One of the problem with the term War on Women is that it all seems to be about sex. And talking about sex seems to make some people uncomfortable.
And it’s even not all about sex, though having access to birth control is part of the issue. I’m still mortified by what happened to Sandra Fluke in 2012 after she testified about the need for contraceptives in context of overall women’s health. Part of her testimony:
In the worst cases, women who need this medication for other medical reasons suffer very dire consequences. A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and she has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown’s insurance, because it’s not intended to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately, under many religious institutions’ insurance plans, it wouldn’t be.
And some bullies, one in particular, publicly called her a “slut”, asking why should the government pay for her to have sex, that, therefore she was a prostitute. Which means that federally-funded insurance programs that allow guys to take a blue pill, to help them have sex, is what, precisely?
It’s also about a rape culture that makes responsibility for men’s bad impulses largely the responsibility of women. Read this account about a religious college. Watch this satiric video. And rape has been a HUGE issue in the military, with the junior US Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, making sexual assault there her signature issue, though her legislative efforts suffered sa defeat this week. Now, military sexual assault victims are stepping out of the shadows.
This actively creeps into the political arena: According to Watchdog.net:
Starting this November, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name instead of IDs like a birth certificate. That’s not a problem for single or married men — but it leaves a third of Texas women scrambling in a state with just 81 DMVs in its 254 counties.
And Ken Buck is running for US Senate from Colorado, again, with policies no less backwards than when he ran four years ago.
Some Maine dimwad has to apologize for saying men should have rape rights if women have abortion rights.
Casual sexism is quite pervasive , in the gaming industry, in science, just to note a couple recent examples. And in addressing these types of issues, women are often viewed as “oversensitive” or “shrill” or “don’t have a sense of humor” or the C-word.
Income inequality, in which the poor get poorer, affects female-headed households even more than male-headed households.
As the father of a daughter, I feel that the war on women in the US – and do believe a war on women exists, for reasons better stated by others – is detrimental, not only my girl’s future, not only to women’s future, but to men’s as well. There’s some quote that notes that when we limit some of our people, all of our people suffer.
2 thoughts on “The War on Women, redux”
War on women? Check out this excellent and compelling rant from Australian PM (Parliament Member) Julia Gillard as she dresses down a prominent sexist butthead politician right to his face. Even without knowing the specific political issue involved, I couldn’t stop watching and listening to the whole thing. Maybe we could use a few like her in the US:
(BTW, in Australia “liberal” means right wing. Everything is upside-down Down Under.)
As a foot soldier in the War on Women, I am thankful for men like you, Roger, who are as incensed as all of us on the “other side of the gender aisle.”
Your links are right on, as was Dan’s. Kirsten Gillibrand… I was lucky enough to vote for her (and contribute) before we left for Wisconsin and the land of Scott Walkandchewgum. This state, once a bastion of union rights, as become hell for women, for union rank and file, for anyone who doesn’t dangle their gennies and isn’t “white.” (beige) (many generations removed from Africa, but they don’t remember that part, since Santa and Jesus were both white, according to FOX).
Thanks for speaking out. Just shook off another gremlindeep. Amy