Let it never be said that we here at Pacific Views have failed in our duty to blame the patriarchy, but also, never let it be said that we blamed them for the wrong things. For example, the patriarchy isn't stupid, as such. There's a lot of collective know-how out there, field tested through the millenia, a virtual handbook of popular wisdom. If it was an actual book-in-progress, its working title might be as follows: How to keep the bitches down.
One of the gems of wisdom that's been a facet of the more recently savvy patriarchy was, I suspect, gleaned from modern day proponents of 'democratic' fascism and our smiling corporate overlords: Don't let on to the bitches that you're keeping them down.
Thus, the wisdom of telling the captives of authoritarian states that they're 'emancipated citizens' or telling the victims of corporate greed that they're 'almighty consumers/valued associates' plays out in describing a bill that is going to create misery for women in South Dakota as a women's health initiative. Though before we get into discussing that particular piece of rabid wingnuttery, I would like to hold out before you a shining gem of hope: Bitches aren't fond of having their faces rubbed in their all-the-way-down-lowness.
Not even when they haven't the foggiest notion of what a patriarchy is, or if they do, why they should blame it.
The patriarchy, in fact, knows this. At least the smarter members and most of the ones who are in charge, who are fully conscious of their unpopularity and know that they have to lie like rugs to continue presenting an air of affability and sweet, sweet reason. I make this statement with reasonable confidence because in a National Journal poll of 57 key Republican campaign and constituent bloc insiders, a whopping 40 of them felt that overturning Roe v. Wade would hurt their party, with 12 saying it would help and 5 giving a response of neither/unsure. These are the people responsible for running the ground operations, making sure there bosses have the talking points drummed properly into their heads and keeping an eagle eye on public opinion. Those who think it would help them are in what Jon Stewart would describe as 'fifth dentist' territory, the one out of five who doesn't recommend advanced brushing technology. Some of their comments on the topic, made in a format where they didn't have to attach their names to their words, sounded like arguments that could have been made in the lefty blogosphere:
"In reality, repeal would merely return control to states and legislatures making policy, where it belongs. But this transformation would be too easy to spin as a return to the coat-hanger and back-alley abortions."
"Essentially, it makes [GOP] primaries even more conservative (if that's possible) and [it makes] general elections about who represents the mainstream on abortion: Dems win that fight."
"Republicans would be hurt if the Court limits a woman's constitutional rights. Our activists will throw a party and go to sleep. The Dem activists would eat us alive, mainly grabbing Republican moderate women, who will be deserting us in droves."
"The media would go wild in branding this a 'loss to women.' Suburban Republican women might not vote."
"Right now, abortion is a perfect political issue: It charges up the base without scaring swing voters too much. If the law gets thrown out, pro-choice voters get too motivated."
Go ahead and be pissed off that these unbelievable wankers are delighted to be able to kick women's independence and health around as a political issue like Brandi Chastain at the last practice before a game. Then be glad that you're on the side of an American mainstream that has experienced reproductive freedom for women and mostly figured that we ought to be able to make up our own minds on the issue in private.
That mainstream is now going to see that the Libyan faction of the Republican party thinks that lower class women shouldn't get sex, that only sodomized, religious virgins should have access to abortion, otherwise you're just selfish. Selfish? Oh yes. Because it's unnatural for women to control their bodies after they've been touched by Teh Penis, as Amanda explains thusly:
... When you’ve had as many children as you can handle, tell your husband that you won’t be having sex with him anymore.
Nothing will happen to you when you do this. We swear. Certainly nothing like finding yourself trying to get a job for the first time in 20 years while your ex-husband tells his new girlfriend that you wouldn’t even have sex with him anymore.
... Few things reveal the underlying misogyny of the anti-choice position more than the “natural” argument. I’m hard-pressed to think of any male-specific medical practice that anyone’s agitating to ban on the theory that it’s unnatural. Heart attacks are the sometimes consequence of eating too much bacon, especially for men, and I don’t remember there being a huge political movement to ban open heart surgery because it meddles with the natural order. Sex is a natural good, unwanted pregnancy is a natural bad. Natural but bad things are usually eligible to be unnaturally fixed the way humans want them, unless of course those things affect only women. True, the conservative blogger in the first response said lung cancer and heart disease are natural “consequences” but I don’t recall where he supported laws banning chemotherapy and cholesterol controlling medications. ...
It may be cold comfort to know that the majority of the public are supportive of this aspect of women's rights as we stand looking at a future that likely includes seeing them overturned. However, that future will also include many opportunities for teaching moments, such as this NY Times article explaining that parental notification restrictions have little effect, which I think bolsters the pro-choice argument that this law only acts as a restraint in those rare cases where family notification would be a disaster and that most girls would already talk to their parents, anyway. It will include, if our side is smart, the prominently featured voices of pro-choice mothers speaking out about what it really means to choose life and the perspective of families whose mothers had an abortion and then later, children.
This is a good fight and one we can win. Remember that and don't let the bastards get you down.Posted by natasha at March 6, 2006 11:10 AM | Women | Technorati links |