Category Archives: GOP

Bottled Genies and Time Machines: The War on Women

 
How do you put the genie back into the bottle if she doesn’t want to go? This is the philosophical dilemma of the Republican male. These old white men are yearning for a past; a past that only existed in a Norman Rockwell print or a 50’s TV show. They want the America of the Dick and Jane readers back. They want nuclear families; man, woman, children. They want sweet cottages on green lawns with red wagons and sprinklers. They want lilacs and roses and clothes lines and women next to those clothes lines pinning up clothing. They want women who don’t go out to work; who stay home and nurture children and husbands. They wish they could un-invent the birth control pill, make abortion illegal, maybe take away that right to vote that made women so uppity. This would put an end to all the strife and violence and anger and poverty and waste in America.

 
We would need a time machine first, a time machine that un-did slavery. If we could go back in time and put each ancestor of each African America back in their homeland then we would never have started down this path of mixing up the world’s people, these old white guys imagine. But this is patently ridiculous as your ancestors are the very people who profited from owning slaves. You get no time machine. You get no do-over.  You get no little white cottage, cream cheese America, which never existed anyway, but which was doomed as soon as you turned people into slaves and brought them to America, a place they surely did not want to be. Thank God they are free now. If they don’t share your white cottage dream then it is hard to fault them. So this is the world we have and we have to learn to live in it. If you can’t put the genie back in its bottle what are your chances of making a time machine? Well, maybe someday, but will it really matter by then?

Women are not going to let their genie be returned to the bottle either. We are not giving back the right to vote and once we have that all of the rest follows. You fought your wars and sent us into the factories and the offices and now we are not going back into the kitchens, parlors, etc, unless that is what we want to do. You can undo laws allowing legal abortion, reverse Roe v. Wade or just restrict it out of existence, but women have always known when a birth was not propitious, when it was not the right thing to do or not the right time to do it. In their desperation they will do dangerous things to abort an unwanted child. They have always done it and they always will unless you use force to make women carry to term. What would that do to your white cottage life? Oh, yes, that was always a problem with that white cottage life. What looked orderly and sweet on the outside was often chaos and pain inside.

The world we have now is complicated and contentious, but I like that it is a world in which we try to tolerate each other and create space for each other and where we occasionally support and enjoy each other. It isn’t easy to balance self-interest and all of the social interactions that make life worth living. Our lives are not neat, sweet communities with the houses, the churches and the schools, and the little diner. Our lives are full of schedules and hastily assembled meals and shopping malls and scratching out a living week by week until maybe we have a little more play in our budget and we don’t have to scratch quite so hard. We do have people in America from everywhere around the globe and this is changing the face of America from that cozy old country quilt to something that looks more like a Jackson Pollack painting. I can see how it would be disconcerting to old white men; it is actually a bit disconcerting to all of us. But, going backwards won’t work. It is not the answer. That genie is never going back in that bottle. The time machine, well that is probably farther in the future than space travel. Please, stop trying to turn back time. Accept diversity and let women take care of their own lives. Just because abortion is legal does not mean that any woman is required to have an abortion. But if you take the right to have an abortion away many women may be required to either have an unwanted child or abort the child herself. Neither of these acts benefits society.

Wikipedia has a pretty good entry about the “war on women”, a term that has been in use since 1991 and, which from the beginning, described the Republican agenda around women’s issues. In March, 2011, Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz began using the term “War on Women”, but she did not create it. You can follow the progress of the term’s use in the first section of the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Wikipedia, while not containing anything more current that the 1st quarter of 2012, tells us that in 2011 in our State legislatures 1100 provisions restricting women’s reproductive rights were passed, and that in the first quarter of 2012, 944 more restrictions were approved.

These restrictions focused on the following areas:

·         Mandatory ultrasounds

·         Narrowing time when abortions may be performed

·         Limiting insurance coverage for abortion

·         Personhood Laws

·         Targeted regulation of abortion providers – TRAP laws

·         Birth Control

·         Defunding Planned Parenthood

·         Rape

·         Domestic Violence

Too bad all of the ingenuity being shown in this pointless fight against women hasn’t been put to better use. If the GOP is ever are able to push this genie back into the bottle and turn all us women into little “Stepford Wives” I don’t believe it will bring  them the results that they expect and I don’t think that genie will stay there for very long. How can women vote for this GOP? Elect Democrats in 2014. Stop the “war on women”.

 

Behind the Scenes- Changing America

 
 
If you don’t think that the Republicans, in their current incarnation, are extreme then you need to concentrate not just on what they are saying, but on what they are doing. They are using stealth tactics that they hope will fly under our radar to achieve their agenda through “creative” and small, but still legal strategies that are wiping out years and years of gains in the civil rights of Americans. They are tweaking local and state laws to achieve ends they have not yet been able to achieve on a national level. Consider the following:

  1. They are undoing decades of hard-won freedom for women that has allowed women to make decisions about their own health. Mississippi, Alabama and North Dakota are all passing or trying to pass laws that require Ob/Gyn’s who do abortions to have hospital privileges near their clinic and then the states set it up so that these physicians will never have hospital privileges. End effect – they get rid of abortions without technically breaking federal law. Nullifying federal laws by using tricks doesn’t sound exactly kosher. If the courts won’t shut these tactics down then I hope we keep really good statistics about the effects of blocking accessibility to abortion, wherever it occurs.
  2. Union busting is already gaining popularity. However, we remember the sacrifices our ancestors made to make unions possible and the important role they have played in ending bad practices in the work place. Again, if these actions against labor unions are not overturned, let’s collect data to see how this loss of power for unions will affect the pay and benefits of workers and the workplace treatment of workers. Let’s also determine how long it takes for significant changes to occur.
  3. Some states are voting to allow a broader interpretation of topics taught in schools. Ostensibly, this is meant to give student ideas more leeway in terms of creativity, but many fear that this is another of those tricky Republican strategies to wedge “Creationism” into school curricula.
  4. Voting rights are also under attack. We know Republicans have advocated passing voter ID laws in a number of states and have made voting more complex in other ways. The Voting Rights Act is being challenged in the Supreme Court right now because it is being argued that the protections offered by this law are no longer needed. If such protections are no longer needed I see no reason to challenge the law.
  5. Watch for a Republican push to change the way electoral votes are counted. Although this tricky strategy has already been exposed on TV and in the news, Republicans seem to be continuing to work quietly behind the scenes through their political support groups and PACs to accomplish their voting goals.
  6. Republicans continue to defy the tradition of separation of church and state. They argue that America is in a moral decline and that only Christian values will turn things around. It looks like the GOP would like the American government to become an evangelical Christian theocracy.

And then there is this really fringe nonsense. Get a load of this video.
 

 I do not want to become paranoid. If you watched the video you saw where that can lead. But I do want to be prepared and to keep a tennis racket handy to divert the bats. (It’s a metaphor.)

Thanks for the image, Google.

This is the view from the cheap seats.