Last spring, my friend Kizz got some flack for writing that we, as a nation, are viciously disrespectful of people with vaginas. Cries of “overreaction!” and “hyperbole!” were thrown her way, sometimes obliquely, sometimes directly. I stood in strong defense of her assessment, however; just because we as a culture don’t practice female genital mutilation or honor killings, that doesn’t mean that we value women here, either.
Well, that premise – that women are looked at more as things than as human beings – is being reinforced yet again in the latest dumbfuckery over the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s (entirely political) decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood. While a lot of other people have spoken far more eloquently and comprehensively than I shall here, suffice to say that I’ve not been a fan of the pink ribbon marketing machine for a long time, and I’m very, very glad that this outfit is finally getting the kind of critical scrutiny it’s trying so hard to deflect today (and let’s be clear here that Koman has NOT walked back on their decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood; they just changed their rhetoric to try to get millions of angry Americans off their case). It’s about time more than just a few of us understand that they’re not in it “for the cure;” they’re in it for the money.
Can we please all take a collective step back, though, and realize that this brouhaha is just another in a long and bitterly spectacular list of offenses against women that play out day after day in this country? There’s a full on war against women: women’s reproductive care is under constant and relentless siege; cuts – often drastic ones – have been and are being made in aid to low-income women and children; the repeal domestic violence laws in Kansas was a special high point in this nasty little battle, wasn’t it? Let’s not forget attempts to pass so-called “personhood amendments” in several states (which could potentially have the effect of making most forms of birth control illegal) and that, despite such measures having failed in Colorado and Mississippi, the campaign to put them on ballots this year is on full-force. I’m also intrigued by the efforts to change the definition of rape and to alter the legal term for a woman who’s been raped from “victim” to “accuser” – the list goes on and on and on.
Would someone on the “right” like to try to explain to me, please, how any of these initiatives – which have been aggressively and enthusiastically pursued by Republicans across the country over what must certainly be far more pressing issues on their agendas – do anything at all to help us as individuals or as a nation? Why are they so hot to deny women basic health care? Why are they so hot to make women carry their pregnancies to term, but oh, no, no; we can’t be giving handouts to women who just have more babies!
Can someone please tell me what is it about women that these people hate and fear so much because make no mistake about it; they DO hate women.