*cracks knuckles*

OK. I think it’s time to make my keyboard beg for mercy again.

So, you guys and gals know who Rush Limbaugh is, right? In case you don’t, he’s a teabagger with an ax to grind against, effectively, anyone with a pulse who’s not a rich white Republican male. You may have heard his asinine remarks on a syndicated radio show or two, and why the FCC allows this sort of virulence is beyond me.

You may also remember Roger Ebert putting an open letter up suggesting that Limbaugh be horsewhipped. Oh, Mr. Ebert, how I agree.

In fact, I will now suggest that Rush Limbaugh be horsewhipped publicly, on live national television.

Because he crossed the line.

You may have known of the mess that was the Republican hearing on contraception, wherein they barred Sandra Fluke, eventually-to-be-Esq., from testifying as to why it’s necessary for insurances to cover. Sandra had recorded her testimony and released it to the public on YouTube, where it had promptly gone viral. The Republicans, of course, were less than pleased.

Click here and read a quote from that Xanax-addled windbag.

That’s right, he’s suggesting that women who use contraceptives post sex videos of themselves in exchange for insurance covering contraception.

Pissed off doesn’t even begin to cover it. I don’t use the word hate lightly, but I truly hate this waste of skin. I. Hate. Rush. Limbaugh. He is a waste of flesh who doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of the human beings. He is not worth the ground he walks on, and whatever money that he had amassed by being a professional douchebag should be removed from his possession immediately; money shouldn’t be wasted in this egregious a fashion. Roger Ebert was beyond right. Limbaugh should be horsewhipped in public for these comments, repeatedly, as was the fashion in the 16th Century. Two sides can play this game, people; if that idiot thinks that he can push people back into that mentality, then he better be prepared to deal with the punishment contemporary with the mindset.

First of all, let’s make it clear: insurance companies are privately owned. Is Limbaugh saying that the people who own those companies are the taxpayers? Because that’s not the case. Unless he’s referring to the healthcare reform plan, which is still very raw, and few provisions have been made as far as what taxpayer funds do cover. One thing is for sure: preventative care is guaranteed under the Obama plan, but most insurances are not taxpayer-funded. Private corporations and all of that.

And guess what: contraception is preventative care. It prevents not just pregnancy, but endometriosis, and staves off breast cancer, all of which were scientifically proven. And yes, insurance should cover it, and private insurance did, right up until the point that the teabaggers got a taste of power and the insurance companies realized that hey, why should they do such a pesky thing like give a damn and even such a sacrilege like save money? Because what’s more expensive, shelling out a little every month for a prescription or shelling out about ten grand for childbirth? Or, what’s worse, to take a pill once a month or risk death? Because childbirth still kills 1 in every 13,000 women. Complications can be lifelong. And what’s more expensive: cancer treatments for breast cancer or a pill once a month that may very well prevent it?

Ohhhh, right, I forgot. Insurance companies aren’t known for compassion or common sense if they routinely drop cancer patients. No longer the fact after Obama signed the healthcare law, thankfully, but yeah, that’s the norm du jour, because cancer is a pre-existing condition, you see.

And, for anyone who may want to think on a pro-lifer slant on this: you can’t abort what you don’t conceive. More contraception = less abortion. Common sense, right?

No, that actually involves thinking, and the GOP’s top hot-air blowhard cannot possibly be bothered with something like science. 

But wait, let’s go back a minute and analyze what just happened here. For the high crime of daring to suggest that the insurance companies actually do their damn jobs and do right by the people paying their premiums, Sandra Fluke gets called a slut, has her statement skewed wildly out of proportion, and on top of that, gets told to post sex videos online so that the GOP can get their shriveled nutsacks off? Wow. Virulent misogyny just hit a whole new low, when here I was thinking that the GOP penile superiority brigade can’t go any lower.

Why the fuck is it that whenever I think that someone can’t go any lower, shovels enter the picture?

Brilliant post by Jeff Winbush contains more of what he said. Jeff Winbush kicks ass in general, by the by.

But you know what? I always thought that the Tea Party were a bunch of old men who couldn’t get it up anymore and who are envious of any sex that anyone other than themselves may be having, so they do their best to invade the privacy of people’s bedrooms out of their own spite. This is proof positive that I’m right. Those sons of bitches are sex-obsessed enough to give Freud’s descendants work for three more generations to come. They’re pushing their own agenda on the rest of us because they cannot stand the fact that someone, anyone, may actually want to have this little thing called privacy, and this other little thing called intimacy without risk of conception. Heaven forfend that insurance companies actually listen to science and reason! Why let a woman directly affected by contraception regulations testify when you can just slut-shame her instead?

Does it make you feel like a big man, Rush? To victimize and bully a college student, whom your ilk had barred from testifying regarding something that affects her directly? Does that get your rocks off? I bet it does, you virulent, disgusting sociopath. I bet you get yourself off thinking about the number of people whom you’ve pissed off in recent years. Did you harm animals as a kid too? Because you know, the science you detest earmarks you as a potential serial killer; that and your drug abuse. Or is it just because you took too much Xanax in the morning? Or do you go off on women because no one touches drug-addicted bigoted assholes who aren’t hung well enough to please a rock? Pick one. But don’t you dare, don’t you fucking dare insult someone for expressing an opinion that’s contrary to yours and that is actually based on logic and facts, as opposed to virulent ideology. Your rights to free speech end where Sandra Fluke’s rights not to be insulted by the likes of you begin. Take a few clonazepam and check yourself into the first mental institution you find, because your sort of an irrational response and ideology tells me some very disturbing things about your personality disorder spectrum.

And yeah, I’m a “Feminazi”. I believe that I’m not a second-class citizen and that no body of government has the right to dictate what goes on in my bedroom or my uterus. Imagine that, the crazy idea that my body isn’t public property up for legislature! Eminent domain doesn’t extend to bodies, last time I checked.

Yeah, I signed the petition to get this fuckbag off the air. You should too. Enough is enough.

K.G.

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.

On Susan G. Komen Foundation

It took me a while to gather all the information, and actually get a picture of what happened. I’ve signed the petitions, yes, because Planned Parenthood had faced enough assault in the past four years alone. But when I found out a couple of things, I got irate.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, and it’s something that I refuse to repeat, so listen carefully: women are people. This implies that they have autonomy. This also implies that if they have a specific bouquet of conditions that they can fall victim to, they should have access to rectify these conditions in a manner that they can afford.

Let’s take abortion off the table here; that’s not the point of this discussion. The right of a woman to decide what, if anything, should occupy her body is another strongly-worded post for another time. But Planned Parenthood plays a lot into the equation of women’s access to care. Note, I’m using the word care. As in healthcare. As in, that thing you do if you have autonomy and the right to make decisions about your health as you see fit.

Apart from contraception and various services centered on reproductive health, Planned Parenthood’s hallmark is…cancer screenings at little to no cost. To state the obvious, most people right now, especially if they are poor, struggling to make ends meet, or otherwise stone-cold-broke, cannot afford a doctor’s fee. The one time I got caught without health insurance, I had to pay $250 for a check-up. And a blood test costs $1200. First-hand experience. But had I gone to Planned Parenthood for a routine thyroid screening, they would have done it at a fraction of the cost. In retrospect, I should’ve done exactly that.

But I’m in NYC. If, say, a person lives in a rural area, and something feels Very Not Right, and that person is very nicely told by the regular doctor and the hospital that if you can’t afford the fee, get the hell out the front door and don’t let it hit you in the behind on your way out, then Planned Parenthood becomes that person’s only recourse to get a doctor to have a look at no cost. If all you can shell out is $50, because the other $200 is for food, rent, and gas in the car, then Planned Parenthood will take your $50 and say, “The doctor will be in shortly, please put on the paper gown.”

And that goes a very, very long way. Because, again, most people whose income is below a certain threshold really cannot afford health insurance or proper care. Planned Parenthood becomes, literally, a life-saver.

Of course, most people focus on the repro-health spectrum of services, get their britches in a bunch over the fact that abortion is an offered service at some centers (key word is some), and automatically think that the entire organization is evil and must be shut down – never mind the other, life-saving, preventative services that are offered by the organization, and never mind that all the procedures that take place there, whether an abortion or a blood test, are done so by the patient’s own choice.

But I digress.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Komen has GOP ties: CEO and ex-husband of said CEO both gave donations.

Imagine my further surprise when I read the news articles carefully and saw that they will keep funding on existing grants. And if they caved on PP funding without renewing it, then PP is screwed next year.

Way to go, Komen foundation. Way to fucking go. You have completely shot your credibility in the foot, never mind infuriated half of this country’s population. You’re effectively playing political football with women’s lives, and the women in this equation are not keen on having their – sometimes only – access to healthcare be cut off just because someone in a board meeting decided that politics are more important than access to care. Planned Parenthood has been chipped at and decimated systematically over the past twelve years; the recent four are only obvious because they’re public, and because the GOP has absolutely no qualms baring their agenda to the public. This is not acceptable, and this is not even remotely appropriate behavior for a nonprofit that, supposedly, focuses on women’s healthcare.

I wonder, did those CEOs of Komen ever go to a Revlon walk? The first people in line to walk for Revlon are usually cancer survivors. How many of them had gotten an early diagnosis from Planned Parenthood? How many of their lives did Planned Parenthood save?

I’ve never donated to Komen, but I’m a supporter of Planned Parenthood, and whenever I have a little extra to give to them, I always do. After the near-fiasco where the federal funding was on the line, I can’t emphasize how important it is for this country to support this organization. Unless, of course, the GOP actually wants an epidemic of cancer deaths because it wasn’t discovered in time. They obviously don’t mind involving a nonprofit in political football.

I have insurance right now, and a great doctor, but as it is, I’m counting myself lucky, and twice lucky that I have yet to hear a cancer diagnosis. That aside, I never forgot having to pay through the nose for a blood test and an appointment. I hope to not find myself there again, which is why I pay it forward so that someone else wouldn’t have to do that, either. The last thing a woman should know is what it’s like to know that she’s dying because she couldn’t afford to get a doctor to take a look at her.

Oh. And if you’re planning on telling me that Planned Parenthood gets enough in private donations to survive – give me a break. How many PP centers had closed down in the past twelve years? How many are so painfully understaffed that they have a waiting list for appointments for pretty much any service?  This is an organization under assault, every day, and most of it right now is because of politics and people who don’t understand the concept of women being people too.

Donate to Planned Parenthood directly. It’ll be used for good, trust me.

K.G.