Tennessee rethugs have come up with a new way to shame and oppress women, forcibly reminding all women that their only function in life is to be a silent vessel for babies.
Last week, the Republican-controlled Tennessee state Senate passed a bill to erect the “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children, In Memory of the Victims of Abortion: Babies, Women, and Men” on the capitol grounds, near memorials to victims of slavery and the Holocaust. A similar bill has passed the state house, and it’s likely that the state’s Republican governor, Bill Haslam, will sign this legislation into law.
“Both of these monuments that are already here recognize that atrocities occurred because human beings were treated as less than human,” state Rep. Bill Dunn (R) said in March. “In both cases, the vulnerable and defenseless were subjected to the will of the powerful.”
“The taking of the life of a baby in the womb is related to this brand of inhumanity,” Dunn added.
It’s critical to understand that the intended “memorial” does not memorialize any actual people. Babies are not harmed by abortion, because babies only exist after a pregnancy is completed. Men are not victimized by abortion, because men do not have any rights over women’s bodies that can be violated. And women are not victims of abortion either, since it’s a process they choose for themselves and one that research suggests is generally the right decision for those who make it.
Tennessee Republicans are doing more than insulting women. They’re minimizing the seriousness of slavery and the Holocaust by suggesting that the millions of real victims of these atrocities are no more important than the imaginary victims of abortion.
The timing of this memorial to fake victims is noteworthy. This is all happening during an ongoing war over memorials to the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan, which Tennessee progressives have been trying to take down and Tennessee Republicans are trying to preserve.
There isn’t the least bit of subtlety in this latest move to stomp women back into their “proper place”. It’s disgusting and beyond wrong, and this is what conservatives, especially christian conservatives have come to, a complete caricature of lunatics running the asylum. In the year 2018, women are still viewed and treated as property, public and private, as well as mental simpletons who couldn’t possibly make decisions for themselves. This is the viewpoint of the regressive lunkheads in Tennessee, who will use any means to make sure women know they are property, and that it’s best left to men to decide what’s best for any given woman.
Amanda Marcotte at Salon has the full story.