The War on Women, And on Women’s Sex

Yes, such exists, and if you hadn’t seen the news lately, then I suggest you take a look. I’ll wait while you pick up your jaw.

Brilliant article: How the GOP went back to the 1950s in one day.

In short, there’s been a “panel” (and I use quotations because I cannot possibly imagine how this could be anything even resembling legitimacy) to try and roll back Pres. Obama’s stipulation on birth control coverage. In other words, yet another battle about What Women May Or May Not Do With Their Own Bodies, decided by anyone but the women themselves. We’ve seen this with the numerous GOP attempts to criminalize abortions and breach HIPPA in regards to abortion data, but this reached a whole new low.

We’re talking about birth control here. That little pill that a woman takes daily to make sure that she would not need an abortion in the first place. Think about it. If you believe that life begins at conception, wouldn’t it make sense to you that in order to make sure an abortion wouldn’t happen, you’d actually prevent conception first? Logically, yes, but we all know that Republicans aren’t the pinnacles of common sense, or any sense whatsoever for that matter.

The “panel” was comprised of all men. ALL MEN. Image link – click it and weep. A Georgetown law student – female – was invited to speak by the Democrats, and she was barred from entry because, apparently, “she wasn’t qualified to speak on the subject”.

Think about that for a second. No, think. Absorb it. Understand that they barred a woman from speaking about the subject that affects her directly, and that they believe that her being female doesn’t qualify her from speaking about a subject that affects her anatomy. And the Democratic women walked out in disgust, and I cannot blame them one bit.

If the entire idea of all this happening doesn’t horrify you, it damn well should. The Republican Party has finally shown their true colors, in all their misogynistic, disgusting, self-absorbed, discriminatory glory. And these are people who some believe are more qualified to lead this country than the President who has introduced this legislature, in a huge part to ensure that his own two daughters would not have to be imprisoned by their own anatomy.

Oh, and in case you want to see that testimony, being kicked out didn’t keep her mouth shut. You go, Sandra Fluke.

It’s not as though it’s a new phenomenon. The GOP has been against the women’s right to do as she pleases with her own body from the beginning. First guising it as “We care about women so they won’t have to be traumatized by an abortion”, they sought to introduce legislation that requires a trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion. First of all, an ultrasound is not going to make a woman change her mind about an abortion, and the feeling that a woman has after an abortion is, most commonly, relief. I won’t get started on the trans-vag ultrasound requirement. Then there’s the parental-consent for minors receiving an abortion. Fabulous, and what if the father of that young woman is the father of her fetus? Congratulations, you just bought that teenager, who’s a lot more traumatized by being raped than by needing to abort, a nightmare of abuse to follow, if not her demise. Then there’s the restrictions on access, where centers are getting closed down left and right for lack of funding. Want an example? Missouri has only one Planned Parenthood center that offers abortions for the entire state.

Oh, and again, it’s still under the guise of, “We care about women.”

Sure you do, sure. So why are you infringing on their autonomy again? Right now, I wish WordPress had a sarcasm font and a contempt font.

So then this gem comes out from a Santorum backer. He says, “Hey, back then gals put aspirin between their knees, and it wasn’t that expensive!” (video in the link). I’ll let you absorb that for a second. Joke or not, there are some people who believe this crap. And now here’s a hearty dose of two bits of reality, which you might know already:

1. Aspirin between the knees doesn’t work as birth control. Aspirin is not birth control. Neither is douching with soda, or using plastic/Saran wrap as a condom. Jumping up and down wouldn’t prevent conception and implantation.

2. Knees don’t have to be open for sex, unless you’re of the school of thought that intercourse should only occur through a hole in a sheet. And it won’t surprise me if the GOP is of that precise school of thought.

Oh, it gets better. They care about women, you see? This is why they ask whether or not the conservative women who came to the CPAC wore their skirts too short. Never mind that they’re stripping them of their rights to their own bodies, never mind that they’re devaluing them to the role of chattel for breeding, but they have the utter temerity to shift the focus on their wardrobe.

In the name of all holy, I only wish I were joking. This is what’s really happening in our country.

There are no words in the entirety of the English language to properly express the extent of my horror and disgust at what these…I can’t even call them people…are doing, the message that they’re sending, or the impact that they’re having on this country. There are just no words to properly express how utterly ignorant the GOP is of the climate in this country, or of what women actually want. And in their ignorance, in their hypocrisy (in case anyone forgot, Karen Santorum had an abortion, and it’s thanks to that abortion that she’s alive today), they are wrecking lives of 51% of the country’s population.

Case in point: in the midst of all of this Iowa introduces a draconian anti-abortion bill. Barring absolutely everything, even in case of rape. I don’t think you need me to explain why this is horrendous.

If you’re going to come here and say that a woman can’t blame the baby that is a product of rape, then you’re oblivious and ignorant. She can, and she will, and she often does. The baby isn’t asking to be born. The baby is sure as hell not asking to be a constant reminder of its mother’s single worst experience. But if there is a constant reminder of that single worst experience, it can, will, and does result in resentment. Also, there are plenty of women who resent their children for being alive, and those children are not necessarily products of rape. They didn’t ask to be born either.

Already, some people on the Internet got their britches in a bunch about why should someone’s taxes pay for birth control, and how dare those women not pay through the nose for gyno exams and actually want to not have babies until they’re damn well and ready to? Know what – if my tax money is paying for someone to get it up – because ED medication is considered a vital and necessary medical product, I kid you not, and is covered by most state insurances – then you damn better believe that a woman’s right to not conceive should be covered too. Yes, you read right: a man has the “right” to get it up on the taxpayer’s dime, but a woman can’t remain baby-free at her discretion.

I’m sick of the double standard that dictates women’s right to enjoy sex as they see fit, and I’m also sick of the fact that some white Christian old-timer feels that he has the right to dictate how women govern their sex lives. You don’t see women ordering a prostate exam with a colonoscopy before Viagra is prescribed, do you? No? Well, that should happen. Let’s see how fast the GOP would shut its mouth if that were to be enacted.

I will now proceed to state the obvious. It may be obvious to a lot of people, but you know, not everyone is as astute as we would like them to believe. Ready?

The Republicans don’t give a shit about women, gays, Native Americans, or anyone who is not themselves; that is to say old, white, male, and rich. 

If they did, they wouldn’t be stalwart on a piece of legislation that, until this year, was reauthorized unanimously, even under Bush. Why are they against reauthorization now? Because it’s been slightly amended to protect LGBT, immigrants, and Natives from domestic violence. Yes, they’re refusing to reauthorize a protective legislature because it has become more inclusive.

If they gave a shit about women, they would not have kicked out a woman from a conference summoned to speak on a subject that affects only women.

If they gave a shit about anyone but themselves – and if I may remind you, their healthcare is paid for by the taxpayers, they wouldn’t “vote to repeal ObamaCare once a month”. First of all, you don’t need to vote to repeal it once a month, once suffices. Second, if you actually look at some documents, and maybe a college-level history book, you will see that the idea of health insurance was introduced by Edgar Kaiser and Richard Nixon. Watergate tapes exist to prove it. before that, healthcare was universal, and no one died because they couldn’t afford the doctor.

And most certainly, if the GOP gave a shit about anyone but themselves, they would stay out of what non-straight people can do with one another. See: Rick Santorum says he’d overturn the Supreme Court. Rick Santorum needs to either repeat elementary school, watch the Schoolhouse Rock episode on the government, or take some meds for schizophrenia. Or all of the above, in a padded room at Bellevue.

That’s the other thing: since when does any government party have candidates who have absolutely no concept of how the government works? I shouldn’t have to be more intelligent than my government, and my IQ is up there. Go ahead, call me an elitist. It will give me the right to laugh at you until the end of days.

But it gets better. There’s the Fox commentary about women in the military. The equally draconian bills in Virginia.  The “rights of conscience” amendment in regards to Obama’s mandate on birth control.

All of these things have one very disgusting thing in common: the mentality that women should not be having sex on their terms. That women should not be able to enjoy sex on their terms.

That is the true core to this, and that is the core to this war on women: them having sex, and the enjoyment and aftermath thereof. They hate that they don’t have the monopoly on sex, its aftermath, and its enjoyment, and seek to claim that monopoly by any means necessary.

Because all of this, from the abortion restrictions, to the patronizing aspirin remark, to the absolutely non-sequitur and irrelevant commentary on how short the conservative women wear their skirts, all of this totals up to a government-commissioned shame campaign on women. According to those “people”, women cannot possibly have sex and enjoy it, women should not have sex and enjoy it, women should not have sex without getting pregnant (let’s not forget Rick Santorum’s idea on sex lives), and in the event that they do want to have sex, they should be shamed and shamed relentlessly. Want birth control? Can’t have it, you hussy! Got pregnant? You better have that baby, you sex-having slut, and to hell if you can’t afford a baby or you may die trying, those are just excuses. How dare you wear your skirt so short, even if it covers your knees? That is their mentality. That is what they think. That is what they want for women in this country. Barefoot, pregnant, deferring to men, and not daring to open their mouth to complain, because they should just be grateful they’re not dead, anyway.

Just FYI, about that last? The number one cause of death for pregnant women is homicide. Sometimes, I loathe having a crim-justice degree.

And about the whole “Nowhere in the Constitution is the right to birth control and abortion guaranteed”? Actually READ the damn paper, for one, and then note that the rights to autonomy and privacy have been set both by the Amendments and legal precedent.

Link here.

Summary:

- 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure of personal property. No property is more personal than one’s own body.

- 9th Amendment is obscure and often unexplored, but it basically states that no one person’s or group’s rights disparage others. Text: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Guess what this means? Your rights stop where other people’s rights begin. In other words, you’re legally prohibited from restricting other people’s rights. This was the basis for the ruling that sealed Roe v. Wade. So that bullshit “conscience” argument doesn’t stand up to legal muster. You can have all the conscience you want, and if your conscience interferes with you not getting your way, tough shit. Legal protection trumps religion any time of day, and separation of church and state, which has been flouted far too many times in recent years, upholds it.

- 14th Amendment guarantees that no individual will be deprived of their life, liberty, and property without due process of law. Again, no property more personal than one’s own body.

Add to that the ruling of Griswold v. Connecticut, which guarantees the right to contraception and is the first mandate for the government to keep its nose out of other people’s sex lives, and you have the totality of circumstances: different bits of legislature combine to create the right to privacy, which is something that people seek to ignore. This same right to privacy was reaffirmed by Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which protects, again, the mandate for the government to stay the fuck out of people’s bedrooms and the right for gay people to do as they please with each other.

So those Republicans are, on top of everything, breaking the law with their rhetoric. If they would actually be bothered to read the Constitution that they’re claiming to protect, their entire platform would collapse in shambles. Then there’s the case law, which is a lot more difficult to prosecute the breach thereof, but it’s still the law of the land, since – and Rick Santorum forgets that – the only body of government that can overturn the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court itself. My opinion of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia notwithstanding – and in my opinion, the IRS should audit the ever-loving hell out of those three – I will be shocked to see the Supreme Court overturn precedent. It is rare enough as it is for the Court to reverse precedent. Also, consider that the three women on the Supreme Court – Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg – will not stand for women’s rights being infringed upon like this.

Oh, and just as a food for thought. Considering that childbirth is multiple times over more traumatic than an abortion, carries a higher risk of death than a safe, medical abortion, wreaks havoc on a woman’s body, and is a hell of a lot more physically violent than an abortion, forcing women to undergo that against their own will construes a violation of Amendment #8: cruel and unusual punishment.

So go ahead. Try and tell me that my right to an unoccupied uterus is somehow less important than the right of some fool to get Medicaid-sponsored Viagra, when my right to an unoccupied uterus has been long protected by a legislation over 225 years of age. Try it. See what happens.

K.G.