As a liberal type in Alabama, I am used to not much of anybody publicly agreeing with much of anything I say. Needless to say, I was surprised to realize that I am not as alone as I thought, especially when it comes to the GOP’s war on women. And I don’t just mean support from the local liberals.
Times change and so do the issues people think are important. One thing that hasn’t changed though, because of the biological realities of reproduction, is that women still bear the brunt when it comes to bearing and raising children. Most men do their part raising them, but issues related to birth control, pregnancy and childbirth affect women’s lives and health in ways that most men never fully understand, much less have to deal with. I don’t fault them one bit on this, as I have never fully understood things like erectile dysfunction and prostate jokes.
We all learn how to live with the body we are born with. By the time they reach puberty, most women have some awareness, if not experience, with everything from menstrual cycles, to PMS, birth control, and childbearing issues. There is a lot to learn and good reproductive health “sex” education along with the availability of reliable birth control both make a significant difference in women’s quality of life. Women of every race, religion, and social background know that.
There are numerous arguments on all kinds of related (supposedly moral) issues. Despite what some would like you to believe, good sex education and access to reliable birth control does not breed promiscuity, but it does reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and the number of abortions as well. We got solid statistics on that one.
Now, right smack in the middle of what most everybody past the age of puberty has some level of understanding, we have a bunch of mostly “mature” (and I don’t mean mentally mature) white men in the GOP, who clearly don’t know jack about women’s reproductive systems, much less sexuality, bound and determined to turn back time when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.
These guys don’t necessarily even have the support of the women back home. Things got interesting when it came out that Governor Perry’s wife, in Texas, didn’t actually agree with him either. Who does? It took me a minute to realize that not much of anybody agrees with this out of touch GOP frat boy club, except, maybe other out of touch GOP frat boys – and not a sorority in sight.
This is not to be condescending, but the world is different for men and women. And I don’t think it is a good idea to have a bunch of demographically homogenous white men, rarely including women in the discussion, much less the decisions, suddenly start making a bunch of new laws regulating women’s health and reproductive systems.
There is at least one other major thing wrong with all this, and that is that there are still some men who think the greatest possible accomplishment in life is to bed as many women as possible. So boys will be boys, right?
I would like to take an informal survey, how many women have ever found themselves in what they thought was a relationship with a good upstanding man, only to find that he had misspoke on just about everything imaginable that a man can misspeak about, including the wife he forgot to mention, and that the only reason he professed his undying love in the first place was to get into her panties. As if that is a logical explanation for anything. I am not saying that all man are like that, but I am saying that enough men are like that to the point where it can indeed be a real problem for real women. The thing is, when something goes wrong with a meandering sperm, it can hit lower-income women disproportionately hard.
So now we got a group of not wonderfully mature, clearly lacking in sex education, rapidly aging, GOP men, who likely grew up with that very same attitude, who are now hell-bent on legislating the hell out of women’s reproductive systems.
I haven’t even got around to their ideas about the differences in rape, real rape, rape rape, etc. Or that, at times, there are actually real medical reasons why a pregnancy might need to be terminated. In modern civilized countries, that decision is made between a woman and her doctor, not her legislator.
These guys have declared themselves doctor, god, judge, and jury of women and their vaginas. Wendy Davis was not an accidental hero. She struck a nerve with a whole lot of women all over this country. But it is not just her. The other day, my daughter, who used to be one of the most solid Republicans I have ever known, gave me an earful.
She is disgusted with the GOP and what it is doing to women. In fact, all of her smart hard-working successful “used to be Republican” female cohorts – they are all disgusted with what the GOP is doing to women too. They are fed up with the insane attitudes about rape – the slut labeling – the denial of access to birth control – compounded by increasingly restricted access to abortions – but they don’t want to take care of the kids after they are born either – humiliating the poor kids in the schools – food being snatched out of the hands of hungry children – and for some of those kids, it may have been their only meal that day – but they want to force women to have those babies anyway – even when they know they can’t afford to take care of them – but instead of passing anything that might actually help – they keep making cuts to food stamps – and every other program that might give a woman and kid in those circumstances any chance whatsoever of getting ahead.
That was just the start. My daughter used to be just about as far GOP right as a person could get. But she sure has some opinions on both their war on women and their war on children.
There have been some major disconnects in the spin on who honestly thinks what on some of this stuff. Those politicians sure can make some noise. However, things start looking real different real fast when you get away from the spin and talk to some real women.
Conservative and liberal alike, the women in this country are fed up with the GOP’s callous lack of regard for their rights and the rights and well-being of children. But there is one little detail that the whole GOP lot seems to have forgotten: women vote.
Image via Formidable Republican Opposition
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