The male-dominated Republican Party really is engaged in a nationwide campaign to give government – the government of their dreams – control of women’s bodies, at least those women’s bodies that survive the deep cuts in women’s health care.
Todd Akin is no lone puppy. If anything, he’s just a weak follower of the GOP pack led by the likes of Paul Ryan and Rick Perry. The attack becomes even more sinister when Ryan and others deny it.
Ryan’s now the wolf in grandma’s clothes ready to gobble down Little Red Riding Hood. Ryan, worried that a nation of Red Riding voters will run away, says, “Nobody is proposing to deny birth control to anybody.” Asked about the big, sharp lie, he might have answered, “All the better to eat you with, my dears.”
A goodly number of Republican women voters are trying their darndest to overlook this medieval state of affairs. Some actively want to return to an era of female subservience. Others probably don’t really believe these dangerous and regressive policies will ever be in place.
We have to ask two questions: What so haunts these men that they want so badly to control ladyparts? Are they threatened? Given their embarrassing public statements about female physiology and biology, it’s clear that it’s not facts that worry them. Where have you gone Sigmund? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
The second question: Since they dress up in their grandmas’ nighties to disguise their intentions, they must realize that most women want nothing to do with their sick quest, right?
It’s a shocking historical juxtaposition. The pro-democracy movement known as the Arab Spring is in significant part a consequence of rising literacy and declining birth rates in the Mideast. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Right is mounting a direct assault on education and a renewed war on contraception. This ought to tell us something.
It may be spring in the Mideast, but a chill wind is howling in America as America’s Right puffs its cheeks like Old Man Winter. Education and the personal freedom to control one’s body and sexual life fuel powerful democratic movements. What kind of movement then is America’s Right engaged in?
French social scientist Emmanuel Todd is explicit about the democratizing power of literacy and reproductive freedom. They lead to:
…the transformation of the political system, a spreading wave of democratization and the conversion of subjects into citizens.
But the American Right seeks the opposite, the conversion of citizens into subjects. That they do so while speaking of liberty is just more authoritarian “denying and distorting of information” in the words of Italian humanist, Auschwitz survivor and anti-fascist Primo Levi.
Is the Right really mounting a war on contraception? While far-right conservatives have largely succeeded in snookering the credulous news media into framing its anti-birth control agenda as all about abortion, they seek much more than an abortion ban.
If you thought the legislative attacks on family planning and Planned Parenthood were all about abortion, think again.
In a moment of unscripted political bravado, Republican State Representative Wayne Christian made clear to the Texas Tribune that the Right’s true agenda is not about what happens in health care clinics after all, but rather about what goes on in bedrooms between consenting adults.
When they declare “war on birth control” they are intruding into the private, personal decisions of every man, woman and family in Texas.
How extreme are they? Consider that they’ve already repealed the law that requires insurance companies to cover the pill just as they do Viagra, they’ve encouraged pharmacists to undermine doctors’ orders and deny emergency contraception, and now they are pushing an outright plan to defund family planning — even though none of the funds can be used for abortion.
It’s time to draw the line and get politics out of our bedrooms once and for all.