what rough beast, its hour come at last?

Over the last year or so, there has been an assault on women I have not seen in all my 43 years of being on this planet, one that has intensified since 2012 rolled around. This is not to say that there haven’t been moments: I remember my mother crying in frustration when it was clear that the ERA was not going to pass in the 70s. I remember in the 80s when the Moral Majority railed about women being out of the home and into the workplace, and the horrible damage it did to the American family. I remember the 90s, where one White House intern’s affair with the president raised, for a brief moment, yet another conversation about whether women should ever be president.

But damn. Maybe it’s because I’m paying more attention, but I don’t think so. Personhood amendments which would not only outlaw abortion (and whatever you think about abortion, Roe v. Wade is still the law, and they are still legal), but possibly some forms of birth control, and require law enforcement to investigate every single loss of pregnancy — and by that, I mean miscarriages — to make sure the woman did nothing to cause the loss of her fetus.  Women could go to jail for, say, not wearing their seatbelts, or falling down stairs. The fetus would have more rights than the woman herself would.  Come on, even Mississippi turned it down…yet the Virginia legislature passed it.  And refused to consider an amendment to it that would make sure birth control was still available.

And even birth control is under fire from some corners of the political sphere. Rick Santorum, a contender for the presidency of the country, claiming that birth control is immoral, and that the states should have the right to ban it if they so choose.  Very wealthy white men joking on national cable networks that aspirin prevents pregnancy (and then completely not understanding at all why people don’t think it’s funny).  And then there’s those transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Virginia…ultrasounds they cannot refuse, which amounts to state-sponsored rape (Virginia law says that insertion of an inanimate object without consent is rape) and when asked why it shouldn’t be considered rape, one legislator basically said that if a woman allowed a penis into her vagina, she doesn’t have a right to refuse entrance to anything else. Even my teenager could see through that one…she asked me ‘but what if the woman was raped?’. yes, indeed. What if the woman was raped…can she then refuse the ultrasound because she didn’t consent to something being in her vagina before the vaginal probe?  In Pennsylvania, a law is making its way thru the legislature that would require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound, and to hear the fetal heartbeat. And then be given a copy of the ultrasound and wait 24 hours before going ahead with the procedure.

There have been calls to boycott the Girl Scouts because they don’t require a pledge of religious affiliation, and because some troops have opened their doors to transgirls.

I don’t think these attempts to regulate abortion, or birth control, or condemning the Girl Scouts are about those things at all. They are about controlling women. If we cannot control our fertility, it becomes okay to require us to go back home and just keep having more children. We don’t need to be educated (well, a little, but certainly not as much as men) to do that. If someone screams that Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts are godless, liberal, socialist…remember that they are not actually screaming about that. What they are screaming about, out of sheer fear, is that women are actually equal human beings. That they have a right, a fundamental right, to autonomy and body integrity, and all sorts of things that these people fear. Regulating the uterus, and screaming for defunding organizations that teach women that they matter, that they have rights, that they are equal, is a fear reaction.

And my question to them is: what are you so horribly afraid OF?

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 10:49 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. thank you! sharing and spreading the word!

  2. Fabulously good question.

    One thing to think about: In the equality debate over here, I’ve heard of several studies that documents that companies with women – educated, one must assume – on their board of directors show better results than ones with all male boards.

    Another one: In Norway, deep buried in the socialist morass as is – with full access to birth control, abortions being legal, daycare systems to allow women to study and work AND high taxes – a US journalist recently had to report that the number of startup companies per capita was higher than in the trickle-down US economy.

    Basically, I believe that another public agenda needs to be set. Fast. And loud!

  3. They are afraid of losing privilege. The (maybe) most fucked up thing is that the ‘they’ includes so many women, as well.

    • And that is another thing I just don’t get. Voting against your own BODY, for crying out loud!

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