This is cross-posted at DailyKos.
A WAY WITH WORDS (AND THOUGHTS)
They WON! Rand Paul Version
One of the first things that an English teacher tries to get her students to do when analyzing literature is to have her students understand that characters are not versions of themselves nor are they people to be judged against their/their parent’s moral base so that they can expand their understanding of the world. But, I guess, ophthalmologists don’t need to see into the heart the way, say, a cardiologist would. Thanks to Atticus, in To Kill a Mockingbird, for stating it so eloquently; “‘First of all,’ he said, ‘if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’”
And now Rand Paul on The War on Women: “This whole sort of war on women thing, I’m scratching my head because if there was a war on women, I think they won,” the Tea Party Republican told Meet the Press, according to Think Progress. “You know, the women in my family are incredibly successful. I have a niece at Cornell vet school, and 85% of the young people there are women. Law school, 60% are women. In med school, 55%. My younger sister is an OB-GYN with six kids and doing great. I don’t see so much that women are downtrodden. I see women rising up and doing great things. In fact, I worry about our young men sometimes because I think the women are outcompeting the men in our world [...] The women in my family are doing great. That’s what I see in all the statistics coming out. I have, you know, young women in my office that are the leading intellectual lights of our office. So I don’t really see this, that there’s some sort of war on women that’s, you know, keeping women down.”
So there it is, a man who is supposed to represent the men and women of Kentucky, and the men and women of the United States is so insightful (or was that insular?) that he can base all his understanding on those supposedly downtrodden by looking at the wonderfully accomplished women in his family who, surely, had a hell of a time making ends meet and dealing with the snowball of racism. Yup. Rand knows.
But he has more insights, this man who sees so very deeply, in the same interview he “suggested that President Bill Clinton was responsible for the “war on women” because he had an affair with an intern while he was in office during the 1990s.” Thankfully, I can’t really understand this for anything other than grabbing for words that can fill airtime and approximate thought, and to do a “I’m rubber, you’re glue, everything I say sticks to you” kind of deflection. You would think that a man who seems concerned about men violating women would surely have voted for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013. Alas, he didn’t.
LIBIDO! LIBIDO! LIBIDO! Send them back to the kitchen. Huckabee Mumbles
I don’t think that we should forget Mr. Huckabee’s quote too quickly because he has now become the momentary Republican frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nominee and he has, apparently, made lots of money by being insulting, paternalistic, and downright thoughtfree—and proud of it. One more time:
"If the Democrats want to insult women by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it," he said. "Let us take this discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be."
Apparently the ladies in red think that this makes sense.
“Wednesday's poll indicated that Republican women weren't bothered by what he said either. With 16 percent support, Huckabee was the top choice among female GOP voters.”
I’m trying to think about when my libido controlled my reproductive system, but I can’t. Oh, I don’t have sex. But wait, even when I did, did having a contraceptive control it? I don’t get it. Maybe I should consult Todd Akins’ Guide to Lady Parts. I really wish these women would reach into the intuition that we ladies are supposed to have and vote with it, and not the act-then-ask response that gentlemen are known for.
It is upsetting to learn that he is making money from being an old-school chauvinist who doesn’t even pretend that we are living in the 21st century. I guess us ladies really have won the War on Women and are retreating to the bedroom and kitchen, just like we should.
WANTING TO BABYMAKE AND NOT WANTING TO
Surrogacy is Demeaning?
And here I thought that the ability and desire to bring a baby into the world was supposed to be a beautiful thing. Turns out if your parts don’t work right, you should be punished some more, nevermind scientific advances.
This craziness didn’t pass, but the thing about these crazy ideas, they tend to be tried repeatedly until they manage to slip it in. And now, for the latest creativity in monitoring lady parts, oh so publicly, from the forward-thinking state of Kansas: “On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, state senator Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook introduced a bill that would ban surrogacy in the state and had two women get sonograms in front of her fellow legislators.”
The quote of the moment: “Surrogacy undermines the dignity of women, children and human reproduction,” said Jennifer Lahl, a pediatric nurse who is now president of the California-based Center for Bioethics and Culture. “Consider deeply what is at stake for the dignity of women and what is in truly the best interest of the children.”
I’m sorry. I just don’t get what world these people live in. Is this somehow tied to their perception that only good women get pregnant naturally and that no good could possibly come from a child not raised by biological parents. These throwbacks should not be able to so hypocritally call their institutions names such as “Bioethics and Culture” when they don’t understand ethics and they ain’t got no culture.
Drip Drip Drip Theory of Attempting to Pass Anti-Abortion Laws Pours Forth
Updates from Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, South Dakota, North Carolina, and the politics of how anti-abortion you need to be to win office in Wisconsin and Georgia. Just consider this a list of states women of childbearing age might not want to live in. And beating back the drumbeat, Colorado has again defeated a personhood bill that would outlaw all abortions. As my daughter (who is in college in Colorado) said to me a few years ago in her lovely naiveté, “If they don’t want an abortion, they shouldn’t get one.” Ah, if sense and being in someone else’s shoes had a chance to make inroads into these people’s “moral” compass.
And the Big Boys: HR7 ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion’ Bill Passed
Setting priorities (this was voted on Tuesday): “With action yet to be taken on the long-delayed passage of an agriculture bill or the restoration of emergency unemployment insurance benefits to the 1.3 million out-of-work Americans who lost that lifeline in December, the Republican majority on the House Committee on Rules set the stage on Monday for a Tuesday floor vote on HR 7, a sweeping anti-choice bill packaged—deceptively, say opponents—as a piece of taxpayer-protection legislation.”
In her testimony on Monday, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, asserted that HR 7 is “an obvious step toward banning private health insurance coverage of key women’s health benefits.”
“But, said DeGette and other members of Congress—all Democrats—who testified against the bill, HR 7 goes much further than the Hyde Amendment, by prohibiting anyone who qualifies for a tax credit for purchase of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act from purchasing a plan that covers abortion without forfeiting the subsidy.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) “More than six times in this committee I’ve related that when I was in college, three women had botched abortions, and one with a coat hanger. And those deaths of those three college students that I went to school with sear in my memory every time we bring this subject up.” Who’s protecting the sanctity of life?
REALLY? A Picture to Prove that there Is a War on Women
Picture in words: Four White Men in Suits
“Even Fox News host Bret Baier had to admit that choosing four guys to discuss the "war on women" was "not the best booking of this panel."
If you can’t even think of inviting a woman to talk about women, we definitely have a problem. It’s beyond policies that discriminate against women, and it’s beyond the confusing workings of our lady parts and libido, this is about women being discounted and a nasty push to put us back in the kitchen and bedroom. Admittedly, some of us like those two places, but we also think that being in the boardroom and briefing room could add flair to dishes that are served.
So What’s on the President’s Mind: Excerpt from SOTU Address about Women
“You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment.
“Women deserve equal pay for equal work.
“You know, she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a "Mad Men" episode. This year let's all come together, Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds.
“Now, women hold a majority of lower-wage jobs, but they're not the only ones stifled by stagnant wages. Americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don't resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success. That's what America's all about. But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”
I want to hear about opportunities for more women to be visible in their bright suits in the statehouses across the country, and universities, and corporations, and with produced screenplays, and scripts, and directing movies and plays, and with published books, and in interviewers and interviewees seats. I want all the girls in this country to have the opportunities that the president’s daughters will have.
WE MADE IT: GOOD NEWS
Time to Move Back to New York City?
“Now, gender equity in the workplace is one step closer in New York City, as a law has gone into effect that prevents companies from refusing to make accommodations for pregnant workers or workers who have recently given birth. Unless an employer can prove an “undue hardship” by making physical allowances for pregnant or recently pregnant employees, any refusal to make accommodations can leave that employer open to charges of discrimination, just as they would be for discriminating against any employee with a short term or permanent disability.”
“New York City joins the New Jersey, where Republican Governor Chris Christie has signed a similar bill into law, and Maryland, where the act went into effect in October. A federal version hasn’t been passed due to opposition from Republican members of the House, but 90 percent of voters polled have said they would be in favor of a such a bill.”
About Time Initiative: Trying to Protect College Women
My daughter said that her friends in colleges in Virginia, especially the esteemed University of Virginia, felt oppressed by the overwhelming feeling of the potential of sexual violence on their campuses within their first weeks of school.
“Obama planned to sign a presidential memorandum Wednesday creating a task force to protect students from sexual assault, with a new White House report declaring that no one in America is more at risk of being raped or assaulted than college women. The report, "Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action," says that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted at college but that only 12 percent of student victims report the assault.”
It’s the drinking and it’s freedom from parental constraints. But isn’t it ultimately about “boys will be boys”? Let’s hope this initiative will prevent some young women from being haunted throughout their lives from the memory of a college rape.
A Very Sad Moment of Sanity
“A Texas hospital removed a pregnant brain-dead woman from life support on Sunday in line with a court order obtained by her husband who argued the fetus she was carrying was withering inside her lifeless body, the family's lawyers said.”
I hope that the sanity continues to the hospital bill: stick it to the hospital and stick it to the legislature that passed this horrific law.
May Marlise Munoz rest in peace, and may her family recover from this horrific violation of the sanctity of life and family.