The human race reproduces through equal effort of the male and female of the species: each bring a necessary component to the process, sperm from the male and egg from the female. This is no different than in the animal kingdom. As the old adage goes, birds do it, bees do it…
From that fact alone you would imagine that both genders would get equal representation. After all, one is of little use without the other. Instead, we find ourselves as a culture (and this is certainly nothing new) making war on one-half of ourselves, no our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our mothers, telling them that they have a proper role and that without male input and permission, they should not attempt to do anything on their own. And if they do, they should be punished, as a new spate of state-sponsored rape legislation proves. Alaska has joined the crazy-parade with its SB 191, which as Planned Parenthood points out, “mandates that the physician perform an ultrasound regardless of its medical necessity prior to performing an abortion—even though the Alaska Supreme Court has stated repeatedly that Alaska laws may not place unnecessary burdens on a woman’s right to an abortion.” And then there is HB 363, which ” forbids full disclosure of pregnancy options and referrals for abortions, in flagrant violation of requirements made by federal funding laws.”
Not that everyone feels this way about women: Liberals have become used to the idea of women thinking for themselves in a variety of ways, voting, for example. It seems as natural as night and day. We hardly give it a thought. “Did you remember to vote today, dear?” Not, “What gives you the right to think you are intelligent enough to engage in complicated political debates?” – an attitude very common in the 19th and early 20th centuries. “Shouldn’t you be making me supper and changing diapers?” But conservatives still seem to be caught at that stage that immediately followed passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. The stage I speak of is the “What the hell?” stage. It’s almost as if somebody shook them awake and told them they now had to treat their dog as an equal. They simply can’t fathom it. For social conservatives, women are still on a par with pigs and cows and their issues are properly addressed in agricultural bills.
It is not a big step from suddenly having to treat your dog like an equal to surreal the comments of Republican State Rep. Alan Dick that women should be required to have a permission slip from the sperm’s owner before they can abort the results of its implantation. Speaking of a piece of Alaska legislation Rep. Dick (what an appropriate name) said, “If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…” I suppose a rapist would be more than willing to identify himself in order to do that, or a father or uncle guilty of incest. Or a husband who has raped his wife. Can the men involved in a gang rape – a fraternity for example – send in a joint permission slip or do they need to send individual permission slips?
The old patriarchal meme that women are simply too emotional to think rationally still motivates conservatives. For example, in 2009 fellow Alaska Republican Fred Dyson tried to get a piece of legislation passed “intended to ensure that a woman’s decision whether to abort is a measured, not emotional, one.”
In other words, she can’t make the decision herself because by default her decision will be an emotional one, the same excuse we have seen offered to keep women out of combat (because men have been such paragons in that regard). Enter the Republican male, who apparently is utterly without emotion while dispensing his sperm. I’m not only insulted on behalf of women, I’m insulted that this prick thinks he in any way representing the behavior or thinking of most men.
If you’re thinking to yourself “WTF?” don’t panic. That does not make you like a conservative. Your WTF is the reaction of a sane and completely rational human being confronted with age-old and egregiously outdated ideas of patriarchy. If you didn’t say WTF at this point, that would be the time to worry. I mean, if you feel like you would feel if Great Cthulhu suddenly appeared before you in all his tentacled glory, then you’re safely sane.
Here’s a bumper sticker suggested by a very wise woman I know. We can run off a few thousand and send them to Alaska Republicans:
If the man does not want a woman to consider having an abortion… DON’T DONATE SPERM!
I guess that’s too easy though; men shouldn’t have to show restraint – only women. Setting humor aside and turning back to insanity let me ask this: So how does society function with one half of that society being considered unequal – it isn’t a big step from Republican thinking to sexual servitude, after all. Abraham Lincoln said the country cannot survive one half free, the other slave, and that seems to be the condition obtaining here, doesn’t it? Lincoln’s words are as applicable today as on the day they were uttered in 1858:
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
Here’s another question for Republicans: What’s the deal with small government except where a woman’s uterus is involved? Why is it men making these decisions – like Darrell Issa’s evil little cabal – without female input? How is the female reproductive system, which conservatives seem to have zero knowledge of, a religious issue? And how does a religious issue automatically exclude women? Oh, that’s right, women shouldn’t be in politics and they shouldn’t be in religion either – in any capacity really that takes them out of that sexual servitude role.
So what we’ll do to keep women there is we’ll punish them with state sponsored rape for even daring to think about doing away with our sperm; we’ll publish the names of their doctors and we’ll publish their names as well and mark them like the Puritans marked the Jezebel’s in their midst, the shameful harlots. How dare they think uterus is the equal of our mighty cocks. And it isn’t only a matter of misogyny; there is an element of class warfare in all this as well. As AKMuckraker wrote the other day:
No worries if you’re wealthy. You’ll be fine. If not, then you shouldn’t have gotten impregnated in the first place. NO we don’t want to help you out with birth control, and NO we don’t trust your medical decisions. NO, we don’t want you to be on public assistance, and NO we don’t want to provide you with prenatal care, or healthcare for your baby, or food stamps, or welfare or pre-K care. NO, we don’t want to fully fund public schools either. So good luck with the kid. Next time, don’t be so poor and immoral.
The end result is the disenfranchisement of women, and I am not talking simply about voting rights or having a job or being in combat. I am talking about disenfranchisement from the human race, making women little better than that pet dog I motioned earlier. So much for doing away with slavery. State-sponsored Biblical slavery is alive and well. So much for the First Amendment, because all this is 100% religiously based: you can’t use in vitro because that trumps God’s will; you can’t use contraceptives because that violates God’s will and you can’t have the abortion you need because you couldn’t have contraceptives because that also violates God’s will. All that’s left is a religiously mandated abstinence program to legislate perverted ideas of so-called Christian morality promoted by a group of fanatics who have forgotten Jesus existed.
Welcome to the Bronze Age, America. Get ready to sell your daughters; soon they’ll be marrying their rapist and then we can kick that pesky Constitution to the curb and all will be as God intended.
Image from Cafe Press
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.