Women Are People Too, Aren’t They?

It continues to shock me that a number of groups in the United States REALLY want to diminish or remove women’s rights.

As a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I spend a fair amount of time creating lying, tricksy bad guys who tell you they want one thing (such as your freedom) while they actively pursue the opposite. They’re masters of propaganda, double-speak, and firing up their followers, building their hatred of the enemy by scaring the shit out of them.

It amazes me that all across the country, in the real world, people have elected (or are about to elect) many of these unscrupulous, double-talking assholes. They preach about protecting your freedom while presenting themselves as glowing examples of morality. They use fear of “the Other” in an effort to galvanize their followers into a conservative, judgmental, self-righteous Army of Christ.

They preach about the Bogey Man (or woman).

The current Bogey Man is a gay socialist “slut” who has abortions every fifteen minutes, hates Jesus, and wants to destroy your

Grandpa Rod Home on Leave in WW2
Is This the Bogey Man? Actually, it’s my grandpa Rod Thorning, WW2 Navy Veteran home on leave from Guadalcanal, but if someone said that jaunty sailor smoking a cigarette was gay and that the guy walking next to him (his younger brother who worked at Boeing for over 50 years) was gay, half the country would want to kill him. My grandpa was totally not gay at all, but I’m just illustrating a point here.

perfect marriage. He desperately wants to subvert your children, your wife, your church, your very way of life. He hates the American Flag and everything America stands for. He hates bald eagles, red, white, and blue, and George Washington. He loves Iran, North Korea, Osama Bin Laden, internet pornography, and President Obama.

In fact, President Obama is the Bogey Man, isn’t he? I mean, he’s a secret Muslim who wasn’t born in the US, after all, right?

But hey, if anyone reading this feels threatened by the Bogey Man, don’t worry–if you elect the right candidate for office, they’ll be your knight in shining armor. They will protect your freedom by legislating the Bogey Man away. They’ll get rid of his gayness and her right to choose what to do with her body, whether it’s abortions, birth control, or choices about how to handle her pregnancy. They will strip employees of all rights and put them back in the hands of employers where they belong, especially if an employer’s religious sensibility is offended. They’ll bring prayer back into public schools. They’ll de-fund Planned Parenthood. They’ll fix the gas prices (sound good to you yet?).

In fact, they’ll tell you there never was a separation between church and state after all and that as an Atheist, I’m just living in the United States because they allow me to (which I’ve been told, believe it or not).

By God, they’ll make this a Christian country Jesus would be proud of after all. Now, I don’t mean to attack the common Republican. I really don’t, even if you agree with taking rights away from women and gay people. I just want you to take a good hard look at this crazy movement and make sure you agree with it. If you do, why? What are your reasons? Are you afraid the Bogey Man will subvert your children? Your wife?

What Would Jesus Do?

Seriously. What would he do? Would he persecute people? Would he hate? Would he try to lovingly change them? To bring them to God? As an atheist I surely don’t know, but it seems like he would be more forgiving . . .

I know that with abortion, some of you believe you’re truly “fighting the good fight” and protecting unborn future humans. You believe the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the mother. I can see how you’d believe that. I may disagree with you, but I can understand it. We will never agree on abortion, and that’s that. But contraception? The birth control pill? That has nothing to do with morality at all.

There is a huge, subversive Christian Extremist political movement in this country. It’s my enemy. Not Christians, not Republicans, not political parties, but specific subversive elements who want to give America a make-over and turn it into a theocracy. They usually quote the founding fathers and talk about the Constitution and feel like they are the sole inheritors of American freedom, justice, patriotism, all those buzzwords that belong to every citizen of this country.

I despise that, and I REALLY despise the way they operate.

Even though the founding fathers wouldn’t give women the right to vote, they have it. Women are people. They deserve the right to control their own pregnancies, regardless of some odd religious belief you may have. If a health plan covers an old guy’s Viagra, it should also cover the birth control pill.

Sorya Chemaly says it far better than I could in this excellent post: Legislators: Women Are Not Cows and Pigs.

End of story.

8 Replies to “Women Are People Too, Aren’t They?”

  1. I grew up in a fundamentalist baptist church culture. I remember the preacher getting a big amen when he’d say, “round up all the homosexuals into San Francisco and nuke it.” I was disgusted then and I was only twelve. I used to argue with my Sunday school teachers about evolution (why are there dinosaurs fossils?), and whether or not pre-Columbian Indians could go to heaven. Even now I still believe that 90% of those folks are good people, 10% are plain mean and 1% lead the whole lot into this wackiness that they spout. I sympathize for the 90%, who are sheep and are just looking for something and have found it with this group. I’m truly confounded by their fear of the “other.” But I also think that casting them as the “other” is a mistake. Like I said, 90% are good folk swept up in a temporal (in the grand scheme) political movement. Oppose their ideas, yes. But hate them, I can’t. They are my family (although I’ve ostracized myself from them and some think of me as a heretic). Maybe I’m wrong, but I still recall their, “treat other people how you’d like to be treated,” message, which many of them seem to have forgotten.       

    1.  @Jeff W Good points, Jeff. I agree that we shouldn’t hate the members of these churches, (which is one reason I declared that it’s really the movement that I oppose, not its low level members).I must admit that as far as humans go, I’d say that I am consistently disappointed in them. Very few are actually worth a damn most of the time, and when it comes to religious people, well, they’re just people too, despite the fact that many of them feel like they’re better than everyone who disagrees with them.

  2. Hear hear. The aspect of this that I absolutely hate the most is that they want to end the practice of abortion – but they will. not. support assisting people with birth control costs. (Which, just for the information of your readers: the Nuva ring, one form of birth control, has gone up $40 in the past three years. That is an 80% increase!) It is completely illogical. You cannot speak out against a practice and then refuse to support a (partial) solution.
     
    And then… you cannot support the practice of sex with one hand (viagra) and then tell women to “keep an asprin between their knees” on the other. For one thing, where are all the viagra-ed up men gonna get it? For another – we praise and support sexual activity in one half of the population, and demean the other half for wanting and enjoying it. The continuation of male domination and misogyny is sickening.
     
    The worst part is there doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done about except the passage of time. We can stand up and demand our rights (and even get them) but we will continually have to defend our right to choose and our right to control our own bodies until the fabric of this culture is altered and it is no longer accepted that women are chattel to bear and serve. Changing the mind of an fanatic doesn’t seem to happen.
     
    If one good thing comes out of Limbaugh’s comments, it might be the final reclamation of the word “slut.” 

  3. Honestly, one of my biggest issues is that many of these folks are spouting “Less government in your lives!” except in all the ways they want the government to control your lives (birth control, abortion, and anti-equality legislation spring immediately to mind). Pick one, it’s either more or less.

  4. I’ve seen some interesting discussion of this post on Facebook that I wish would have happened here instead. I’m waiting for someone to jump on the blog and point out where we specifically disagree or where I’m wrong. The usual response is for my side to cheer and the people who disagree to just get mad and say everything I said is just wrong.
     
    Then the 2 sides split and go back to their friends where they reinforce their already strongly held beliefs.
     
    In having a couple Evangelical Christian friends, I have learned to understand where they’re coming from–neither of them are the people I’m talking about in the blog. I’m really talking about maniacs like Pat Robertson who hatefully want to change the country into a theocracy–he’s the first one who comes to mind. I’m pretty sure he would attack me pretty hard for being evil.
     
    I have another friend who messaged me privately to say he was pissed at the post–he’s also not the type of person I was talking about, even though he and I disagree about many of the things I covered in this post.
     
    One reason I’m writing this blog is to get discussion going (not to just hype up like-minded people).

  5. I do disagree with you on the points that not all Conservative Christian Republicans believe the ways you described. Not all of us CCRs are racist, sexist, bigoted homophobes. We don’t walk around “fearing the BogeyMan”. I brought up the viagra/birth control point on Robert’s post. Medicines are used for so many things; to “outlaw” one (which isn’t even an issue that any candidate supports that I’ve seen)isn’t right. Viagra has been taken by women to help with heart conditions, for example. As a CCR woman, I get a little irritated when women my age (as Fluke is) demand “free birth control”. I have never, ever demanded that anybody else pay my medical bills, I’m perfectly content to pay for them myself. I also pay for my children’s doctor’s visits, shots, and prescriptions, whatever my insurance doesn’t cover. For the government to decide what prescriptions/surgeries/treatments me, my husband or my children get, whether medically necessary or not, really torques my drawers. I’ve had some discussions, as Justin you’ve already seen, with some very VERY rabid feminists. They are more judgmental towards me as far as my reproductive rights are concerned than any man has been! When I tell a man I have 4 children, they usually are supportive and like having my kids around. They appreciate the fact that we’re including them in our re-enacting hobbies. Some women, on the other hand, would call me a Duggar-wannabe, they assume I’m uneducated (after all, educated women know about birth control and don’t want a kid tying down their lifestyles), and generally think less of me because my shirt is at times decorated with snot and other bodily substances. Women, in my experience, and I’m guilty of it myself are FAR more judgmental and intolerant when it comes to other women and their choices. I do not agree with abortion (with, of course, exceptions) because I accept the fact that if I have sex, I could get pregnant. I’m a huge fan of giving an “unwanted child” up for adoption if you are not able/willing to take care of him/her. My 2nd son was conceived while I was on the Mini-Pill, 6 months after my first son was born, who was also less than planned. My youngest son is a twin that we totally didn’t think would ever happen. I am the queen of unplanned pregnancies! lol My basic point is that there are county clinics, district clinics, etc. that already dole out contraceptives for a lesser price. I paid $40 when I got The Shot, each time. Do I think less of another woman who wants contraceptives? HECK no! Not at all! And Justin, I know you already read this, but you wanted me to post it here, so here it is: The assumptions about CCRs that we ALL hate gays, we ALL want everybody’s kids to be Christian, and that the rights should ALL be in the hands of religious employers. I actually don’t know a single fellow CCR that believes anything like that. I really don’t think it’s a huge push to turn the US into a theocracy, because the constitution would never allow it. I’ve sworn an oath in the ROTC and the USPS that I would defend the constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I would fight any push to change the US into a form that would be in any way shape or form contrary to the Constitution. I ALSO agree that there are not enough “discussion” between sides; it seems to be a very polarizing bunch of topics. I don’t call names if people disagree with me, just as I get a little disgusted when people call me “ignorant” because I hold beliefs very dear to my heart that go against pop culture and political correctness. I also found it very interesting to see the absolute wigging out of the media for “calling Ms. Fluke” a slut, (which I have read the transcript and he didn’t out and out call her that), but Ed Schulz, who is the Rush of the Left, out and out called Laura Ingraham “a right-wing slut” on HIS show. I only read about that on the Huffington Post. It’s a huge double standard. If we’re going to condemn one person for calling a woman a slut, then we should condemn the other one for calling a woman a slut. I will listen to/read any opposing view and try my hardest to see where people are coming from. I do really enjoy that. It is though, highly unlikely that my mind will be changed, but you can try. 🙂 Thanks for the respectful debate! I might have to read this blog more often!

  6. I don’t think women should be forced to breed against their will.  I would think that any rational, sane human being would agree with me on that but, sadly, there is a movement of people who think just the opposite.  It has literally been making me sick to my stomach hearing about all these bills being introduced that blatantly strip away the rights of women.  There is the bill that would force women to “prove” they’ve been raped before having an abortion, and the bill that would require women to undergo trans-vaginal ultrasounds before having an abortion.  FYI, forced vaginal penetration is rape, any way you slice it.  That bill is basically demanding women be raped.  Then there’s the bill that would deny women the right to have a D & C if the fetus they were carrying was no longer alive.  It is terrifying to think about how many children there would be in this country that were homeless, abused, neglected and/or on welfare if these bills pass.  Not to mention how many women would die in the process.
     
    I am a stay-at-home mother of two.  I made the CHOICE take the time to have my kids (both were surprises) and stay home with them in their early years.  I am very happy with the CHOICE I made along with my husband, however, this is not a life for everyone.  I am lucky that I have a supportive partner to is financially able to support us all.  Not all women have that or want it.  Being pregnant, going through delivery and recovery and now raising the kids has had a huge impact on my life physically and emotionally.  It’s not something I would ever wish on someone who didn’t want it.  Like I said, I am very happy and love my darling kiddos with every ounce of my being, but this is not a life for everyone.  I would think that regardless of how you feel about abortion, EVERYONE would be on the same page as far as preventing unwanted pregnancies.  After all, if there were no unwanted pregnancies, abortions would be just for those in life-threatening situations.  But the Conservative Right refuses to realize birth control is really a good thing.  They’re so much more interested in having complete and total control over all women and forcing us to be seen (pregnant) and not heard.
     
    I realize I’m starting to ramble here, so I’ll close with this.  I really feel as though the Conservative Christian Right is doing everything they can to take away basic civil rights of women, minorities, homosexuals and non-Christians.  I am not an atheist, but I became disenchanted with Christianity and the bible long ago (I was raised Catholic).  I believe Jesus existed and was a kind, loving, forgiving, tolerant man.  In other words, a liberal.  I am so sick of hearing the CCR saying “Oh God LOVES you.  We’re all his children.  He’s just going to send you to burn for eternity because you can’t control who you love”.  REALLY?!  If the CCR wants to claim they aren’t bigots, they NEED TO STOP ACTING LIKE IT and try to live peacefully and respectfully with all other people.  They need to elect some people who appear to have some shred of humanity.

  7. I’d like to throw something into the mix that you’re not considering.  This whole Conservative, Christian Woman-Hating Utopia that is whipping people into a frenzy about government control and lack of separation of church and state just strikes me as a puppet show, a distraction, a circus to occupy our attention while the real erosion of our rights is happening.  Let’s fixate on legislation that takes away the rights of women and gays and people who get arrested without cause.  It’s like the guys who pull the strings are going, “Look here!  Look here!  I’m the Bogey Man doing something reprehensible!  Quick!  Post on Facebook!”  And meanwhile our livelihoods are being undermined by corporate greed and a widening gulf between the rich and the poor.  Corporations are people and those people are buying political candidates so, while they technically cannot vote, they can exert more influence over our legislative process than most citizens who can vote.  I see hard-working people who sit in their cubicles in fear of rocking the boat and losing their salaries and healthcare.  I see people not funding retirement plans but funding out-of-work plans.  I see a world in which children are not expected to do better than their parents, financially.  I see a world where people starting out have to rely on financial help from their fixed-income parents just to make ends meet.  I see a world in which our food is processed more and more to stretch farther and father, so we become sicker and and fatter and more dependent on prescriptions that cost more than our monthly salaries.
     
    What I mean to say is that something big is going on here, and it isn’t the puppet show.  I almost feel like Santorum was chosen to go out there and spout his nonsense because he’s the most likely idiot to not know when to shut up.  And while he’s doing, “Look at me!  Look at me!  I’m the bad guy who wants to take away women’s right to self-determination!” something bigger and more insidious is going on behind him.
     
    I’m a woman who chose not to have children.  I’m a woman who chose not to ascribe to a religion.  Of course the “War Against Women” and other recent issues anger and scare me.  But I’m more worried about the things we aren’t seeing while we’re being distracted by all the bread and circuses.

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