I try to be funny here at komplexify… I really do. (Whether I succeed is another issue entirely.) However, sometimes the sheer stupidity and vitriol of the world just defies my ability to put a humorous spin on it, and then I just need to vent. Sorry.
Poe’s Law states that, in the absence of a winking smiley or similar blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone will not mistake for the real thing; such examples of misleading parodies are therefore called Poes.
I had always rather hoped that the Republican Party was one of the greatest Poes in American history, because no group who actually wanted to govern a free, democratic, nuclear superpower would ever be as criminally disconnected with reality as the anti-science, anti-education, anti-choice, anti-society millionaire-coddling buffoons they proudly market themselves to be. Just look at the kind people who the GOP actually consider(ed) as serious frontrunners for a presidential nomination in 2012:
- Michelle Bachmann, crazy-eyed homophobe who thinks one can “pray the gay away” and who signed a pledge indicating, among other things, that life was better for black kids back when they were slaves.
- Rick Perry, who as governor of Texas decided the best way to fix the statewide drought was to ignore scientists and publicly pray for 3 days, and who as presidential candidate had the cajones to make a rancidly homophobic TV spot whilst wearing Heath Ledger’s jacket from Brokeback Mountain with music scored by a gay Communist Jew.
- Rick “Rape babies are a gift from God” Santorum, a frothy mix of anti-gay and anti-choice idiocy that includes banning all abortions for all women under all circumstances… except for his wife, of course.
- Newt Gingrich, a “family values” Republican whose family values apparently include discriminating against his gay sister and preserving the sanctity of marriage by cheating on his wives (although to be fair, he did try to convince Wife #2 to an open marriage in the middle of the affair with future Wife #3).
- Mitt Romney, real-life Mr. Monopoly whose name is an anagram for “Money-r,” views corporations as are real people (and among his best friends), throws around $10000 bets on air, and who, in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, admits to not being overly concerned with, you know, the “poor people.”
I simply must conclude that the GOP is some kind of gargantuan performance art group instead of an actual political force, because if that’s really the kind of people Republicans want to represent them… well, to quote from Futurama:
Unfortunately, it seems less and less likely that the GOP will pull a reverse Insane-Clown-posse-STYLE reveal, and more and more likely that they’re just insane clowns. In fact, it appears like the Republican Party has gone past being merely certifiably insane to just plain evil. Maybe it’s because it’s an election year, and the Party is looking for attention. Maybe it’s because the President won’t let the Party beat up brown-skinned people in Iraq any more and it needs to vent its hate at a new target. Maybe its because Party members hear voices in their heads, and it’s easier to call the voice “God” than “an indicator of psychotic break.” Whatever the reason, the Party apparently decided that 2012 will be the year it redefines GOP to mean Girls? Only Property and builds a platform focused on devaluing “woman” as being worthless in all respects other than being a human embryo incubator.
More succinctly, to the GOP, a woman — your sister, your mother, your female friend — can only be a breeder or a slut. To them, my wife is either purposefully pregnant or a pervert. To them, my daughters are either human livestock or whores.
Just look at the evidence. Republicans have gone to increasingly Draconian measures to prevent pregnant women from getting abortions, on the grounds that concerns for the fetus’ life outweigh any of the concerns for the mother. This is usually camouflaged in the language of “eternal souls at conception” and “God is against abortions” — two arguments for which I find no merit — but the underlying message is clear:
- A woman is worth less than the fetus she carries.
This view was perhaps represented no better than by Republican Terry England, who defended a bill banning the abortions of already dead fetuses after 20 weeks, on the grounds that (1) he done seen pigs and cows do it and it ain’t done harmed them none and (2) he got himself a good buddy who’ll done give up cock-fightin’ if’n the wimmen would just a-killin’ their babies. (I shit you not.) The message is clear as day:
- Shut up and breed, woman.
Also: women who get abortions support the cock-fighting industry, apparently.
A further corollary is evidenced by Republican judge Lynn Hughes, who upheld the firing of Donnicia Venters, a recent mother who was caught using a breast-pump in a workplace bathroom. Hughes said the firing didn’t violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s provision against discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth” by noting that “She gave birth on Dec. 11, 2009. After that day, she was no longer pregnant and her pregnancy-related conditions ended,” along with the legally brilliant consequence that lactation and breast-feeding are therefore, in contradiction to everything you might have learned about secondary-sex characteristics, not medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. Hence:
- A woman has rights only whilst pregnant. Once she’s done, she ought to shut up and breed again.
For another example, in January, Karen Handel, the senior public policy VP for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity and former GOP gubernatorial candidate from Georgia, decided to cut all funding for Planned Parenthood’s low-income breast cancer screenings, on the grounds that PP provides abortion services. Thankfully, Komen quickly reversed their decision, whereupon Handel resigned in a burst of sulfur and brimstone, but the GOP message was clear:
- Poor women deserve to die from breast cancer in order to teach every other (surviving) woman a lesson: shut up and breed.
In February, Virginian Republicans crafted legislation requiring a woman seeking an abortion to have sonogrammed pictures taken of the fetus first… by inserting a ten-inch wand into her vagina. When it was pointed out by the rest of the civilized world that the coerced penetration was pretty much the definition of “rape,” Republicans said “well, yeah.” When it was further pointed out that this was wrong, they tucked their boners away and removed the “transvaginal” bit of the legislation. Nevertheless, the GOP message was clear:
- Women who seek an abortion deserved to get raped by the state. Just shut up and breed.
The argument given by the GOP in Virginia (and Texas and North Dakota and every other state that’s passed similar mandatory ultrasound laws) is “informed consent:” the procedure is required to ensure that the woman has access the most accurate medical information before making her decision. This was the GOP’s argument in Arizona, after all. Unfortunately, it’s clearly a bald-faced lie, since the Arizona GOP also passed a bill that allows doctors to withhold any medical information from a woman (such as irreparable birth defects or stillbirth) that might possibly slightly make her consider an abortion. So the GOP message is that women deserve complete medical information… except when they don’t; or more simply
- Don’t worry your pretty little head over “medical info.” Shut up and breed.
This also explains the hullabaloo over contraception coverage — specifically, the proviso that private health insurers are required to cover contraception for women — for which the outrage of the GOP is matched only by the Catholic Church. If the argument was only about preventing abortions, then the GOP’s argument is without merit, since female contraception has other medical benefits, such as regulating menstruation, minimizing acne, and controlling ovarian cysts, among others. If the argument was really about preventing abortions, then the GOP should be behind it, because the scientifically-proven best way not to have an abortion is not to get pregnant in the first place. But it’s not about that, they say; it’s about “religious liberties:” that employers might have to act against their conscience by not being able to dictate their employee’s sex lives. Not only does this argument have no logical merit, it deflects attention from the real reason: access to contraception by the wimmen-folk threatens the patriarchy, on which the GOP and the Church depend. Just look at the GOP commission convened to discuss female contraception and religious freedom:
Yep… all men, including a lot of Catholic priests. (Well, I guess they needed someone to represent the views of those who like to have sex with boys.) The committee declined to include Sister Carol Keehan (president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association) and Sandra Fluke (Georgetown law student and activist), both of whom were dismissed by GOP ringleader Darrell Issa as “not an appropriate witness.” He further noted that attempts to get women on the panel was a “smoke screen … to distort the conversation [and] is designed to mask the legitimacy of efforts to protect freedom of religion and conscience.” The message is clear:
- It is the role of men to decide on rights of women, as they are incapable of conscience. Shut up and breed.
Speaking of Fluke, she was eventually permitted to speak before Congress later at a Democratic Steering Committee meeting, speaking in favor of requiring employer’s insurance to cover contraception. She spoke in favor of women’s overall reproductive health, noting contraceptive use to regulate other medical issues, as well as the prohibitively high cost of these medicines coupled with efforts to defund organizations that provide them cheaply. In response, official GOP soundboard Rush Limbaugh said on his talk show that Fluke was “an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences,” before going on to conclude “What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.“ Of course, that was Rush Limbaugh, the drug-addled walking penis who was once arrested for smuggling boner pills into the US from the Dominican Republic. Having him call someone a perv is a bit like the pot fucking the kettle black. What matters is what the candidates — the actual people the GOP expect to govern us — think. Here’s a run down:
- Romney: “I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used.” So apparently, while Romney agrees with the content of Rush’s remarks, viz. that women who seek affordable contraceptive care must necessarily be sexually amoral fornicators, but that the delivery was a little flawed. Presumably good ol’ Mormom Mitt would have preferred “harlot” or “hussy” or that old-timey Bible favorite, “whore.”
- Santorum: “He’s being absurd. But that’s, you know, an entertainer can be absurd. And – and he’s taking the absurd, you know, the absurd – absurd, you know, sort of, you know, point of view here as to how – how far do you go? And, look, he’s in a very different business than I am. I’m concerned about the public policy of this president imposing his values on the people on people of faith who morally object to – to the government telling them they have to do something which they believe is a grave moral wrong.” If there is a coherent thought to be found in that Newhartian mumblefest (and I’m not entirely convinced there is), it’s that it’s absurd for Rush to call women sluts and prostitutes, because that‘s clearly the prerogative of upstanding, moral, Christian politicians.
- Gingrich: “I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the President’s apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion dollar deficit, …” In other words, Newt doesn’t disagree with Rush’s sentiments, but he can still act righteously offended at the whole affair and hope no one notices.
And there you have it from the GOP’s thoroughbred horses’ mouths:
- Shut up and breed, because if you don’t, you’re a slut or a whore.
That’s the message of the GOP in 2012: a women’s role is not to think, not to question, not be treated as a conscientious or moral or even vaguely intelligent entity, but to breed, and any woman to disagrees is an immoral tramp.
You know, GOP, I picked the wrong message for you from Futurama…
I should have instead gone with this.
For your daughters, your wives, your mothers… vote those Neanderthals out this November.
Perhaps the only silver lining to this is the clever tactic that several female Democrats have taken to highlight the GOP’s odious attempts to legislate women’s private parts. For example:
- Ohio Senator Nina Turner is proposing “informed consent” legislation for men, requiring men seeking a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and “get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency.” Sex therapists would be required to present the option of “celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”
- Illinois Representative Kelly Cassidy (D) introduced an amendment to a a mandatory ultrasound bill requiring men to watch an explicit video about the side-effects of erectile dysfunction drugs.
- Missouri Representative Stacey Newman (D) introduced a bill banning vasectomies for man except only in the case when not doing so could cause him serious injury or death.
Go sign a petition supporting these bills. Make your voice heard, and stand up for women everywhere. Do it for your mom.
Here are some other articles on the same theme, that do a better job expressing my disbelief and frustration than I do, possibly because the authors sport a pair of X chromosomes, and so the fight is all the more real to them. However, in my defense, I cussed more.
- Subject for debate: Are women people? by Jessica Winter
- 10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. is Nuts by Soraya Chemaly
- Why Patriarchal Men are Utterly Terrified of Birth Control — and Why We’ll Still be Fighting About It 100 Years From Now by Sara Robinson