I’ve been beyond swamped lately. I worked for 40 hours straight this past weekend on a research paper (yes, “straight” means “without sleeping”), slammed through a boatload of reading and video-watching for school and am leading discussion this week in one of my classes. And that doesn’t even get into the day job and kids.
But I did a little Twittering over meals, during which I was battened onto by some troll claiming to have served someplace where women are second-class citizens and insisting that because the Taliban are stoning women and setting them on fire and whatnot, American women have no right to suggest that there’s a war on women going on in this country. I pointed out that he had the awareness and grasp of metaphor of your average cinder block and then blocked him because I’m too old for that crap.
But there’s a lot of that going around, as Angry Black Lady at Balloon Juice points out with this jaw-droppingly stupid rant from some woman named Cathy McMorris-Rogers. Her thesis: There is no Republican war on women; there is only a Democratic Party trying to scare women for political gain.
Because I’m still swamped, I’m outsourcing my response to ABL, who can add a uterocentric perspective that I cannot. her language is a little coarse, which, in light of all the circumstances she describes, I ascribe to her being in good cerebrovascular health:
This woman is out of her f—— skull. How DARE she? Democrats are scaring women to drum up votes? Is she serious? Let’s take a little walk down GOP F—ery Lane, shall we?
- Republicans are trying to shove foreign objects into our vaginas.
- Republicans are comparing us to f—— farm animals.
- Republicans are trying to force us to carry DEAD FETUSES in our wombs because hey—pigs and cows do it!
- Republicans want to tax us if we choose to get an abortion.
- Republicans are forcing doctors to flat-out lie to us about abortions increasing the risk of breast cancer.
- Republicans tried (and nearly succeeded) in denying us access to any preventive health care whatsoever, if it offends somebody’s twisted theological sense of morality.
- Republicans are trying to force us to watch an abortion before having one.
- Republicans are trying to force us to get permission from the man (Father? Rapist? Who cares!) before getting an abortion.
- Republicans are trying to force us to tell employers whether we’re using the pill for birth control.
- Republicans think that a baby conceived by rape is a gift from God.
- Republicans think that we gals don’t need contraception—we should just hold an aspirin between our knees.
- Republicans think that “rape” is a figment of our imagination. Is it really rape or are you just being a cranky-pants?
- Republicans think we’re sluts for wanting insurance coverage for contraception—whether for birth control or otherwise—all the while demonstrating how utterly devoid of brain activity they are by suggesting that the doctor-recommended use for birth control is “a-pill-per-screw,” and that maybe we could pay for our ovarian cyst treatment if we’d just stop drinking so many f—— soy lattes.
(She left out one other one: Tennessee was until just recently considering a bill that would make public details about every abortion in the state, along with information on the doctor who performed it. Because, the sacred notion of medical privacy aside, there’s no way anything bad could come of that. But don’t take my word for it — we can just ask David Gunn, John Britton, James Barrett, Shannon Lowney, Lee Ann Nichols, Robert Sanderson, Barnett Slepian or George Tiller. Oh, wait, no, we can’t.)
Republicans want us to lie back and take it. They want us to just “close our eyes” while they shame us and guilt us and emotionally traumatize us and out us to the public for making a choice about our bodies that has absolutely f—-all to do with them. And they’re doing this under the guise of “education” and “life-affirmation”; attaching quaint and pithy names to horrific bills which violate our rights as humans. Names like “Ultrasound Opportunity” or “Right to Know and See.” Don’t worry. It’s all about knowledge.
Knowledge is power, you see, and frankly ladies, you don’t know what the f— you’re doing. You think you’re incubating baby iguanas in your wombs while storks slingshot babies through open windows in the dead of night. No, no, silly one. This here probe will give you all the knowledge about the birds and the bees that you need, and conveniently, since you’re pregnant in the first place, you’ve already consented to be vaginally probed by our metal knowledge stick. Hooray!
Oh yeah—and let’s not forget that we’re getting f—— FIREBOMBED for daring to believe that a woman’s uterus is hers. Not her husband’s. Not her boyfriend’s. Not her father’s or uncle’s or brother’s. And certainly not some f—— politician who does not now nor has he ever owned a uterus, or the feckless Republican women who fall in line behind these misogynist [asses].
And you can f— right off with that “oh, the firebomber was just a crazy homeless dude” crap. As Melissa MacEwan at Shakesville so eloquently put it:
Guess who else is “crazy”? Anyone who sees a pattern of anti-progressive violence—and, very specifically, misogynist and/or homophobic and/or racist violence—and has the unmitigated temerity to suggest that, hey, maybe this [stuff] isn’t happening in a void.
All of this is to say the following—
Cathy McMorris-Rodgers? Jump up your own uterus, lady. You don’t speak for me. You don’t speak for thousands of women who don’t have the distinct privilege of standing on the Capitol steps spewing bullshit in order to protect the misogynist necks of the Republican men to whom you’ve sold your soul, your dignity, your humanity, your personal freedom, and, indeed your life; all the while knowing that should you or your daughter Grace require birth control or an abortion or any of the women’s health services that you and your ilk are viciously stripping from us, you will be able to get them. After all, as a member of Congress, you have some of the best health insurance in the country! And we all know that the rules which you seek to apply to millions of women—many of them poor women of color—don’t apply to the daughters of deluded state politicians from the Pacific Northwest. (Dontcha know.)
So, Cathy, you want to give up your reproductive rights? Or the reproductive rights of your daughter? Fine. Go right ahead.
But back the f— up off of mine.
And the notion that Democrats are scaring women by shining a light on the horrific human rights injustices that you Republicans seek to impose on us is patently absurd. Democrats aren’t scaring women, Cathy. Republicans are scaring women.
I’ll go one better than that: Republicans aren’t just scaring women, they’re terrorizing women.
And I’ll borrow from another of Melissa’s Shakesville tweets to summarize:
There are a lot of things that don’t get called terrorism in this country, but chief among them is the anti-choice movement, which is the most brazen, unapologetic terrorist campaign in the US, its co-ordination and orchestration done right out in the open, where no one in the media or politics will call it what it is. It is an inherently violent ideology, backed by a decades-long campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence directed at abortion providers and abortion seekers, that is ignored by one party and mainstreamed as a central plank of its party platform by the other.
Now, Republicans will deny that they’re involved with such a thing, or that they even could benefit from it, let alone consciously try to cash in. To which I say, with all due respect: Bullshit.
It’s terrorism. The perps need to be locked up in SuperMax for the rest of their miserable, bitter, un-American little lives, and all their privileged enablers (and I’m looking at you, Cathy) need to be held legally and publicly accountable as well, because if there’s a war on terror, then that war, like charity, needs to start at home.
It’s the 21st century folks, and I’m damned tired of coddling criminals.