(title attribution to Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler)
OK, I know it's not an oft-discussed topic here at BAD, but I have to take advantage of the Count's generosity in sharing this soapbox to simply say it very directly, during this silliest of silly seasons in US politics. What about 51% of the population (for you businesspeople, that's a controlling interest) is not understood? From which backward and unholy cesspool has this War On Women bubbled up to the surface of the GOP dialogue?
Mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds - what we used to call non-consensual, forcible penetration; or, more colloquially, "rape" - positively embraced in principle, and backed away from only minutely and at the last minute, in Virginia. The marginalizing of women's health issues in the form of a fresh assault on birth control, coupled with the utter travesty of a panel of men testifying largely to other men on the issue (and the GOP-controlled House is refusing, with blatant hypocrisy and in unprecedented style, to broadcast footage of a Democratic hearing finally giving Sandra Fluke her day at the microphone - I suppose it will be a wonder if they don't cut the electrical power entirely). It's a laughable picture tantamount to a bunch of non-driving pedestrians holding forth on matters of automobile maintenance. Continuing efforts to abrogate women's ability to control their own reproductive destinies in multiple states. The looming danger that contraception apparently represents by its mere existence, in the form that sexual intercourse might - gasp! - be engaged in just because, you know, it's enjoyable. All capped by the bizarre spectacle of an Indiana legislator refusing to commemorate the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary, for crap's sake, on the grounds that he thinks those adorable cookie-wielding Daisies and Brownies are closeted radicals intent on emasculating American manhood and unleashing the gay agenda. Because he read it on teh Innertubes, and everyone knows how completely authoritative and accurate whatever you encounter on the Internet is. (Consider the sad case of that Nigerian Prince, for instance...)
Are these candidates - Santorum in particular, who seemingly would like to return us to the 17th century and witch hunts for anybody who, you know, might think that preserving the Earth for future generations is a good idea - really going there? To points of view that marginalize the privileges of basic citizenship and human rights for more than half the population? Or, more to the point of their own self-interest, to alienate as much as half of their potential voting base?
Not only does this seem to me to be a stupid strategy overall, but creeping every day so much further and further to the most remote right-wing fringes as to be completely untenable for anybody with half a brain cell to spare.
Go re-read Margaret Atwood's depressingly prescient novel The Handmaid's Tale, everyone. And then tell me it can't happen in the US. The signage is on the roads already being trod.
In the meantime, I thank my lucky stars my daughter and I are here in Canada, where she has the right to protect her health as she sees fit; love and marry whom she wants, if she wants; and where her freedom of conscience guarantees that she need never submit to anyone else's set of beliefs and strictures. Because the way the dialogue is going down there in the lower 48, I wouldn't want her there for an instant.