feminist Killjoys. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Davis, K. (2007). Reclaiming Women’s Bodies. The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- McCann, C. R. (2013). Feminist theory reader: Local and global perspectives; edited by Carole R. McCann, Seung-Kyung Kim. London: Routledge.
- Tawfik, N. (2017).Trump rolls back free birth control.