Sunday, February 19, 2012

Patriarchal Agents


The cruel craziness in Virginia, that is the very latest of it, brings women voters to the fore yet again. How are they collectively going to deal with reactionary men in power making arbitrary and malicious decisions about women's bodies?

In VA, it's new in-vagina law. You want to consider an abortion? Well now (insert your choice of demeaning sexist slur), your GYN or OB must give you and you may not refuse a vaginal probe for an internal ultrasound. Oh, don't call it big intrusive (in all senses) government raping you. Hush. Hush. It's for your own good.

Nationwide, GOP would-be POTUS types are figuratively elbowing and kicking each other out of the way. Each wants to say the most oppressive and regressive to women pledges and statements. Abortion is always wrong. Birth control is sinful and shameful.

I'm waiting for one of them to claim that life begins with a couple thinks about sex. Forget non-viable tiny fetuses or pre-fetal groups of cells, Personhood begins when Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney says it does.

Of course, the practical and political corollaries become:

  • Let government determine what goes on in a woman's body
  • Try to outlaw all abortion
  • Try to outlaw all birth control
  • Short of those or on the way to those, make women fund their own damn pills and procedures

These and related lies about churches having to obey laws for their non-religious operations are ubiquitous. Find papers, TV or radio news, or internet coverage. Then if you are not a women, project a bit.

What would you feel and think if those winger governors and GOP candidates got their way? What if huge, intrusive government dictated what you could get for health care and what you employer would pay for?

It's all too obvious that the current incarnation of the Republican Party is the antithesis of what they used to claim. They don't care a whit about personal liberty, except maybe gun ownership.

So consider the women voters. they are not only numerically a majority of registered voters, they also show up at the polls more than men. In theory, they are to bless and to blame for every governor, president and more.

Of course, no more than any ethnic group or other subset you can pick, they don't vote as a bloc...generally. Many are fairly conservative politically and have trouble with even as tepid a liberal as Barack Obama. Yet they can still sway any election, given incentive.

Consider too that well over 9 of 10 adult women use birth control in their reproductive lifetimes. What incentive will it be to vote against would-be POTUS sorts who want to deny them access or make it prohibitively expensive by precluding it from health benefits?

I bet a lot.

American women have the power at the polls...if they want it and take it. At the state and national level, GOP men seem determined to push them too far.


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