War on women reaching some kind of fever pitch

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 · 34 Comments »

The top news today is that Democratic congresswomen walked out of the all-male hearing today on contraception, after that asshole Issa refused to let any women testify. They’re not qualified, you see. Here’s the picture seen around the wires:

A table full of godbag fucktwits

Meanwhile, Santorum’s top donor ridiculed women’s need for contraception:

FRIESS: On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

This is so revolting I can’t even make a joke.

My female relatives and I have been on the phone today to Governor McDonnell’s office and to our state senator about the pending object rape bill. I can’t make a joke about that, either, because it makes me physically nauseated.

By the way, Echidne brought up an interesting (by which I mean “horrifying”) point. There’s no exception in this bill for rape victims. That means if you’re pregnant because of rape and you want an abortion, the State of Virginia will rape you all over again.

The Virginia legislature has also passed one of those batshit Egg People bills, which McDonnell may or may not sign. This is the same bill that was too reactionary for fucking Mississippi, and here we are in Virginia with this shit. I think I’m going to throw up.

34 Responses to “War on women reaching some kind of fever pitch”

  1. Cyn says:

    This is making my head spin. Every day is worse than the one before. It is all out war. I gave your very detailed explanation on Obama’s cave on the birth control issue to my progressive, liberal attorney boss. He found it “interesting”. Mostly, because he would rather make fun of Republicans and kiss Obama’s ass. I feel like there is no one we can trust but ourselves. I wonder if there is a male out there that understands what is going on. I haven’t donated to a candidate since Hillary, but if I have to put my money where my mouth is to get these assholes out of office, I will.

  2. Violet Socks says:

    I wonder if there is a male out there that understands what is going on.

    I don’t think so. It doesn’t affect them, never has, never will.

    Even progressive men just don’t get it. Did you see the boys talking about how “outrageous” it would be if religious conscience was invoked for anything other than women’s contraception? (eg., Daily Show, Crooks and Liars, DailyKos). When you get right down to it, we’re not human to them. We’re breeding stock. Treating us as sub-class chattel is normative. It’s so normative they don’t even realize they’re doing it.

    Over at Corrente lambert put up a post today about contraception. I thought it would be sympathetic, but instead his point was that all this is just kabuki distraction from the “real” issue, which is the mortgage settlement. Okay then.

  3. quixote says:

    Yeah. I saw that lambert piece. I had a feeling that his fairly complete lack of concern for the rights of women participating in Occupy Wall St. was a bad sign. The sad thing is, he really does want to be a progressive. I guess just not when he’s the one with the free ride he needs to stop.

    On the guy question, I do personally know one who gets it. So they can exist. It’s not a physical impossibility. I haven’t talked to any others about it because I don’t want to know. I’m so angry, if I had to listen to that shit in person, I’d probably attack the jerk and wind up in jail.

  4. Violet Socks says:

    Oh yes, I’ve no doubt lambert is sincere. That’s why it’s an example of how even well-intentioned guys don’t get it.

    It was especially ironic for me because I had just gotten off the phone with my sister-in-law. She was saying that while Occupy was extremely important and she supported it, how much more important are our basic human rights as women? We should be camping in the streets for our basic rights to our own bodies!

    And then I go over to Corrente and see almost the exact opposite point of view.

  5. Miss Clairol says:

    Good for Holmes-Norton and Maloney, but it was pretty jarring to realize that they represent half the total number of women on a 40 member committee. It’s hard to tell whether we’re looking at the all-male witness panel or the all-male Congressional panel.

  6. BJK says:

    Hi, erm, delurking to say you might want to read Chas Pierce at Esquire, he’s been posting on the beanie brigade since about 2/7 and here’s his quick shot on the Va. bill. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/virginia-ultrasound-bill-6655944 – he gets it intellectually, but doesn’t seem to get the level of invasion. Does have a good outrage about lack of response.
    If you want to read earlier posts on the contraception issue, page back a ways from the main page, he’s been prolific on the R. primary trail of tears.

  7. Jackie says:

    Margaret Atwood nailed it in A Handmaid’s Tale. Anyone who hasn’t read it, should. As you say, the attitudes are all pervasive and ingrained. Conservatives in Canada are trying to roll back women’s rights too:

    This goal of taking away women’s rights to their own reproduction is like a zombie that you can’t kill.

  8. Riverdaughter says:

    I think you’re being too hard on Lambert (did I just say that?). I think he’s as concerned as we are. That doesn’t mean they aren’t playing some political game. Where I disagree with him is which game they are playing. He seems to think the pols are trying to take our eye off the ball, whatever than ball is. I think this “religious freedom” meme has been in the works for some time now and is what the republicans are going to use to divide Democrats. And they seem to be taking the bait.

  9. dandelion says:

    What will it take to make Democratic men also walk out of a hearing like that?

  10. Violet Socks says:

    What startled me was lambert’s reference to this as a “kabuki distraction,” the same as Mars or Sarah Palin or whatever. Kabuki distractions are all about posturing and creating diversions; nothing actually happens.

    This shit is happening. It’s some real shit here. Women’s rights are being rolled back, women in my state are going to be raped by government mandate, contraception is being classed with abortion—shit’s pretty fucking real.

    So, yeah, I find it kind of astounding that the substantive reversal of my human rights is a “distraction” from the “real” issues.

    And again, I don’t think lambert is being intentionally jerkish or is even unusual. I know he means well. This is just how guys think. I saw that same meme on some other blog — dude saying, “yeah, it’s fun to watch the Republicans act like assholes, but let’s not get distracted from the real stuff with the mortgage settlement!”

  11. Violet Socks says:

    Look, I don’t want this thread to be about lambert. I like the guy and don’t mean to knock him. I was just responding to Cyn’s comment about men, because it does seem to me that men and women have profoundly different reactions here.

    My normally placid mother is so upset about this she’s been calling the Governor’s office and our state senator. I don’t think she’s ever done that in her life. And she’s 72 years old, so it’s not likely anyone will ever do this object-rape ultrasound thing to her. But it’s just so horrible, so distressing, that our own government is mandating that we be physically violated. Every woman I know is extremely agitated about this. It’s scary and horrible. Not kabuki, okay?

  12. Violet Socks says:

    But since we’re talking about guys, yes, I liked that Charles Pierce thing. He seems to get it.

  13. simplywondered says:

    hey vi; long time.

    guy – yep;
    agreeing with you wholeheartedly – absolutely;
    truly getting it – probably not

    does that make any sense at all? is it the old trope quoted by martina navratilova about (probably going to get it the wrong way up) the difference between involved and committed is bacon and eggs – the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. as men, no matter how much we agree, are we ever going to get it because we aren’t living it? or is that determinsism of the worst sort?

    not that we’re ‘hard-wired’ but that we can only ever be experiencing this horror but not living it. but for all that, totally horrified by the whole ugggh of it all. words have failed me.

    in the uk you may have seen cameron has been so distressed by losing the support of women he has chosen a woman (gasp!) to be a focus for what women want from him. where do you start with precisely why that is nonsense? like she can interpret the strange language of this other species.(btw all i want from him is to go away and leave me – not to mention anyone poor, old, ill or living with a disability – alone)

    and another interesting (in the ‘horrifying’ sense) point is the use of ‘kabuki theatre’. it’s not good enough just to call it theatre – an untrustworthy bunch of people who should have real jobs talking about crap like compassion and humanity; it has to be kabuki – all of the above plus being incomprehensible, and worse foreign and even worse japanese. how much more alien can something be? and how much more othering an analogy could they have found for the ‘distracting’ issue of women.

  14. Cyn says:

    My 23 year old niece went to Walmart today to get her monthly birth control patch. She was told that as her script is considered life sustaining, she can no longer get them at the store, but must fill out a mail-in form and the patch will be mailed. Never mind the fact the she needed them today, but when did birth control become a sustaining illness? I got this story through her mother, one of my sisters, but my tin foil hat is firmly in place until I find out otherwise.

  15. Riverdaughter says:

    Violet, I agree with you that this will look different depending on your gender. But I also agree with Lambert that this is kabuki theatre that happens to have real, serious consequences. Both parties are playing a game here and I don’t appreciate being used as cannon fodder.
    But in a way, it’s women’s fault for not fighting for the right things. We should never have dropped the ball on the ERA and we’ve almost totally neglected workplace discrimination. And most of all, we did not hold our own gender accountable for straying away from the unity we desperately need. The people we should have held accountable for 2008 were the Amanda marcottes, narals, Emily’s lists and now. That collaboration shit is unacceptable and Must. Stop. Now. Do you see glbt activists breaking ranks? Not like women have. So, that’s where we need to focus out attention. We need to be a solid bloc of voters to be feared.

  16. Violet Socks says:

    Cyn, I don’t think I understand. Is your niece taking birth control for something other than birth control? Like polycystic ovary? And is the local Walmart saying they’ll no longer fill prescriptions for contraception but they’ll route your niece through mail-order because she needs it for a non-contraceptive reason?

    hey simply, so nice to see you again. Yes, eggs and bacon.

    Re “kabuki,” I think we call it that (and I’ve used the term myself) because it connotes heavily stylized, extremely ritualistic and artificial theatre. At least in American English it wouldn’t work to say “theatre” or “drama” because those words don’t have the same connotation. (For most Americans, a theatre is a place where you go to watch movies. And a drama is a nighttime television show.)

  17. Violet Socks says:

    The people we should have held accountable for 2008 were the Amanda marcottes, narals, Emily’s lists and now. That collaboration shit is unacceptable and Must. Stop. Now.

    Yes, some women collaborate with the patriarchy. (And most of us are complicit with the patriarchy to some extent; how could we be otherwise? It’s the water and we’re fish.) All women are victims of the patriarchy, but yes, some of those victims also become active collaborators in various ways. Karen Handel, for example, or the nutcase godbag who sponsored the object rape bill in Virginia. Or someone like Amanda Marcotte, collaborating from the left.

    But being more angry at them than at the MEN who run the world and are ultimately in charge is just another flavor of woman-hating. It’s displacement at best. It’s like being angrier at Jewish collaborators than at Nazis. It’s like blaming Sarah Palin for the entire panoply of wingnuttery, even though she’s just a young half-term governor from Alaska who’s been on the national scene all of four years.

    I think it’s extremely important to, first of all, keep our eyes on the political and social system as a whole that enables this shit, and which is overwhelmingly constructed by and dominated by men; and secondly to not fall into the emotional trap of blaming women more than men just because we’re angry at them for “selling out” our side.

  18. Sweet Sue says:

    dandelion says:

    What will it take to make Democratic men also walk out of a hearing like that?

    And that is the question of the hour/ages?

  19. SophieCT says:

    Violet, I can’t abide with Dana Loesch’s kind of collaboration. Yes, I can follow the long path of how someone can get like that, but y’know, I think at some point, people have to get a little more self-aware.
    (Note- Due to the offensive nature, I broke up the URL so you have to remove the spaces and paste it to make it work.)

  20. Violet Socks says:

    Sophie, I’m not talking about abiding by collaboration. Of course not. I’m talking about not blaming women more than men. I’m talking about not blaming the collaborators more than the Nazis.

    That’s patriarchy at work in our heads, frankly. It’s why Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have both been far more vilified than any man on the political scene, even though men run the world.

  21. SophieCT says:

    I get it.

  22. Violet Socks says:

    You know I understand the impulse emotionally. Actually, for me, listening to some horrible woman like Dana Loesch promoting state-mandated object rape, my reaction is just, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Wow, what a brainwashed evil freakazoid. My anger is mixed with pity because, you know, she’s still a woman, and she can still be raped and she’s still a second-class citizen and all this Stockholm Syndrome stuff won’t save her. She’ll never be an honorary man no matter how hard she tries and how many other women she tries to destroy.

    I actually personally feel much more anger at men who do that stuff. No pity mixed in with that. Just pure fucking hatred, pretty much.

    But I realize that a lot of women feel the opposite; they get angrier at women because of the betrayal aspect. Well, to each her own. As long as we try to be self-aware.

  23. SophieCT says:

    It is exactly that–the betrayal aspect.

  24. lynnerkat says:

    My favorite bumper sticker of all time- “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”. I am so pissed that we are still dealing with this crap. Maybe the “third wave” might energize themselves over this.. hmmm… I won’t hold my breath.

  25. SophieCT says:

    lynnerkat, I remember that one. And these less-on-topic ones from back in the day:
    • A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
    • Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.
    • Feminism: The radical notion that women are people.
    • Keep your rosaries off my ovaries.
    • A women’s place is in the house…and in the senate.
    • Ordain women or stop baptizing them.

    Those were the days. Third wavers don’t seem to be as clever.

  26. turndownobama says:

    If anybody wants more background on Scott Brown, I’ve just made a post at PumaPac.org with cites about the amendment he introduced in MA in 2005 to make it harder for RAPE VICTIMS TO GET EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION, and about his other anti-choice votes.

    turndownobama 02.18.12 at 12:32 am

  27. ryan says:

    Perhaps Obama fits the collaboration role to the republicans who would be in this case more of the Nazis

  28. Cyn says:

    Violet, my niece uses the patch for birth control only. I am going to try to reach her today to speak with her about this.

  29. Jill says:

    Are you all absolutely certain that “Hillary never would have put us in this position”? 100%? I’m not convinced. Hillary Clinton has been affiliated with “The Family” — the secretive Christian group that Doug Coe founded and that runs the infamous C Street House. Read Jeff Sharlet’s book to find out more about this pack of nutballs. In 1993, Hillary said this about Doug Coe: “Doug Coe, the longtime National Prayer Breakfast organizer, is a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship to God.” To the best of my knowledge, she hasn’t recanted this view.

    I’m not part of the rah-rah Obot camp. He’s bitterly disappointed me. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t automatically jump to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton would be any better on this just because she has a uterus. For some reason, it’s become mandatory in politics on both sides to suck up to the fairy-tale believers. This is one case where both sides DO do it.

  30. Cyn says:

    Just spoke to my niece and this is her story:

    “Before work i dropped off my rx to be filled. When i went to pick it up the pharmacist told me my ins will no longer cover through wal mart that i had to call a number on my card and set up this mailing out thing where they mail my rx up to 3 months to my house. She even called my ins to see if they would override it just this one time because i told her i needed to take it that day and they denied the override.”

    Her insurance is with Allied Insurance Group.

  31. Violet Socks says:

    Jill, I wrote a whole post in answer to your question: http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/2012/02/18/the-war-on-women-obama-and-hillary-clinton/

  32. BJK says:

    Hi again Violet,

    I followed an earlier link from Avedon and enjoyed his snark. Originally I was irked he was writing for a men’s mag, but now I see it as good that he’s there. I remembered another bit I liked from the contraception cave-in. How Obama’s Lady-Parts Deal Empowers The Church

    The Church has claimed — and the president has tacitly accepted — the right to deny even its employees of other faiths the health-care services of which it doesn’t approve on strictly doctrinal grounds. That is not an issue of “religious liberty.” That’s the enshrinement of religious thuggery in the secular law. By accepting that frame, the president has left himself dependent on the avaricious to bail him out against the arrogant. This is not a comfortable place to be.

    And that’s not even to get into the obvious fact that women’s-health issues have been treated as little more than a bargaining chip by a Democratic president. Again.

    On a lighter note, but hopefully leading to something larger:

    Admittedly off-topic since he hasn’t addressed this yet, but I found a podcast you might enjoy. Greg Proops (yes, of Whose Line, but keep an open mind if you hated that), has a show called “The Smartest Man in the World” which can best be described as eclectic, he is an avowed lefty feminist from San Fran, and was a Hillary supporter all along. Obama is Pres. Hope.

    He’s been airing it for just over a year, and I’ve listened to the archives. I can’t say I never raised an eyebrow, but I could count the times on one hand, iirc. He interrupted a critique of Miley’s ‘music’ to lecture on slut-shaming. He went off on liberals going sexist on Sarah Palin (and attacking Hillary). Burlusconi and Dominique Strauss-Kohn were big subjects, with one of my favorite lines at year’s end: You can’t question the supremacy of men “In a year when men openly abused women and then turned around and said ‘WHAT?!?’ And that was their only excuse?”

    On abortion: Not about babies or fetuses, or people fetishising fetuses ‘pro-life’ people do not like women. They don’t care about fetuses, it’s about hating women.

    It’s not all serious, and listeners send in questions that tend to lighten the mood if needed. Oddly enough (or not) he made the same observations you did about the loss of Khaddaffi as a fashion-forward despot. And frequently profiles historical women.

    I know it doesn’t exactly help anything at the moment, but I can say it has been good to listen to someone give voice to some of this stuff with a live audience. Not only that but it’s usually hilarious, and if I’ve sussed your age correctly (near mine of 48), the cultural recollections will hit home. I’m listening to the most recent one, and he’s discussing privilege. The one previous is particularly funny. Toronto was the site of a hilarious Justin Bieber skewering. London was a riot. http://smartest.libsyn.com/
    NSFW, uses language appropriate to our situation. Many party stories. Some sports but usually relevant to civil rights or just fun stories. Basically, just keep listening, it usually comes back around. Married but all the marks of your gay bff from your youth. Extremely well read/self-educated and hasn’t wasted his opportunities for travel. Cathartic, educational, and funny.

    The seed of a cunning plan. The past few podcasts I’ve noticed him trying to introduce broader feminist issues without too much success (privilege didn’t go too bad). Before he just working issues in opportunistically. In the most recent but one, he specified that his wife is both smarter than he is and studies the news for issues, etc. (I’m morally certain she is fabulous.) I thought if he were promoted among the prog blog types maybe it could have a secondary educational effect on feminist issues. He’s never used the “2L4O” label, but he’s certainly there. (It would be a similar relief for them to hear someone oppose O on a regular basis.) Overall, the subject matter would be enough to keep men interested in the program, imho.

    Sorry for the length, but my brain isn’t producing succinct construction tonight. I suppose I wanted to make a stronger case since I’m an unknown quantity, so I blurted.


    PS I’ve endured the vaginal procedure if no one has given a first hand account, which I hopefully would manage to compose succinctly. (short answer: both awful and painful even w/o stress of abortion looming)

  33. Greywolf says:

    I know it’s continuing an off-topic discussion, but I also love Proops. He tweeted a few times this week about the women walking out of the hearing and did an awesome bit recently about female military leaders in history.

    Back on-topic, the attack on women from apparently all sides is very discouraging. Some days I just want to be a hermit and hide from it all.

  34. Violet Socks says:

    My lord, BJK, that guy sounds perfect. I’m reading your comment and thinking, “Damn, is this guy married? because I’m thinking…oh, shit, okay, he’s married.”

    I’ll have to check out the show.