• Women need to declare war on the war on women

    by Debra DeAngelo

    First it was the attack on Girl Scouts. Indiana lawmaker Bob Morris declared the Girl Scouts to be a “radical group that promotes abortions and homosexuality” and a “tactical arm” of Planned Parenthood (as if that was a bad thing). Then along came Rush Limbaugh, publicly shredding college student Sandra Fluke after her Congressional testimony regarding access to birth control, labeling her a slut, and declaring he had the right to watch videotapes of her having sex. I was hoping the resulting avalanche of public outrage might put the brakes on the resurgence of misogyny in this country.

    I’m such a dreamer.

    Have you been paying attention? You, ladies. I’m talking to YOU. We are the voting majority in this country and if we don’t wise up and wield that power, we’re going to lose that too, along with everything our mothers and grandmothers fought for. We’re the frog in that pot of water with the heat rising so slowly, we’ll eventually boil to death from our inability to perceive the change in temperature.

    And girlfriends, it’s getting’ hot in here.

    I’m not just talking about random melonheads like Foster Friess, reminiscing about the days when women used aspirin for contraceptives: “The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” (Friess, by the way, is the major financial backer for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign.) And I don’t even mean Santorum’s statement that he’d make birth control a public policy issue if elected President. Sure, such a public policy would be horrific, but I’m banking on the belief that the majority of the population isn’t dimwitted enough to actually elect Santorum, and if we are, then we deserve what we get. (I’ll take my Christian burqa in chartreuse, if you please.)

    What I am paying close attention to is the slowly rising temperature at the legislative level. For starters, a Virginia Senate bill requiring a trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion, even though there’s no medical need for one. Thankfully, the explosion of public outcry persuaded the senate to amend the bill so that only an external abdominal ultrasound is required.

    According to a story by the Washington Post, seven other states have similar bills. But in those seven other states, just as in Virginia, there’s no medical reason for an ultrasound before an abortion. The singular reason for this requirement is to punish women seeking to terminate an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. It’s bad enough that medical decisions are being made by politicians; even worse that these medical decisions are intended merely as punitive measures.

    And what about the fathers? If punishment is the intention, why do only women bear the full brunt? Why aren’t the fathers required not only to watch the ultrasound, but stand beside the doctor with their eyelids pried open Clockwork Orange style, and watch as the woman’s cervix is pried open and the fetus is vacuumed out in bloody bits and pieces?

    If we’re going to start passing laws that force women to deal with the reality of what’s being done to the fetus, we damn well better require the same of men. It takes two to make a fetus — it should take two to kill it too. However, in the end, the choice of whether or not that happens belongs to the pregnant woman because it’s her body and her life that will be drastically changed forever. The man can simply walk away, and live to impregnate another day. Where is the Pro-Lifers’ obsession and angst about THAT?

    So, you’re scratching your head trying to figure out if I’m pro-life or pro-choice? I’m neither. Or maybe both. I believe unplanned pregnancies are a tragedy, and abortions even more so, and we should be heaving free contraceptives at any and all females in an effort to prevent them. We should invent contraception we can implant in girls before their periods begin and remove when they’re ready to make a mature decision about having a child. And whatever options we devise to deal with pregnancy, unwanted or not, it’s a private decision between a woman and her doctor, and nobody else’s business.

    In a logical world, Pro-Lifers would be funneling money into Planned Parenthood, not scheming up ways to destroy it. It’s called PLANNED Parenthood, you dolts, not Abortions-R-Us. If you did the most miniscule amount of research, you’d discover that Planned Parenthood prevents far, far more unwanted pregnancies than it terminates.

    Ah, but there’s not really logic in this discussion, because it’s not just pregnancy that the RRR is obsessed with. It’s sex itself. Specifically, contraception. There are some in the RRR who don’t believe women should enjoy sex unless it’s a byproduct of getting pregnant.

    In Arizona, the Senate recently rejected a bill that would’ve allowed employers to refuse contraception in an employee’s healthcare coverage based on religious beliefs. After some pushback from the public, the senate ultimately rejected that bill on Thursday. But the fact that it even made it that far is concerning. The RRR is testing the waters wherever it can to see how it can gain control of womens’ bodies.

    Ladies, there are people out there, right at this moment, regrouping and working on laws to govern what you can and can’t do with your own uterus and your own vagina. Remember “The Handmaid’s Tale”? In Margaret Atwood’s masterpiece novel, in a futuristic dying world, a woman’s role in society is whittled down to becoming nothing more than a uterus on legs. I suspect that Atwood intended her novel to be a warning, not a how-to manual.

    Pay attention, ladies. Do you feel the temperature rising?


      • Jesse

      • April 1, 2012 at 11:56 am
      • Reply

      Brilliant, and I fear, completely accurate. Bravo!



    • I, too, have been writing about this. The women of the 60’s who made all this possible are tired and some have even died trying so it is up to those young women who don’t think about these things because they have always had them. Wake up women and take a drink, the koolaid is getting hotter and you better stop those from making it. Voting will help but loud voices and protests even more.



    • Dear Debra,I just wrote a kick-ass reply to your column, which, of course, was way more kicky -assier. I spent about 35 minutes typoing it,then my lovely wife Linda asked me a question, and I had to check my email to answer her… and..I didn’t save what I’d typoed, or hit “post comment” and….aaaahhhggggrrrhhhh!
      It’s gone.Darn it! I might have to wait until my rapid-fire fingertips get refueled, or at least get more spit-fire in them.

      On a different subject: I’ve got May 10th marked in purple-ish red ink on my calendar.Woohoo! Way back when, when the date was first announced, I said “Yes! I’ll be there (want to be there,”) while inside I seriously doubted I’d be alive, or alive and functional enough to get out of the house and got to a party.
      Y’know it would be an intriguing research study about dying people who have positive attitudes about life vs those who are “victims” in life, or just gray and grumpy. I don’t know anyone personally who is more positive,spunky, happy, funny, out there doing the advocacy, and activist thing than I am.(Oh,so humble am I.) At the same time I have the least confidence about how long I’ll live. Maybe because I consciously know I have NO desire to linger into the truly ugly stages. Having a family with people dying from this disease, I’ve seen the stages “up close and personal,” as they say. And I’m also a “family member” of the ALS Support groups,doing advocacy, awareness, ad nausem. I bet I’ve just about seen it all. ALS is horrific, cruel and life changing. I am still changing, as are my loved ones around me.I can feel it.
      This might seem contrary to what I’ve said before aout ALS “being a gift.” I still believe that. ALS helped me delve in all ways, seeking for the ____? Looking for the question, then finding out if it needs to be answered. ALS gave me this gift, and I embrace it, which in turn, explains to me why I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Some folks just can’t quite get their heads around this. Maybe that’s the problem. They’re trying to understand by using their heads,not hearts and souls.
      Because of ALS I actually I see trees and flowers,half an orange, a dirty sock, and a dime that I would never have sen before. I would have been driving, biking, power-walking, and just to busybusybusy in my head to notice anything but my own thoughts.
      Mostly now I use a walker, actually a rollator which easily transforms into a light duty wheelchair. I also use one of those dangerous three-wheel-electric scooters. They can go too fast-7pmh-and don’t have good sense of gravity. I’ve already dumped it twice-on top of me. No biggie,I’m dying, and those incidents always make funny stories later, especially ’cause they’re true.

      How the heck did I end up talking about losing a wrestling match with my electric scooter? The last thing I recall was typoing about how I had to let my finger tips get fueled and fired-up again so I could get on board the train to cha cha change!
      Aha, now that I step back and breathe deeply,I think I know. My reply to your column was filled with blistering babble, trying to dance with your white coal words, which were not babbling. I probably looked like a 15 year-old white boy trying move like the Temptations. Your column said it all. My reply would have sufficed by simply choosing those five words.

      Then again, I AM Chatty Cathy.



    • LOL… Cathy… did you mean to email that to me? 😀



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