Where are the Women?

Last night I dreamed I was back in the 1950s…

WHEW! What a dream!

First, I had that nightmare that a Congressional panel of men held hearings on the advisability of allowing birth control pills and contraceptive sponges to be available to millions of American women who might need them. In this dream, women were not even allowed to testify!

Congressional Committee of Wise Men

Instead, a Catholic bishop, a professor and three other men were questioned on reproductive rights, although what they know would know about female sexuality is beyond me. Especially the professor.

And then, when a female Georgetown law student who works with other young women on these issue asked to testify as to the importance of health care coverage of contraceptive pills, she was told she was not “qualified” to do so. I know this all sounds CRAZY but that’s what dreams are like sometimes, just plain whacky.

Not “Qualified" to Testify

And then, right before I woke up, the dream took the strangest turn of all. I fast-forwarded and suddenly I was watching an interview between MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and some old crinkled up white guy. He was holding a big bag of cash and wearing a “VOTE FOR SANTORUM” button on his lapel.

Anyhoo, Andrea asked about his Santorum’s views on some of the big issues of the week and he offered this clever and cost-effective way women could prevent pregnancy:

(Says men should put their Viagra where?!)

You know: I’m being flip here because I’d cry otherwise. How have things come to this point that we are even discussing the necessity or advisability of contraception? That a Congressional oversight committee of 5 men have the gall to call 8 other men as experts in the area of women’s health?

The week also included a proposed law in Virginia, the land of Jefferson, that would require women who seek to have abortions to have state-ordered endoscopic vaginal exams. STATE-ORDERED. Men, imagine having state-ordered socket wrenches examine your rectums and you can begin to understand what the scopes feel like and how intrusive they are.

ENOUGH. Time to support Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, the Democratic party, any group, whomever YOU judge them to be, that you believe can be a strong advocate in fighting back this right-wing christian conservative campaign.

It’s my life. And, it’s yours.

58 thoughts on “Where are the Women?

  1. Jeremy Powers says:

    Unfortunately, progress is not a straight line. Never has been. Probably never will.

    Actually, as a progressive, I hope Santorum is the Republican nominee. I’ll bet female voting levels will be around 33 percent.

    1. Ellen Mrja says:

      I’m sending his campaign office a bottle of aspirin only because I don’t know where Friess’ manse is. But doesn’t it make you weary, Jeremy. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Ellen Mrja says:

    Interesting but I’ve never really thought Michele had her finger on the pulse of reality. The chair of the committee above is Rep. Darrel Issa. His phone is (202) 225-3906 and tweet handle is @DarrellIssa. Please flood his office with calls.

    There is no way all of this taken together can be seen as anything other than a right-wing war on women. A new proposal in Iowa would make “feticide (a new word is born?) a Class A felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000. Woe be to the woman who falls down a flight of stairs.

    Oh, by the way, the author of this bill is the freshman Tea Party representative, Kim Pearson. A woman. http://bit.ly/wuC3v3

  3. And we learned this weekend from Doctor/Professor/Bishop Santorum that prenatal care is just a path to abortion and therefore should not be available to women. I’m sure the pediatric community will completely endorse that point of view.

    1. Newt says:

      In India and China, prenatal screenings are resulting in so many abortions of female fetuses that only 1 in 5 live births are girls.

      Clearly the “feminist” women here have no objections to this trend.

      Freedom to choose means freedom to effectively marginalize if not eliminate women in these countries.

      This is a good thing. Right? Right ladies?

      1. PM says:

        Newt, now you are being simple minded. this is an old problem, that long predated the invention of sonograms and abortions, etc. back then, it was female infanticide, which is at least as problematic as abortion.

        the problem has nothing to do with which particular technology is used to kill either female fetuses or female infants, but rather with the cultural mores that devalue women in general.

        Which just happens to be the point of Ellen’s post here, which you seem remarkably obtuse to.

      2. Oh, right. We should blame the women, who in many cases wouldn’t subject to that procedure if they had a choice in the matter, for a culture that doesn’t value girls. A culture set and governed by the male-driven regime.

        Seriously, is that the best you’ve got?

    2. Newt says:

      Why won’t PM describe the “problem” he references? (You all interceded to do his talking beacuse he was boxed in.)

      To “feminists” like you pregnancy is a mere pathology, remedied by a simple excision.

      So how about abortion used to determine the sex of a child in the U.S.? It happens. And you know it. What moral gymnastics can you invent to justify this practice? (This should be amusing.)

      1. Ellen Mrja says:

        PM can answer when he has the time and/or the desire.

        And how dare you accuse me of seeing pregnancy as a “mere pathology”? I assume that of the two of us, I’m the only one who has been pregnant. And it was a magical time.

        Newt: this post was not about abortion. But I guess I just can’t get you to understand that. As usual, I thank you for commenting.

      2. PM says:

        Newt, you are a doos.

        the problem is obvious–it is the devaluation of women by these societies. one result of this problem has historically been female infanticide. this has caused huge productivity issues in those societies (the loss of significant labor productivity) and huge demographic imbalances–how do you go about quantifying the problems caused by the lack of age suitable mates? There have been studies that suggest societies that suffer from too many young men are more prone to violence and war, among other pathologies.

        Look, no one likes abortion, but that is not anywhere near saying that it should be illegal. Seriously, if you were really serious about trying to limit the number of abortions in this country or anywhere else, you should be willing to promote all forms of contraception, including the morning after pill, and free birth control. Abortions are the result of unwanted pregnancies–for a whole host of reasons. Fewer unwanted pregnancies will result in fewer abortions. more widespread contraception use would be a significant help–yet you and the republicans want to curtail the use of contraception–make it more difficult and more expensive. Why?

      3. PM says:

        I have been told that it is a very uncomfortable procedure. I do know several people who have had abortions, and not a single one of them has enjoyed it. universally, they have all said that they would rather not have had to go through that procedure.

        Are you aware of anyone who has had an abortion and has enjoyed it? Hardly seems like the sort of thing that people do for pleasure, or for fun.

      4. PM says:

        Oh, Newt, quit playing games, trying to “box me in”.

        Seriously, I really have no interest in fencing with you about an issue when you are only interested in playing political “gotcha” games.

        Abortion is a really tough issue, and there are no really good answers to it. Bottom line, i think that the rights of the mother trump those of the fetus. Others think differently. All of the ways to resolve this issue (that I am aware of) have drawbacks and problems. I simply don’t think those can be avoided–but i think the position I have settled on does the best job of resolving those.

        This is not an area where you can draw bright lines between right and wrong, good and bad. This is a nuanced and difficult discussion, and, frankly, I don’t think you are up to it.

      5. Erik says:

        He’s up to it. He’s made the point there’s a moral observation that liberals will foremost just not acknowledge. And here you are PM, refusing to acknowledge it. You’re not punching below your weight PM. You’re avoiding.

        It’s only “tough”, if you can’t bring yourself to be candid about what you believe.

      6. Erik says:

        Add to that, the only reason it’s “tough”, is because of that moral observation that you refuse to acknowledge.

      7. Erik says:

        BTW, as a Pro Lifer I have my doubts that it should be made illegal, and I don’t care to argue it much ever either…but that’s because it can be so hyper-emotional you have to own some trust in who you are discussing with.

        So this thread topic here…. It’s not a value added exercise. It’s of typical hysteria.

      8. PM says:

        No, Erik, you are wrong. It is when you descend into simplistic moralistic arguments of good and bad, of moral absolutes, that these cease to be discussions, and become shouting matches and gotcha games. most moralism in politics is simply a crutch for people who can’t think on their own, who rely on the “moral” pronouncements of experts/others (such as the catholic bishops or what they think the bible says).

        Newt has yet to show that he is capable of nuanced arguments, really of anything other than repeating various political talking points that are simplistic in the extreme. He has yet to show that he is interested in understanding other peoples positions–he is interested in boxing people in, as he has stated before. He tries to shove people and their discussions into his pre-conceived notions of stereotyped politics, of liberal babykillers, etc.

        Sorry, Erik, but Newt is a troll. pure and simple.

      9. Newt says:

        Amen. There’s an undeniable shallowness of honesty and self reflection here.

        So I mentioned abortion as a pervasive means of sex determination, and I get replies about infanticide (ostensibly a completely different topic, right?). Which reveals to me that “feminists” know damn well that killing a fetus is akin to infanticide. They just want to hide behind “choice,” except when the choice is to abort female fetuses. (That’s where they become contradictingly principled.)

        And then PM doesn’t have the insight to explain why abortion is a “really tough issue.” Hint: It’s only tough because eliminating life is a regrettable and completely avoidable choice (99% of the time).

        These people are shallow, emotional and frankly not very bright. you can more insightful thought and debate at any local junior high, which says a lot.

      10. Erik says:

        Boxed in? You’re concerned someone is going to rhetorically box you in PM? Why? What are you embarrassed to admit to?

        This is absurdity of liberalism. If you’re a Marxist / Malthusian of some stripe, you should have no problem articulating those views dispassionately. Yet we’re forced to squabble over ridiculous proxy arguments because its “tough” and you’d not like to be “boxed in”.

        Liberalism is no less defined by black and white and moral absolutes than conservatism or anything else.

      11. PM says:

        Erik, don’t you be stupid, too. The problem is that Newt has stated that he is trying to box me in–this is not a discussion, and demonstrates the lack of good faith on his part. He is not sincere–he is simply trying to “prove” his already determined point. Your attempt to turn that into a playground taunt (are you embarrassed? can’t take it?) suggests that you are no better, no different.

        Oh, well.

      1. Forgive me for plagiarizing one of my own comments on a different post, but abortion, birth control, all of it – red herrings, and they stink. The core of this issue is the centuries-old, determined belief that women can’t think for themselves, and are therefore require laws to think for us. Religion is an easy excuse to keep those laws in place.

        Women need to wake up and smell the discrimination, but they also need to drop the smelly baskets. For example, all women don’t share the same point of view on abortion. We need stop debating those issues, especially on the terms of the radical right, and instead appeal to women’s common sense, and the idea of supporting each other and taking action to end discrimination – and voting is a key step.

        And Newt: I find it incredibly offensive that you would dare suggest I endorse female infanticide because I simply want the freedom to think for myself.

      2. Newt says:

        Kelly: “I find it incredibly offensive that you would dare suggest I endorse female infanticide because I simply want the freedom to think for myself.”

        So you equate infanticide with abortion?

  4. Janey Palmer says:

    “Moderate” Republicans if there are any left need to speak up. No more of this “take back America” crap — how about “take back your party?”

    1. PM says:

      particularly republican women. I have to admit that Snowe and Collins are pretty disappointing so far. I assume their relative silence is because they do not want to attract a primary challenge, but still….

      1. Mrs. Fay says:

        Sen. Snowe is being challenged by not one, but two Tea Party Crazies in a primary. As a Maine resident, I can say, that since the Bush Administration, they have both been passing as moderates, but what they really are are political opportunists.

      1. Ellen Mrja says:

        Hah. Did you also see their parody of the ESPN.com headline writer who came up with that racist headline with the jpeg of Lin? True dat.

  5. Ellen Mrja says:

    Janey: You are right about the Republican Party being in shambles. That’s a position the Democratic Party usually holds.

    Thanks for the comments, Kelly, PM and Newt. How threatening was the invention of the birth control pill to the established order of patriarchy that had existed for 2,000 years? We’re still seeing the backlash.

    1. PM says:

      the 1968 exhibit at the Mn History museum touched on some of this. It is closing today, so if you didn’t make it, tough luck. It was very good.

      1. Ellen Mrja says:

        PM: As usual, you understand my language. And dear, dear Newt: you do not.

        PM refers to the “problem” of the disparagement and devaluation of and violence against women that has existed for 2,000 years. By men. Own it.

        Of course China kills its female babies; it has for centuries. This is not a “trend,” as you seem to believe. Boys are valued. Girls are expendanble. This is the “problem” to which PM refers. Nobody condones it.

        By the way, you really are stuck in the 50s, aren’t you? Attempting to use the word “feminist” as a pejorative doesn’t hit the mark. And “ladies” just makes you look foolish.

  6. Eileen Smith says:

    Ellen, thank you for your “flipness.” It stopped my tears.
    Kelly, your comment is right on. I wish I knew how to get more women to pay attention.

    1. Ugh. Not at having this blessed number of children (19 and counting, praise the Lord!) but because of the mind-numbing future implied for the girls in this family.

      And you’re welcome, Smythe. Thanks for reading and writing in, both.

  7. Dear Ladies and Feminists:

    We are, as one of our manlier men writes, “shallow, emotional and frankly not very bright. you can more insightful thought and debate at any local junior high, which says a lot.” (sic)

    Another has now found our female H spot: “So this thread topic here…. It’s not a value added exercise. It’s of typical hysteria.”

    I think we should stop upsetting the men now.

    1. Newt says:

      Refute my points Ellen. You can’t, and you know it.

      And if you can’t be honest here, at least do it in the refuge of your own head,

      1. There is indeed hysteria afoot in this thread. It’s just not coming from the women.

        Newt – all of your points have been refuted. You just want to be right, and don’t like what you’ve heard. As I said before, I’m done with talking about my rights and freedom on your terms.

      2. Ellen says:

        Newt: The subject of this post was how some men in America are still so paternalistic and chauvinistic that they think they know more about women’s lives than women do.

        I don’t have to refute anything because you made my point for me.

    2. Erik says:

      Yes, I used “hysteria” patriarchally. Quite intentionally too. But that was mostly to amuse myself.

      Moreso, its that I’m neither a fan of this gross hyperbole or cringe inducing false irony liberals are so fond of. The hyperbole and the false irony are properly called “hysterical”, and thats without a patriarchal sub-context.

  8. Wow, you put your head down on your desk for a month or two’s catnap and you miss alot. You kids sure know how to throw a party.

    As someone who hasn’t been involved in this backing-and-forthing, can I suggest that the trench lines here aren’t moving any time soon and that everyone save something for the long-promised but still-pending SRC bar scene when we can mix alcohol into the discussion and REALLY tell one another what we think. This stage comes right before the karaoke. We can get PM, Erik, Ellen, Newt and Kelly doing “I won’t back down” by Tom Petty.

    Hugs to everyone. Having emerged long enough from my slumber long enough to post and comment, I’m tuckered out. Another nap is indicated.


  9. Joe Loveland says:

    The President was right on the health care merits of his contraception proposal, and, contrary to the Beltway pundits’ predictions, that policy is helping him politically. A new Quinnipiac survey finds that the Independents who will decide a very close General Election favor the Obama Administration’s contraception compromise by 20 percentage points (56 support, 36 oppose).

Comments are closed.