samedi 22 octobre 2011

I wish someone would explain the right-wing obsession with women's reproductive systems

It's sort of like their obsession with gay sex, you know? Ask a homophobe why he hates gays so much and he'll say, "I just don't like thinking about how they have sex." Do YOU spend time thinking about how gay people have sex? I don't. I don't spend time thinking about how straight people have sex either. Do you look at a couple holding hands on the subway platform and think about them having sex? I don't. What is this obsession with other people's sex lives? It's one thing if you're writing a novel and you're writing a sex scene. But this automatic trip that the right-wing brain seems to make from the visual cue of a couple of any sort in any context, directly to their bedroom, just seems weird to me.

I can understand if you really and truly believe that abortion is the murder of a human being. I don't agree with you, because until a healthy baby can breathe on its own, it's essentially a parasite. And I don't agree with you because I don't believe there is ever a time when a woman should be regarded as nothing but a vessel, an incubator, a mindless, unfeeling, unimportant housing for a life form deemed by religious or government fiat to be more important than she is. But at least I can understand where you're coming from. But it rarely seems to be that simple, because all too often, such sentiments are accompanied by the Rhetoric of Punishment: "She went and got herself pregnant" (which is my personal favorite). "She made her bed, let her lie in it." "She shoulda kept her legs closed." For all that we live in a nation soaked with pornography, often viewed furtively by the very same people who decry the sex lives of others; there's still this strange obsession on the right with the ladyparts of women.

For decades I've been saying that once they get Roe v. Wade overturned, they're going to go for Griswold v. Connecticut. But the fetophiles (or vagophobes, if you prefer) have realized that you don't need the Supreme Court to take us back to a time when evil sluts got their just punishment in the form of the "sacred life-affirming gift" of unwanted pregnancy. With a number of states, most recently Mississippi, trying to enact laws that would declare a fertilized egg to be a person, with all rights thereof, the forms of birth control most women use would become illegal.

Thoee ignorant of the basic processes of how pregnancy occurs tend to be aquishy about what "conception" means, and toss it around to mean a variety of things. In medical terms, a pregnancy does not take place until a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. So "implantation" would seem to be a more medically correct definition under right-wing dogma of when human life begins. But sometimes the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube, and an ectopic pregnancy results, which must be removed. The NIH is unequivocal about this: "Ectopic pregnancies cannot continue to birth." Ectopic pregnancy creates a serious conundrum for those who consider themselves to be "pro-life", because as soon as you allow for removal, you've created a loophole in the absolutist view that there are NO EXCEPTIONS.

the other night, Rachel Maddow explained the basics of How Pregnancy Happens, and what it means for contraception, for those who forgot sixth grade health class:

Mitt Romney, who's a bit squishy himself on just about everything, thought he could just say "Life begins at conception" and be done with it. But those who want to declare a fertilized egg to be the same as a person know exactly what they're doing, and just like those like Mitt Romney, who want to remain a bit squishy on the matter, they aren't thinking of the implications. The first implication is that ALL methods of contraception, other than condoms and diaphragms, become by definition illegal, since all others have at least some hormonal action, and to one degree or another prevent implantation.

In 2010, the Guttmacher Institute cited a figure of 89% as the percentage of women using birth control in this country. That's just about nine in ten women who do not wish to become pregnant at any given time who use birth control. Some of them are even pro-life. Others would probably never have an abortion if they became pregnant, even if they're pro-choice. ALL of them use birth control because they don't want abortion to even be an issue for them.

But the fear and loathing of women and their sexuality becomes evident and manifest the minute you bring birth control into the equation, and there's no better example of this than Mr. Frothy himself, Rick Santorum. Here's a video (via ThinkProgress) in which Santorum talks about the "dangers of birth control" and says:
“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country,” the former Pennsylvania senator explained. “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be”:

SANTORUM: [Sex] is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen…This is special and it needs to be seen as special.

And Rick Santorum thinks it's HIS job to MANDATE that you think of sex exactly the way he does, and practice accordingly. But I wonder if his view extends to men also, or just to women. Stephen over at Addicting Info wonders too:
But here’s a question I’d like to ask the former senator. If sex is just for procreation, does that mean Santorum has only had sex eight times in his life? That’s not exactly a healthy sexual relationship with the woman he’s married to. Perhaps they secretly use contraceptives? Some may think these questions are an invasion of Santorum’s privacy. But as long as Santorum continues to violate the private sex lives of millions of women and men across the country, we have the right to ask questions about his own. Fair is fair, right Rick?

And I would also ask if he demands that men think of sex as only for procreation too. Does he think men should be prepared to provide financial support for the children they help to conceive? Or does he too blame women who "got themselves pregnant"?

UPDATE: If Jim DeMint has his way, this post will become illegal as well.

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