We women are told to relax about the War on Women, because of course, the fight is over. Virginia will not be shoving a state-mandated and medically unnecessary condom clad tranducer up every woman’s vaginal canal who wants an abortion. Wow, what a win.
Not so fast.
They’ve moved on to Pennsylvania now. While the national boys natter on about how birth control is evil on the GOP Presidential stage, their cohorts and whispered VP hopefuls (Virginia’s McDonnell) are busy trying to shove state mandated transvaginal ultra-sounds up women’s vaginas.
Perhaps if you’ve never had a transvaginal ultrasound, this only sounds intrusive. But I can assure you, it is in fact often quite painful. Imagine you had a muscle that only opened to give birth and once a month to let the lining of your innards shred, both of which caused significant pain, the former being likened to passing a kidney stone but worse.
Now, granted, the camera isn’t pushing past the cervix, but ramming up against it trying to catch an image of the above nestled uterus and her contents, also found with the pain-free abdominal ultrasound that doesn’t provide the same level of detail but is used in pregnancies all of the time. I’m sure you can agree that for a non-medically necessary procedure, for the boys to pick the one that is more invasive and hurts the most is upsetting to some of us who prefer to avoid pain (and thus have not voted Republican in quite a while).
The bonus of the transvaginal ultra sound is that it does require the stirrups and the spread legs that we realize excite many men; our vulnerability and humiliation is a pleasure to some of them. We know. We see the movies, the photographs, and now the legislation. This is your basic male domination porn legislation. No different.
The boys in Pennsylvania want to do at a state level what the national Party has been unable to accomplish on a federal level. Perhaps they’re hoping to fly under the radar better than the boys of Virginia, led by Governor McDonnell, who is widely rumored to be a possible Mitt Romney Second. McDonnell et al wanted Virginian women to spread their legs and have this probe stuck up them prior to having an abortion. Women in Virginia have likened this to mandated rape (if this excites you, please stop reading now and either seek help or run for office as a Republican).
Granted, you only get that reference if you have indeed HAD a transvaginal ultrasound. I have, and I concur. But the boys making these laws have never had one and apparently never took a loved one for this procedure either. This speaks volumes about their characters and level of intelligence. What next – will they mandate a painful test before a triple bypass procedure because “God” thinks heart failure is a moral weakness?
Perhaps you thought this fight was over, because the Virginia men were made a laughing stock for their willful ignorance. But no, this fight is far from over. Right now, a similar but even worse bill is poised to strike Pennsylvania women courtesy of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (HB1077). This one mandates that the image screen be turned toward the woman’s face, though she will be allowed to avert her eyes (so kind). 113 of the 203 representatives have already signed on to the bill. There are several alarming factors involved here:
One, the men clearly have no idea what they’re talking about but this doesn’t seem to stop them on any other issue and certainly isn’t stopping them now.
Two, they’re supposed to be for small government and yet they are pushing for Vaginal Panels mandated by the state (I see your imaginary Death Panels and raise you Real Vaginal Panels – now tell me who is the Nanny State?).
Three, it’s clear that the desire is to shame women seeking an abortion and to inflict pain upon them deliberately (as if abortion were not painful enough both physically and mentally).
Four, our vaginas are not public space and not open for business, no matter what Republicans wish was the case.
Five, this all stems from Republican belief in their own version of the Bible and is akin to me declaring that my God inferred that jock itch was immoral, hence all men who have jock itch must be subjected to not just the pain of jock itch, but say the threading of a camera up their urethra (that is basically what the t-v ultra sound does) so they can see the results of their misdeeds and feel bad (not for any medical purpose) about themselves.
Six, not once in all of the legislation across the nation has a Republican introduced any sort of bill designed to get men to stop having sex with women or control themselves or take responsibility for the result, and yet they continue to punish women for having the ability to make a baby.
Seven, apparently these boys know so little about the female reproductive system and the usage of birth control and the definition of abortion as should shame them. FYI, birth control is often used for other medical conditions like hemorrhaging and all pregnancies that end prior to birth are medically referred to as abortions. Some are elective procedures and others are spontaneous. (See the women in jail in America right now for having a miscarriage).
A primer is clearly needed for the boys. Pregnancy is what happens after the sperm meets the egg and they make a fetus. I see a lot of attempts to control how the fetus is treated and attempts to regulate the egg, but zero attempts to regulate the sperm. Why is that? If the fetus rules but having a baby out of wedlock ruins the family (see GOP debate), then isn’t the logical step to regulate sperm?
We know from science (forgive me, it’s habit) that it is men whose hormonal levels are surging in prime time. So far, the boys in charge have tried to deal with this problem by shaming women who have a baby out of wedlock and denying her entrance into society.
Sometimes the men feel this pressure as well, and so the truth here is ugly and unspoken — but the women in this country (who are being largely silent on this issue) know the truth. We are the ones who clean up after the men’s sperm. We are the ones who take the pleading, begging, sobbing evangelical teen for an abortion so that her entire life isn’t ruined by shaming. We are the ones who take our girl friends to the ER when their ectopic pregnancy is threatening their life. We are the ones who deal with the “mess” of unwanted pregnancy and even wanted pregnancy, too often alone. We are the ones too often who deal with childcare and are too often left financially destitute after a dead-beat dad runs off to get remarried and then runs as a Christian conservative Republican on family values. Yes, we know the troubles because we clean up the messes.
Good men are right there, in the thick of the mess and chaos and pain and love, but there are a lot of not so great men in this country as well. And it appears that they have either all migrated toward government positions or perhaps the percentage of good to bad is as dismaying as it appears.
How many of these men in the Pennsylvania and Virginia legislatures had a sexual partner outside of marriage? How many of them never asked if she was on the pill or took any responsibility for birth control? How many of them had a partner get pregnant outside of wedlock? How many of them have had a partner get an abortion?
These are the questions that need to be asked of these Republican men. They are most definitely OUR business. For they have made our bodies’ their business in the name of the sacred fetus. A fetus, we recall, is comprised of two parts. It’s time for the sperm to stand up and take responsibility.
I hereby call on the women in these gentlemen’s past to stand up and speak out. Let us all know how they handled the issue of premarital sex, birth control, and unwanted pregnancy. Is there a bastardized baby out there, born to one of these Nanny Men? If so, is he taking financial and emotional responsibility for this child? If not, what happened to the Glory of the Fetus?
Republicans declared war on women a while ago and in this war, there are many casualties and war crimes of which no one seems to care. Women sitting in prison for a miscarriage (an uncontrollable bodily function and NONE of their damn business). Women having what amounts to a huge dildo with a camera in it shoved up their vaginal canal in order to appease the sick needs of Republican men to humiliate and shame them in the name of “God” for wanting control over their bodies.
If Republicans keep this up, Independent and even many Republican women will band together with Democrats. We might go all Lysistrata on them.
Keep it up, Republicans. The sleeping giant of the majority of American voters is awakening.
Note to Republican men: American women will not be shamed out of our power. We will not allow you to define the boundaries of our medical care. We will not allow you to inflict your perverted religious beliefs onto our bodies in the form of what amounts to rape by state. We will not allow you to use our bodies to humiliate us just because you have power and control issues coupled with vast insecurities and psychological impotency issues. You have messed with the wrong group of people. We have the power, we are the majority, and we will not accept even the possibility that you wanted us to be subjected to such invasive, unnecessary medical treatment.
You lost us at hello, Republicans.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.