For The Ladies

« March 2012 »

Memo to America's Women: CONGRATULATIONS! YOU... WIN?

See, here's how it works. Every two years, the Republican Party holds a contest to see which subset of non-rich, non-straight non-white non-men get to feel the guiltiest if, for some deluded reason, they decide to vote for Republicans. In 2010, it was Latinos. In 2008, it was black people. in '06 and '04, it was gay people. I thought that, in 2012, it would be the poor, making a comeback from their heyday during the Reagan years, but thanks to Rick Santorum and the usual gang of idiots, this year, it's women!

If you read this column, you've probably been hearing about the new, stricter wave of ultrasound laws that are in various stages of being proposed, being voted on, or being rejected in a few states south of the Pigon-Fuxon line. Laws that mandate ultrasound for women seeking abortions are, under normal circumstances, already completely fucking insulting. Women know what being pregnant means. They know it means they're going to have a baby. They know what a baby is. Making them stare at a picture of a pre-baby isn't going to give them new information, it's just making them jump through extra hoops because a bunch of Bible-thumping mostly-men disapprove of recreational fucking when women enjoy it.

But in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania, new laws would require ultrasounds even in the very early stages of pregnancy. And you know what the only way is to get an ultrasound image of a blastula that early on? You take an ultrasound probe, insert it into a woman's vagina, and move it around until you get a clear image or Republican male lawmakers in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania are done jerking off. It's called "transvaginal ultrasound", and it is literal government intrusion.

The party that regularly equates taxation to being "robbed at gunpoint" is demanding that the government force a medically unneccessary vaginal probe of women in a desperate attempt to shame them out of having abortions. Which means that, in 2012, if you're a woman, and you're thinking of voting Republican, well, you're going to need some extra-strength rationalization to bring yourself to do it. I suggest you have a long talk with the boys at GOProud about marginal tax rates. Or, to put it another way - lie back, close your eyes, and think of Reagan.

You think I'm joking. You think I'm being hyperbolic. Surely, you think, I can't be suggesting that Republicans actually think of women as a sub-human species just because they lack a Y chromosome. That's exactly what I'm suggesting. And to back it up, here's a lovely quote from Dana Loesch at CNN, expressing a sentiment that was also, according to reports, expressed by an unnamed Virginia legislator in support of the transvaginal ultrasound bill. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"That’s the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it’s rape and so on and so forth... There were individuals saying, 'Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?' What? Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy."

And Dana Loesch is a woman. That's how deep this shit goes. I know a willful misunderstanding of the role of consent is required for a number of Republican beliefs, including arguments against gay marriage, but Loesch's view of vaginas and phallic objects is even less forgiving than the rule about vampires and houses, because at least, if you invite one vampire in, you're not also automatically inviting in every other vampire, people dressed as vampires, and inanimate objects with a vague resemblance to vampires that the government wants to put in your living room.

Normally, I would not devote space in this column to fabled oxycontin addict and Viagra-popper Rush Limbaugh, whose role as the Monster From The Republican Id has shrunken and grown flaccid with age, but I need to mention this quote because it lays bare the subtext underneath the proxy war Rick Santorum is fighting, against contraception, on behalf of the Catholic Church.

"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

I will assume, for the sake of argument, that Limbaugh is aware of the technical inaccuracy of his statement. Since we're talking about prescription birth control coverage, after all, which costs the same amount every month whether you have sex 100 times a month, twice a month, or not at all. Because whether the inaccuracy is deliberate or the result of unmitigated ignorance, the message is the same.

If you're a woman, and you enjoy raising a child to adulthood with the exact same frequency that you enjoy having sexual intercourse, then this November, you can vote for all the Republicans you want with a clear conscience. You are off the hook. But the rest of you? You're now undeniably in the same boat as Log Cabin Republicans, anti-union blue-collar workers, and Herman Cain. You're allying yourself with a group of people who think your biology entitles you to derision, disrespect, and inferior treatment by a government that only oversteps its bounds when it tries to collect another few grand from a multibillionaire.

And if you don't like the way that sounds, tough shit. I don't care what you're trading it for. It could be money, it could be tradition, it could be the phony respect of a religious leader or the misguided belief it'll make your deity love you more. In a lot of cases, it's accepting second-class citizenship in the hopes of keeping certain other groups at third- or fourth-class. Doesn't matter to me. I just want us all to be absolutely crystal fucking clear that this is what's going on here. After all, "informed consent" is the canard these people are using to cram a government-issued ultrasound probe where the sun don't shine, right?