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Hullabaloo


Sunday, October 28, 2012

 
Hey ladies: get over it!

by digby

"Romney has condemned -- I mean, one part of this is nonsense. Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape. OK, so why can't people like Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape."

That's Newtie, of course, being the jackass he is.

This reminds me so much of the way so many people went off the rails during the Clinton campaign. Misogyny and sexism is so ingrained that they don't have any idea that what they are saying is insulting and illogical. This thought process is so normal for them that it doesn't even cause a ripple of vague discomfort when they say it.

This is why feminists have to be vigilant about women's rights at every turn, even when it annoys their male allies who have argued as long as I can remember that there is always something "more important" on the agenda or that women don't really understand what's in their own self-interest.(Coincidentally I'm sure, it always tends to be whatever is important to these men.)

I'll quote my friend Deb Coop one more time:

For women ALL Roads to freedom and equality - economic equality and most particularly the ability to avoid poverty START with control of their bodies. If they can't control how they get pregnant and when they will have a child then poverty is the result.

There is theory about something called the Prime Mover - the first action or the first cause. Well for women it IS reproductive rights. It precedes everything. It really is simple. Without the abilty to control your own body then you are a slave to everything else.

Frankly sexism, the need to control women's lives by controlling their bodies and the things that arise from it, are endemic to any social structure. It is ever enduring and even when it seems to be quashed it returns in another form. That is the story in the modern era of women's rights. One step forward after a long struggle - suffrage and then a step back. (And no way do I say that women are not complicit in their own subjugation. We are.)

I am reading The Reactionary Mind by Corey Robin. In the epilogue he makes a point of saying that the loss of power and control is what the elite and the reactionary fear the most. More than a specific loss itself the fear the rising volcano of submerged anger and power. And for them it is most acutely felt compulsion for control in the "intimate" arena. That is the most vexing and disturbing of all.

It is why they want to control women. And controlling their reproductive lives is the surefire way to control them.

It is why abortion rights are absolutely central to every other kind of freedom.

Rape is a terrible act of violence and these awful men deserve every bit of disapprobation they are getting. But this issue is not about "the method of conception" as Paul Ryan would say. It's the idea that these people would tell any woman that she must give up her body and procreate against her will. It is fundamental to a woman's individual liberty and rights as a human being that she be the one to make that decision for herself.


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