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Furthermore! – The War on Women

February 20, 2012

Furthermore

Furthermore! – The War on Women

I was trying to work when all of a sudden a number of pieces seemed to click into place for me about the GOP’s war on women. A number of seemingly disparate things came together in a way I don’t like. This isn’t just about pro-life and contraception and religious freedom.

For starters, three New Hampshire bills would have weakened their domestic violence laws (if a cop doesn’t see it, it didn’t happen) and not a single Republican voted to renew the Violence Against Women Act in committee. Several states will vote on ‘Personhood Amendments’ that would declare every fertilized ova a viable life, and could create criminal sanctions against hormonal birth control, the morning after pill, and miscarriages. And we’ve all read about the contraception debate, which Republicans insist so strongly is about ‘religious freedom’ that they decided a woman was not qualified to testify.

So I was wandering around thinking, “Men have gone crazy. Do they really want wives and partners who will tell them, “No sex, I don’t want to get pregnant?” I doubt they want to hear that, but that’s what all these things could result in.

And then it clicked with the domestic violence law changes. Conservative men seemingly want total control over women. If the wife or girlfriend denies them sex, guess what? They get to beat her into submission or force her. That may sound extreme, but the Virginia legislature just passed a bill that requires doctors to perform transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, regardless of medical need or the woman’s consent. Many in the media accurately described that as “state-sponsored rape,” concerns one Virginia legislator dismissed by saying women consented to being “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.”

Is it really too bizarre to suggest that such men would defend marital rape as well?

Don’t be surprised if child support is next on the agenda. A Missouri bill last year would have ended child support in joint custody cases. The conservative Family Research Council gave Illinois congressman Joe Walsh a 100% “true blue” rating for his “unwavering support of the family.” I guess they mean the idea of the family, because Rep. Walsh refuses to support his own. During the debate on Oklahoma’s ‘Personhood Amendment,’ state senator Jim Wilson (D) offered an amendment that would require the father to pay for the would-be mother’s health care, housing, transportation and nourishment while she is pregnant. That Oklahoma Senate rejected that amendment.

All in all, the Republican Party seems to be about allowing women to be beaten, forcing women to get pregnant, forcing women to stay pregnant or suffer a medical rape, and forcing women to pay the costs of pregnancy and raising the children. They lay all of that on the altar of ‘religious freedom,’ a topic they say women are not qualified to discuss.

That sounds like the very deep end of a crazy line of thought. But it’s the only way I can put this outburst of craziness together. Please, tell me I’m wrong.

  • NCrissieB

    Ten years ago, five years ago … even two years ago … I would have thought “war on women” was hyperbole. Not anymore. When you survey the range of Republican-backed bills and laws over the past 18 months, it’s harder to argue that each policy should must looked at in isolation, on specific wonky merits. When the Oklahoma Senate passed a ‘Personhood’ bill that would ban the most common forms of birth control – yet rejected an amendment that would require the father to support the mother during pregnancy – there’s no denying this is an all-out War on Women.

    • winterbanyan

      Sadly, even having thought about this more than once over the last few days, I’ve had to conclude that this is no coincidence. Pass the tinfoil hat, maybe, but I really think this is a concerted effort against women’s rights, women’s personhood, and women’s safety.

  • MKSinSA

    Pretty sad. Even some Republican women instinctively retch at what’s happening to their party. It certainly cannot help that a serial philanderer was at one point leading the pack. The GOP’s rallying call has been mistakenly called the “Anyone But Mitt.” More correctly, it’s become the Old White Guy’s “Anyone but the Black Guy” party. Good luck with that.

    Hey, y’all!

    • winterbanyan

      MKS!!! How good to see you again. :D Was hoping everything was okay with you.

      Unfortunately, I agree with your description of the party. Anybody but the Black Guy indeed. I’m one of those who often wants to retch.

    • NCrissieB

      Welcome back, MKS. Nice to see you again … and where’d you go? ;-)

    • Lake Toba

      Hey MK, good to see you again!

  • Jim W

    It is an all out war on the administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience. There is no Conscience clause in Virginia’s transvaginal ultrasound law. I call this an all out war on freedom of religion and conscience.

    • winterbanyan

      You’re right about that, Jim. No disagreement from me. But when you add the attempt to remove protections against domestic violence, it becomes something else that can’t be justified by freedom of religion or conscience. Basically they want to return women to the classification of “chattel.”

  • addisnana

    You’re not wrong! Or at least we are both wrong as I agree with everything you wrote. Once the economy started to improve in spite of Republican obstructionism, all they were left with to fire up their base was the culture wars. I hope all this whacko crap will cost them some women’s votes. For the women who say they’d never dare to take away contraception I say, “Think again, sister. Of course they would.”

  • NCrissieB

    Just in case you needed more evidence, a bill being debated in Arizona would give the man who impregnated a woman or, if the girl is an unmarried minor, her father … a right to sue to block her from receiving an abortion.

    • winterbanyan

      I guess that’s the next salvo in this battle. It’s the freaking Taliban.

  • winterbanyan

    I also find myself wondering if these male legislators have ever looked into the dangers of a transvaginal ultrasound to an early-term pregnancy. An abdominal ultrasound is safe, but a transvaginal one can precipitate a miscarriage. Then what?

    Clearly a true concern for a baby is not at the root here. No, this is about humiliating women.

  • Lake Toba

    It makes me wonder whether this segment of the GOP are control freaks, and they are so terrified that they are losing control of the country, that they’ve turned on women as an outlet for their frustration and panic…

    • addisnana

      Today the war on women, tomorrow the war on LGBT, then the war on the poor, then the war on people of color, then the war on immigrants, then the war on the elderly, then the war on the sick….. As long as we realize it is war on all of us and stick together in support of one another we’ll be fine. We’ll be even finer if we all vote!