You Haven't Come as Far as You Think
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
(Update: From reader BushSucks21: "Hello mike. Good work. One little item however. The story of granting personhood to sperm was a protest bill related to the assault on women of late. I think the woman who proposed it was doing so to make a point that it is the women who are being attacked and not the men of course. Similarly a bill was presented that would have required men to get a rectal exam and EKG before being allowed a prescription for ED relief."
He is indeed correct. The Wilmington resolution was an indeed an attempt at parody and this writer stepped on his own dick again. However, at the very least, the resolution still underscores a recognizance of the right wing war on women. - MF)
There are many things about the ambulatory Big Top of the latter day Republican Party that make people who don't think NASCAR a legitimate sport nor bet on professional wrestling matches scratch their heads. They seem to go out of their way to harm and/or alienate people of color, the bottom 50%, the LGBT community, seniors and just about anyone else that doesn't fit their narrow definition of what is unassailably right and proper: White, non-gay, late middle aged WASPs.
But the most inexplicable is their eager willingness to alienate what is indisputably the largest voting bloc ever: Females. And what we saw this past month from the right wing and its foot soldiers was indisputably the most coordinated, allout attack on the fair sex since the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
And there are plenty of Cotton Mathers to go around. As a warm-up act, I give you Ross Shimabuku of San Diego's Fox 5 who essentially called Danica Patrick a "bitch" as a response to her complaining about sexism. I'd like to see how Ross would like being called a "Nip" or "Jap" by someone responding to Asian complaints of racism.
Moving up the ladder, we get to what is by far the most hated piece of legislation of 2012, the Blunt Amendment that, simply defined, would've allowed employers to deny birth control coverage based on "moral" grounds. Luckily, the Blunt Amendment authored by good ole Sen. Roy failed in the Senate on Thursday but by an uncomfortably close margin. In fact, the Blunt amendment crashed and burned along, predictably, party lines, with the outgoing Olympia Snowe (R-ME) the only Republican Senator to vote against it.
And this helps to delineate a lot of self-loathing on the part of Republican women on a municipal, state and federal level. Says Howie Klein of the criminally ignored Down With Tyranny:
Blunt's Amendment was meant to deny women access to contraceptives. There are 10 Democratic women and 5 Republican women in the Senate. All the Democratic women (plus one Republican, Maine's Olympia Snowe, who just announced she's retiring) voted against it. But all the other Republican women-- Kelly Ayotte (NH), Susan Collins (ME) Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) and Lisa Murkowski (AK)-- voted with the right-wing boys-- including shameful Democrats Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin and Bob Casey.
Four out of five Republican women agree the nakedly misogynist Blunt amendment was worth voting for (although Maine's other Senator, Susan Collins, has said she voted for it reluctantly, hoping for the scope of the Blunt Amendment to be narrowed with time. Right, Senator Collins, that'll happen when James Sensenbrenner wins a gold medal for figure skating.).
Of course, anyone with a smear of gray matter inside their skull knows the Blunt Amendment was a three-pronged attack using religion as a legislative fig leaf: First off, it's an attack on some of the provisions for Obama's health care plan, which could theoretically allow employers to deny coverage to those afflicted with HIV/AIDS and other maladies currently treated by mandate by the President's hated health care law.
Secondly, religion certainly plays a part in it, although more secular Republican lawmakers privately wipe their fat asses with that fig leaf. They know damned good and well it isn't about religion but are ossified enough upstairs to still think religion is a, well, sacred cow that will not be slaughtered by the equally secular Others (that would be women and liberals).
Thirdly, we get to what is the most hotly contested facet of the Blunt Amendment, which is the naked misogynistic streak and the focus being not on birth control in general but female birth control. And old Republican women, being Republicans first and women second (or, in many cases, last), no doubt privately gnash their yellowing teeth and wish they weren't so damned self-loathing. Not to mention it reveals a latent hypocrisy in their hidebound Republican, anti-feminist ideology: Were it not for the suffragettes that came long before them and were it not for equal rights won for them by their peers and forebears in the 60's and 70's, they never would've been elevated to the rarified heights they have by their voters.
And the craziness on the part of Republican women isn't confined to just the august halls of the US Senate. Witness what happened in the City Council in Wilmington, Delaware. On Thursday, as the Blunt Amendment was slowly doing the Hindenberg thing, the Council passed a measure that made sperm cells on a par with fully-developed human beings. The author of the bill, a plainly disturbed cat lady-in-waiting named Loretta Walsh, apparently forgot a basic rule of biology: That mitosis, or the subdivision of a fertilized egg, cannot take place without some help from the woman and her ovaries. The rest of us know that sperm cells are merely blind and brainless bundles of DNA during their usually futile motility. Essentially, Walsh's resolution would make jerking off a crime.
To paraphrase Andrew Jackson, "Now let's see them enforce it."
Then we come to the height of Republican misogynism this week, Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his Bain Capital-owned radio show. Fluke got national attention just before this to protest to Congress right wing attacks by limiting women's access to birth control.
Not content with slandering her character, Limbaugh then inched his bloated carcass further out on a limb and said that people like Fluke should, in exchange for us paying for their contraceptives, make pornos and post them online.
Now, let's all do ourselves a favor and try not to conjure up images of El Rushbo of the Dominican after a hard day sitting on his fat ass spitting at liberals and dark people into his gold-plated microphone and relaxing by sitting on his fat ass some more, his Bermuda shorts wrinkled at his ankles, blue polo shirt rolled up to his man tits to avoid the presumed onslaught of his watery spunk. Let's try not to imagine him sitting before a monitor, his browser turned to some college porn site as he kneads the penis he hasn't seen since Ron Jeremy could wear a 36 waist, muttering, "Make me pay for your birth control, huh, you liberal slut? Godamnit, do I have to pop these little blue fuckers like beer nuts!? C'mon, little Rusty, on your feet, soldier!"
No, no, let's not do that. Instead, let's concentrate on this being all of a piece, that virtually all these examples of misogynism out of many just happened to all take place last Thursday as if on cue and coordinated through some right wing newsletter extruded through Karl Rove's overworked fax machine.
Whether or not you wish to believe this was all carefully coordinated with the care of a D-Day, one thing is clear: In Republican circles, woman have not advanced one inch since the 19th century and the white Republican males have conned their women into believing they hadn't. And this week, they served notice on Capitol Hill, small City Council halls and in the media of who they think should still be in charge and dictating health care and birth control to women.
This is essentially why the right wing hated Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and especially Elizabeth Warren. Warren represents the biggest threat because, unlike Sotomayor and Kagan during their confirmation hearings, Warren could afford to state an avowed agenda: to protect the American people from the vultures of Wall Street. She stands to be an even bigger threat as our next junior Senator from Massachusetts. She's a woman who knows how to defend not only herself but others, as well.
The brouhaha at the Susan G. Komen Foundation and its own inner circle of self-loathing, female right wing ideologues was mere prelude last month of the misogynistic madness to come. The Old Boy Network is more like a treehouse club where "Girls Not Allowed" is scrawled on a sign on the rickety door, still pretending as if it's still the 19th century, a time when women were seen pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen but never heard except during the agony of childbirth.