There is legislation moving through the Tennessee legislature which would require the state to publish the name of every doctor who performs an abortion and include details about every woman having one. It’s called the ‘Life Defense Act of 2012, and it is expected to pass both houses.
The information which under law would be made public includes the woman’s age, race, county, marital status, educational level, number of children, the place where the abortion was done, and the number of times she has had the procedure. The doctor performing the abortion would be named, as well.
Interesting, calling this bill the ‘Life Defense Act’ when its obvious purpose is to paint a target on the back of every doctor who performs an abortion and to expose the personal life of every woman who has one. Two years ago, an abortion doctor was shot dead in Kansas. Obviously, passage of the Tennessee law will guarantee that more will be shot. Obviously, that’s the idea.
Hey, as we all know by now, many state legislatures, especially in the South, already think that a woman’s decision to have an abortion gives the state the right to penetrate her with an ultrasound probe. If you’re going to behave like that, apparently, you’re asking for it.
Women’s control over their own bodies has been a hard battle for years, but what we’re witnessing now is a counterattack by (mostly) men who don’t mind killing a few to make their point. Indeed, a bill in the Georgia legislature would explicitly force a pregnant woman, in some circumstances, to jeopardize her life in order to carry a stillborn or dying fetus to term.
If that sounds insane to you, welcome to the club. Republican legislative majorities are passing bills all over America which take away women’s rights while extending them to zygotes. Health care may be denied by employers. Doctors may be prosecuted for the advice they give or withhold. Under a proposed Arizona law, employers may actually fire a woman for using contraceptives.
In Texas, Governor Perry turned down $35 million in federal aid which was to be used to support preventive and reproductive health care for the poor (by the way, Dr. Paul, how well will the ‘states get to decide’ policy work on matters like this?).
These dangerous, oppressive, and inhumane policies and statutes are backed by people who claim they are supporters of ‘right to life.’ But they do not support right to life; they support the right of the male-dominant culture to control women’s lives. That’s all it is, that’s what’s going on here.
America’s a pretty sick society when it comes to the rights of women and when it comes to human sexuality. Put the two together and you’re going to get serious trouble.
Before the feminist movement of the late ‘sixties and early ‘seventies, the role of women in America was carefully restricted. A woman was expected to act dimwitted in public and like a hooker in the bedroom. The notion was termed the ‘Madonna/whore.’ Oddly, this was a pretty good mirrored reflection of men, who tended to be dimwitted in the bedroom and act like whores in public.
The women’s movement threatened all that and men do not like to be threatened. My personal theory is that men, having their primary sex organ outside of the body, are always worried that something will happen to it. This makes them defensive. White men, in addition, are worried that their primary sex organ is not as big as those belonging to black men and that when white women get a load of that it will be all over. You think I’m kidding.
There are a lot of black men killed due to the puny peckers of white men.
I think also that sex is at the very bottom of the gender war some men are waging, using as cover the ‘birth control’ and ‘abortion’ issues. Neither of these things are real issues in the sense that the legal world will materially change. Anyone who thinks they can outlaw abortion and get away with it is too crazy for public life and dangerous when operating heavy machinery. Won’t happen.
Also, trying to make birth control difficult is a stupid, pointless exercise. This particular campaign will shortly disappear when it dawns on the stupid white men pushing it that depriving minorities of birth control would hasten the day when whitey will be in the national minority. That realization should arrive any day now.
But the problem is that abortion and birth control are not what’re driving the latest assault on women. That is coming from pure hatred and fear, and that’s a lot scarier.
Men are afraid of women’s sexuality, no question about it. If abortion is illegal and birth control hard to find, then a woman will either be kept barefoot and pregnant or be constrained to not express herself sexually. Because both things are no longer subject to effective male control, there are a lot of scared MFers out there.
America, when it comes to sex, is one screwed-up country. Maybe it’s the Puritan strain, but I don’t think so. It’s weirder than that. The society pretends to have rather strict sexual conventions but in practice it’s close to anything goes. This leads to incongruities such as the FCC fining a major network for the exposure of a woman’s breast –– for about a tenth of a second –– while ignoring the fact that advertisers have sexualized children in order to sell garbage to the viewer.
Pretty much anything sexual is available on cable, while the myth of ‘family values’ censors words on CBS.
I had a client once, a court-appointed case, who had made a habit of following attractive women home, then writing them letters in which he described explicitly what he would like to do to them; he enclosed Polaroids with his prose, which depicted him, in the memorable words of the police report, “in a highly excited state.” I visited him in jail and asked him just what he thought he was doing. Didn’t he realize that women didn’t like that sort of thing, that they might feel threatened? He seemed genuinely puzzled. “Everybody else advertises,” he said.
Women’s sexuality is permissible in America only as it serves the interests and purposes of men. I realize that’s an ugly thing to say but that doesn’t make it untrue. Over the past forty years, though much of what I personally hoped for with feminism has not come to pass, there have nonetheless been sufficient changes to threaten people such as Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh. Those changes are fundamentally sexual, hence the Limbaugh screeds in which he turns anything remotely involving women into a perverse sexual revelation (his demand that Sandra Fluke videotape her sexual relations and post them online for his enjoyment).
As we know, many women who claim rape are probably faking it so they can get abortions; at least that’s the view of Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder, who authored a bill, which passed, requiring two invasive ultrasound procedures –– not one –– for any woman who wants an abortion. She should be asked by her physician, he said, whether “this pregnancy was caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.”
I’ll bet he’s a lot of fun around the house. Maybe Chuck’s wife often says no to him and he has to persuade her. If he was black and they lived in Florida, she could shoot him.
The legislators in Tennessee, like the ones in Idaho, Virginia, Texas, Georgia, and elsewhere, who are passing draconian laws under cover of the ‘right to life’ movement are generally doing nothing for newborns, nothing for malnourished children, nothing for kids who need parents or other adults to care for them. As soon as you’re born, they’re done with you.
These are often the same legislators and other pols who ‘support the troops’ but, as soon as they come home with brain injuries or toxic poisoning from our depleted uranium, just don’t care anymore.
I don’t think it’s enough simply to defeat the latest misogynistic laws and respond to the hate speech from the likes of Rush Limbaugh. We need a renewed feminist movement, one which will will not be satisfied with seventy-seven cents on the dollar compared to what men earn; one which will not think that women such as Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann attaining high office is progress; one which will flatten the corporate sponsors of ‘media women’, the modern equivalent of Barbie.
Maybe the ugly stupidity of this latest round of attacks will finally galvanize a real movement. This culture certainly needs it.