Americans tout the blessings inherent with living in a nation founded on equality that fosters individuality they argue is the antipathy of being in a place where one lives under the power or authority of others. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was the Founding Fathers affirmation that colonists had no duty to be in subjection to England as an inalienable right even though they, like conservatives through history, never intended to extend that right to all Americans. Chief among Americans destined to perpetual subjugation under the law is half the population, and despite women’s progress over the past century, Republicans have set returning them to second-class status as one of their primary goals since they rose to power after the 2010 midterm elections. America is, and always has been, controlled by a patriarchal mindset throughout its history, and Republicans have found an incredibly powerful and successful means to put women in their historically subservient place with little opposition from the public and support from an untouchable power source.
The most efficient means to suppress and control a segment of the population is to eliminate their ability to achieve economic independence, and to keep women out of the workforce and dependent on men for their subsistence, Republicans are creating a scenario that either a woman is celibate, or stays in a perpetual state of pregnancy. The attacks on women’s reproductive health choices in Republican-controlled states have no justification that is not founded in patriarchal belief that men are born to control women, and regardless the arguments proffered to regulate women’s reproductive health, it all boils down to keeping them in subjection to men.
The rash of states abolishing women’s right to choose their reproductive health have not given any justification for their actions that are not easily refuted. There is no scriptural justification in the bible to ban abortion or contraceptives, but they have garnered universal support from President Obama, all Democrats, the National Organization of Women (NOW), and even Planned Parenthood who are mortified to cite the unconstitutionality of imposing a religious edict on a specific segment of the population. The unwritten commandment that, regardless the atrocities committed by a religion (except Islam) on half the population, it is a mortal sin to cite the Separation of Church and State’s prohibition on legislating from the bible even though the holy book belies pro-life advocates sanctity of life argument.
There is also absolutely no medical, biological, or scientific justification for banning contraceptives or abortions until a fetus is viable outside the mother’s uterus; not that pro-life fanatics acknowledge biology or medical science. The recent 20-week abortion ban in Texas, soon to be a 6-week ban, denies biological proof that there is zero chance for a fetus’s survival outside the womb at 20-weeks, but viability is not the issue; forcing women to stay perpetually pregnant and giving birth is, and the intended result is forcing them to remain sequestered at home economically dependent on a man. Ohio’s personhood measure defining a zygote as a fetus worthy of 14th amendment rights violates biological reality, subverts a woman’s 14th amendment rights, keeps them out of the workforce, and forced to be stuck at home serving as indentured servants to men.
There is no economic advantage to women, the government, or their families to control when and how often they produce children, and in fact it is economic terrorism to condemn women to an existence as brood mares. The best way to keep women in economic despair is forcing them to give birth several times during their child-producing years instead of working, and the cost of carrying, delivering, and raising even one child for eighteen years can be the difference between a woman living in abject poverty or having a financially secure existence.
Republicans have spent years opposing equal pay for equal work, the Equal Rights Amendment, gender equity in healthcare costs, and attack teachers’ unions specifically targeting women who make up 82% of all teachers in the nation. Republicans hate union labor, but they do not attack police officer, firefighter, or correctional officer unions because their ranks are overwhelmingly male. Republicans have had relative success in blocking Democratic attempts to give women their constitutionally guaranteed equal rights, but Republicans have found the “silver bullet” to women’s rights with their assault on reproductive rights.
It is apparent that women have become too powerful for Republicans to easily control, so they are passing legislation to send half the population back into the home with no means of escape. By neutering women economically, Republicans control half the population and keep their voice out of government. In the past two years, Republicans have questioned the wisdom of “giving” women the right to vote, and the next best thing to eliminating their electoral power is keeping them overwhelmed with childrearing duties or a perpetual state of pregnancy not unlike livestock producers keeping cows, sows, and ewes producing.
America’s women are a threat to Republicans, and dealt them a crushing defeat in the last election due to the sustained attacks that began at the start of the 112th Congress. It is likely that most Republicans could not care less about evangelicals’ so-called sanctity of life frenzy, but they do care about keeping women, all women, out of any position of power that is borne of economic success. There is a contingent of conservatives who believe women should leave the workforce, surrender their jobs to men, and return to their kitchens to subject themselves to their husbands and fulfill the position patriarchs assign them, and Republicans are doing their best to put women “in their place” at home birthing children.
Women are far from powerless, but they are facing an aggressor that sees an opening to set women’s rights back several decades, and they have powerful allies in corporate leaders entrenched in evangelical fanaticism. For example, the retail chain Hobby Lobby convinced a judge that their “belief” that contraceptives are abortifacents, or chemicals that cause abortions, is sincere leading him to rule the owner’s religious belief informs that birth control pills abort fetuses, and although it is patently false, Hobby Lobby prevailed. Large retailers such as WalMart lobby to keep women from earning the same pay as a man, and they prevailed two years ago when the conservative Supreme Court ruled against women suing for equal pay.
With no religious, economic, and scientific justification for denying women the right to choose their reproductive health, it is obvious the Republican’s goal is exerting control over women. Republicans are so terrified of the power women have gained they could not care less how they control them, but forcing them to be perpetually pregnant, unable to earn an education, and incapable of economic independence forces them to be in subjection to men’s will and if successful, Republicans will have won the war on women.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.