Just came across this.
“Florida House Speaker José Oliva actually referred to pregnant women as “host bodies” during a sit-down with Jim DeFede of CBS Miami about an anti-abortion bill. It wasn’t a simple slip of the tongue, either – Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, referred to pregnant women as “host bodies” five times throughout the interview.”
— Read on feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2019/03/03/host-bodies/
It struck a chord because I’d been listening to a podcast of an old lecture given by Marina Warner back in 1994 in that years BBC’s Reith Lectures, called Managing Monsters. It is about myth and what stories reveal about the way women are perceived.
In Aeschylus’s Oresteia, when Orestes has murdered his mother Clytemnestra, the matriarchal Furies want justice against the matricide – but they find themselves confronting a new order – led by the god Apollo. Orestes is declared innocent, and in a famous resolution which still has power to shock audiences today, the god decrees:
The mother of what’s called her offspring’s no parent but only the nurse to the seed that’s implanted.
The mounter, the male’s the only true parent.
She harbours the bloodshoot, unless some god blasts it. The womb of the woman’s a convenient transit.
In this brutal act of legislation, the god of harmony declares that henceforward, in civilised society, only the father counts. The mother is nothing more than an incubator.
I wonder if José Olivia knew his misogyny – no less monstrous today than it was then – was as old as that?