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Mar 18 2012

RCimT: The Ongoing War on Women

I have a few links in my tabs about the ongoing war on women that need highlighting, but I honestly don’t have a lot of time to give each of them the thorough treatment they deserve, so I figure I’ll do up a link roundup instead and revisit later. Or possibly in comments, if this post sparks conversation.

Ophelia’s got a post up wherein Bill Maher defends his having called Sarah Palin a cunt — but he’s totally not sexist. There are other examples of liberals acting like Rush Limbaugh, including Keith Olbermann. None of it’s okay. Sexism isn’t entirely the domain of the right, but at the very least, when we encounter members of our political stripe acting this way, we should damn well tell them to stop. I was honestly surprised there was so much pushback about my post last week calling Maher a “fucking idiot” over his repeated and constant sexism, but now I fully expect someone will chime in on the comments to tell me that Palin really is a cunt so it’s all okay.

Virginia Senator Ryan McDougle has supported adding one more shaming hoop for women to jump through before they’re allowed to get abortions — in this case, being forced to endure a transvaginal ultrasound. That’s when they stick an ultrasound wand in your vagina to get an image of your internal organs and uterus. Since he’s evidently so interested in finding out what’s going on in women’s vaginas, women have taken to leaving him updates on the status of their vaginas on his Facebook page. Reminds me of the Tell Vic Everything meme in Canada, shaming Vic Toews for his proposed laws allowing the government warrantless access to your internet history and all identifying information. These memes are evidently effective, though we’re losing fight after fight here in Canada because of Harper’s majority government.

The Catholics are getting heavily involved in this war, I expect because they see it as a good way to advance their generally anti-women views. Bishops are ordering Catholic hospitals to let women die if abortions might save their lives, because it’s far less sinful to let the stillborn fetus kill the mother than to dare to try to save her life. And the Church, recognizing that they’re generally on the wrong side of every single medical issue to do with women, have rebutted by saying “nuh-uh”. No, seriously, they’re claiming to be the staunchest supporters of women’s health care despite being anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-sexual-health, anti-STD-vaccine, et cetera… because they help provide water in impoverished nations, which frees women from their water-carrying duties. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

And frequent FtB commenter WilloNyx chronicled two days worth of fighting on Twitter between a so-called nice guy, and all the women he offended when he repeatedly trolled the #ididnotreport hashtag to tell women that they were right not to report their rapes because none of them were raped. He told women that because they were dating, they weren’t raped; because both parties were intoxicated, they weren’t raped; because the guy was intoxicated but the girl not, she wasn’t raped (because she wasn’t “mistreated”. Empathizing with the man in a situation where the woman was obviously raped encourages rape culture, and yet this guy — who admitted he took advantage of “several” drunk women and lives in fear of being accused of rape — has the temerity to call himself a “nice guy”. Words fail.

I’m sure there’s tons more that merits discussion. Feel free to post a link or two (but not three — Akismet will mark it as spam) in the comments.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    Jason: …because it’s far less sinful to let the stillborn fetus kill the mother than to dare to try to save her life.

    It does seem to lay bare the degenerate attitudes of the RC (and the US Right wing). What they are really saying in that case is that a woman is only worth something because of her reproductive abilities. If she can’t even reproduce adequately then her life is pretty much worthless so, yeah, we might as well have her die.

  2. 2
    Pat Jordan

    That’s funny… I always thought Bill Maher was a fucking idiot cunt… guess he’s the pot calling the kettle black. So much for people in glass houses not throwing rocks. As far as the Catholic church telling the people what to do… it ought to be like religion/state separation, health/religion … the abortion thing is a moral dilemma, but life or death? It’s a no brainer.
    BTW…. Sara Palin is kind of an idiot, eh? How’d you like her running Canada? Yeah, thought so….
    Besides..the war on women will never end, it’s just the little brain trying to make up for our much larger and in charge brain. Although, if a woman is smart (and not all are) she does not let him see it, thus putting an end to the entire argument. Don’t need balls to be the better person.

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    It’s hard just to keep up, isn’t it. I haven’t even gotten to #ididnotreport yet.

  4. 4
    Jason Thibeault

    No Pat, it’s also unacceptable for you to call people cunts, regardless of your intent to use it in the UK way, because it has a totally different meaning here.

  5. 5
    Jason Thibeault

    Especially considering you’re posting from an AT&T subnet.

  6. 6
    psocoptera

    Most of this isn’t that new, but the part that bothers me, in US politics, is an idea that even my liberal democrat senators buy into. Apparently the first amendment rights of employers to practice their religion outweighs the rights of employees to make their own health care decisions. It would seem the personhood extended to corporations for the purpose of free speech (another disturbing concept), also applies in the case of religion. I wasn’t personally aware that my employers had rights that could be violated by preventative care related to my personal sexual practices, but there you go.

  7. 7
    VeritasKnight

    @Chiroptera

    A wonderfully sad evaluation of the attitude of the right wing assholes.

  8. 8
    Reginald Selkirk

    Get a load of this:
    Arizona Bill Could Require Reason for Birth Control

    PHOENIX (AP) – Women in Arizona trying to get reimbursed for birth control drugs through their employer-provided health plan could be required to prove that they are taking it for a medical reason such as acne, rather than to prevent pregnancy.
    A bill nearing passage in the Republican-led Legislature allows all employers, not just religious institutions, to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage when doing so would violate their religious or moral beliefs…

    Hat tip Daylight Atheism

  9. 9
    Pat Jordan

    You know Jason, you are right. That particular term is too good for Maher… he’s just an idiot. I avoid his show like the plague. And then too, why would I saddle any female term to him… it’s a disservice to the gender.
    Apology offered.

  10. 10
    llewelly

    Apparently the first amendment rights of employers to practice their religion outweighs the rights of employees to make their own health care decisions.

    Because, we are told, the employers “pay” for said health care. It is not as if the employees are actually fucking working for said health care, is it now!

  11. 11
    embertine

    Can we stop with the “it’s OK to use the word cunt in the UK” thing? This is complete bollocks. I am from the UK, have just done a straw poll of the 30 or so people in my office who are of different genders, races and backgrounds, and absolutely none of us think it’s an acceptable word to use.

    I work on building sites and you do occasionally hear people use it, but they frequently get told off for it. It is used for both men and women here, but anyone who says it’s a normal word in the UK and has no sexist undertones is talking total codswallop and I’m fed up of these MRA shits speaking for me and for my country.

    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

  12. 12
    scott

    #1, #7- It goes back much further than that:
    “Even though they grow weary and wear themselves out with child- bearing, it does not matter; let them go on bearing children till they die, that is what they are there for.” – Martin Luther

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Jason Thibeault

    Jebus! “Cows and pigs have to carry stillborn fetuses to term, therefore so shall you”? SERIOUSLY!?

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