|Revisiting Yesterday's Sordid Mess: Texas GOP War on Women, Part II
||[Jul. 13th, 2013|10:52 am]
In general, and across the country, GOP legislatures have shown themselves to be delicate snowy-white flowers who react to the mere utterance of words like "vagina" and "uterus" as if someone had blasted them with a blowtorch. They will protest that they don't use language like that, and neither should anyone else, because....well...because it's offensive to them. These are the same guys who don't want to know about what happens when a woman menstruates (you can hear the cries of "Unclean! Unclean" in their tiny brains) and they probably refuse to pick up a box of tampons or pads for their girlfriends or wives should they be shopping.
So the existence in their presence of tampons and pads and diabetic testing kits (I really don't get that one) seems to freak them out in a way that is hard to explain as part of a normal, healthy cognitive/emotional state of being. In their world, men should never be forced to contemplate the physical reality of a woman except as something pretty to look at, something fun to impose sex on, and something to provide them with sons. If women must sneeze, cough, fart, bleed, vomit, and have less than Hollywood-quality attractive moments, they should do it out of sight and hearing of men, without making any noise or complaining or asking for relief. The same goes for the inconvenient bodily fluids of babies and children: women should take care of those--change the dirty diapers (because they smell bad and men don't like bad smells other than their own BO), clean the dirty toilets, wipe up the vomit and the "accidents" and the blood from childhood injury, and present the children to their father as clean, sweet-smelling, affectionate, obedient, little icons of genetic success. Because women are arm candy, eye candy, an accessory to their male privilege, not actual persons with actual lives, inner and outer.
Luckily not all men are like this. Many fewer of them are like this than in my childhood. I married a man tough enough to change diapers (including dirty ones), clean a toilet, wipe up blood, and, yes, buy me a box of Kotex when I was unable to do it myself. When he's sick, I take care of him; when I'm sick, he takes care of me. We both took care of our child. A good arrangement. A real-world arrangement, in which the reality of male and female bodies is accepted, acknowledged and dealt with equitably.
Unfortunately, the men in the ruling party in my state are not like him, and routinely deny women's reality for political ends that do nothing for the half or more of the population that is female. They have steadily, and with great determination, attempted to (and succeeded in) rolling back decades of progress, with the acknowledged goal of making women's lives worse--by denying them the freedoms they themselves claim and by treating them harshly and with contempt. GOP women have chosen--or been coerced--to accede to this attitude as appropriate...to agree that women deserve no better than to be treated as less than fully human and less than full citizens. The result of this is clear in the statistics on women's health in Texas, women's employment in Texas (including pay) and the consequences for the children in Texas. Access to medical care for poor women and women of color in Texas is already low, and just took a dive to the bottom of the pool . The GOP in Texas doesn't care. Access to quality education for our children is already low. The GOP in Texas doesn't care. Pay for Texas women is already below that for men, as it is elsewhere (only more so). The GOP in Texas thinks that's just fine because women don't need equal pay. Women in Texas jails and prisons are sexually harassed, assaulted, and raped...the GOP in Texas doesn't care because...well, it's not supposed to be a rose garden; you screwed up, you get screwed.
IIt's clear that despite thinking Texas women should have as many babies as possible, the lege doesn't give a damn about those children once they're born. Live children are inconvenient and cost money--people keep wanting better schools, medical care for them when they're sick or hurt, schools for them to learn in, parks for them to play in, even jobs for them to hold when they grow up. Women used to have children without any prenatal care, so they should do that now--like cows in a field, just leave them there with some males around, and they'll get pregnant and have babies and...well...then it's their fault and they should have thought of the cost before they popped one out. Why should taxpayers be stuck with the bill just because some woman "got herself pregnant?" The only real citizens are the males who get rich and live in gated communities with their passive wives and their perfect obedient children.
I have a lot of skin in this game. Over 68 years of experiencing the prevailing attitude from the underside...the female side. I have seen women who had it a lot worse than I did. Women raped, beaten, abandoned with children, denied employment, their right to vote questioned, expected to be able to raise kids on a pittance. Paid less, made to work longer hours, denied health care, yelled at and spit on and harassed for not fitting the mold the GOP thinks women belong in: helpless, hopeless, passive, obedient, dependent on men for survival. And we say NO. NOT NOW. NOT AGAIN. NOT EVER. YOU MAKE WAR ON US AND YOU WILL GET A WAR, LIKE THE OTHER WARS YOU STARTED, THAT DOESN"T END YOUR WAY.