Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Fear of women getting out of their place

Sunday I reviewed some books dealing with the idea that cleanliness, purity and order are subjective concepts, and that this also affects our modern society: it has to be tightly ordered, with everyone knowing their place and staying there. And the places are not even: “One category of persons is assigned to privilege, power, and dominance, and the other category is designated for a life of subordination. This prescribed order has been ‘ordered’ for you, not by you.  If you’re in the subordinate category, you’re taught you have no choice but to submit and stay in your place.” Robert Altemeyer makes the same point in The Authoritarians: people who believe in a fixed, authoritarian hierarchy are terrified of change, fearful any disturbance to the way things are will topple society like a house of cards.

For some people, the terror reaches levels that would be laughable if they didn’t d0 real-world harm. Misogynist complementarian preacher John Piper, for instance, thinks a man having to ask a woman for directions is a terrifying spiritual crisis: in that instant the woman is taking the lead, the man following her instructions. Only handling the moment carefully can avert upending them both spiritually.

As Fred Clark sums it up, complementarianism — men dividing the world between women and men without consulting the women — “sounds like a sweet deal for men. It means you’re in charge by virtue of having been born in charge, and hierarchy brings all manner of privileges. You get paid more. Your legal rights are better protected. Society is literally designed to meet your desires and appetites and emotional needs. Plus someone else is going to make you food, clean up after you, launder your clothes, and tend to your children. Being “above” and being deferred to by default is, all things considered, a pretty terrific arrangement for you. It’s good to be the king.”

But unearned, unjustified power is an unstable thing, Particularly in the modern U.S., where women have the right to walk out of their marriage if it’s not working, something men such as Piper, Matt Walsh or James Dobson frown on (at the link, Dobson explains abused wives trick their husband into hitting them so they can justify a divorce). For instance right-winger Stephen Crowder, caught on video verbally abusing his wife, is furious she has the right to divorce him (she is). Maybe this explains why Michigan Republican Tudor Dixon thinks school libraries should ban books with divorced characters. Equality anywhere is a threat to inequality everywhere. And for those who benefit from inequality, that’s terrifying.

For more critiques of misogynist bullshit, check out Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holders.

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Republican right-to-lifers are not moderates

The Washington Post reports that 12-week bans such as North Carolina’s are the new Republican forced-birth approach: see, they’re not trying to ban all abortions, only after the first trimester. They’re moderate — now, forget about abortion and vote Republican!

As the article notes, it’s not “before 12 weeks you have a right to abortion.” There’s a 72-hour waiting period after the first appointment, added regulations on clinics and, as Vox says, a ban on mifepristone at home. Oh, and the doctor must send a detailed report on the patient’s abortion/pregnancy history to the state. As LGM says (I don’t have the link), some forced-birthers point out that France (for example), has a ban after 14 weeks; before that, however, they don’t bog the process down with regulations and it’s covered by state health insurance. Not the same.

As noted at the second link, neither NC nor most other states with strict abortion bans have done much to expand the social safety net for pregnant women and mothers (Florida, at the same link, may become an exception). They are, however, perfectly fine with throwing money at crisis-pregnancy centers (including money marked for poor families) even though they don’t provide birth control, don’t give accurate information and often don’t have medical personnel on staff. But hey, regular ob/gyn care is nose-diving as doctors back away from right-to-life states — maybe bad medical help is better than none (said sarcastically).

It’s not just these details that give the lie to Republican pretense of moderation (and never forget, the forced-birth movement lies a lot), it’s that this is nothing but a temporary political tactic. This is not “we’ll compromise and settle for a 12-week ban,” it’s “we’ll compromise until we have the power to get what we want without any electoral consequence.” Maybe that’s by gutting voting rights (something NC, like Florida, has been working on for years) or the theocratic takeover some of them dream of; either way, if they can get away with it they’ll be all in on bans.

The Idaho GOP has already rejected life-of-the-mother exemptions; I doubt they’re alone. And even with exceptions, the bills are written to scare doctors out of abortion, no matter how awful the case. Many of the movement may not be as extreme as this guy, but as I’ve written before, that doesn’t mean they’ll stand up to extremists. After all, underlying the right-wing, as Kristen Kobes Du Mez says, is a horror of women defying men’s control. How can a man be master in his house if he knows his woman can divorce him?

Don’t get me wrong, 12 weeks with insane restrictions is preferable to six weeks. But it isn’t good. And the people pushing it definitely are not moderates on the issue.

For more on forced-birth bullshit, Undead Sexist Cliches is available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holders.

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E. Jean Carrol’s win against Trump triggers rape apologists

E. Jean Carroll sued Trump in civil court for rape, sexual assault and defamation and won $5 million in damages.  The jury took around three hours to decide Trump had sexually abused Carroll but didn’t find for Carroll on the rape charge. In other words they believed Trump had groped her, inserted his fingers into her but not necessarily his penis (the latter is a necessity for the New York definition of rape).

As Shakezula says, this is a win for Carroll and human decency but it was never going to change Trump voters’ views. And it didn’t: Trump supporters, however, are loud and proud, claiming TFG has been vindicated: the jurors said he didn’t rape her! The jurors said she lied! Clearly he didn’t defame her either! Misogynist Matt Walsh is among the right-wingers demanding harsher penalties for false rape accusations — they should go to prison for just as long as a rapist would get. Unsurprisingly there’s no suggestion we go beyond that, that false pedophilia accusers get the same sentence a pedophile would.

No surprise. Trump’s misogyny and his ability to get away with treating women like shit (not all women, but many of them) is a big part of his appeal: “Fear and hatred of women is at the absolute center of right wing politics in this country. That fascism is a wildly misogynistic ideology is not exactly some sort of coincidence.” Plenty of right-wingers (and a lot of people who aren’t right-wingers) think prosecuting rape is an attack on men.

Like all misogynist arguments, this is bullshit. The jury not calling it rape is a technicality. They believe Trump assaulted Carroll but they balked at labeling it rape — it’s a laden word, even though I think it’s the right one — or questioned whether he’d used his penis rather than his finger. This is not saying “Carroll lied” but She Lied is a common rape apologist argument. According to them, a woman accusing the wrong man isn’t mistaken — mistaken identity happens in many criminal cases — but willfully lying or lashing out because of her buyer’s remorse.

As the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says, this also affects police reporting on rape. Cops can close a case as “unfounded” if they investigate and determine the rape didn’t happen. In practice they routinely brand a case unfounded without an investigation: the victim didn’t report immediately, doesn’t want to talk, is vague about details, etc. All of these are common in real rape cases but cops buy into bullshit about women making it up as often. Trump supporters aren’t outliers in American rape culture … but that’s not an excuse.

For more of my opinion on rape culture and rape apologists (spoiler: I’m not a fan), check out Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holders.

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Republicans continue treating women as incubators: abortion links.

“Rather than introduce a fresh bill, they gutted an unrelated measure on child safety and then inserted 46 pages of abortion restrictions. ” — from an article on North Carolina’s new abortion ban. It’s bad (no surprise) and Sen. Tricia Cotham, who just switched to Republican, has thrown away her solid pro-choice record by voting for it. Among other details “People would also only be allowed to get a medication abortion until 10 weeks of pregnancy, and to get one, they would have to go to three separate, in-person appointments that are 72 hours apart.”

Two other Republicans who said they wanted to stick with current law switched and voted for it; another didn’t show up at all. Rep. John Bradford responded to reporters’ questions by not answering and blathering about liberal propaganda.

That particular point is noteworthy because “anti-abortion activists know that so long as abortion pills—and accurate and reliable information about how to use them—remains widely accessible, their entire crusade is doomed to fail. ” No wonder they want mifepristone outlawed. And they’re increasingly fighting abortion providers by resorting to criminal tactics.

The American College of Pediatricians is anti-abortion and anti-trans and as a Wired article shows, full of shit: “Most of the College’s research had been ‘written by one person,’ according to minutes from a 2006 meeting, which were included in the leak. The College was failing to make a splash. In the future, one director suggested, papers rejected by medical journals ‘should be published on the web.’ The vote to do so was unanimous (though the board decided the term ‘not published’ was nicer than ‘rejected’).” Shakezula has more.

Despite the right-wing touting adoption as an alternative to abortion, Marjorie Taylor Greene dismisses a stepmom’s opinion because she’s not “a biological mother

Exceptions to abortion bans typically don’t amount to crap. In Tennessee, for instance, a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy still couldn’t get an abortion.

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled the state constitution protects abortion. Republicans just passed multiple abortion bans anyway. Over in Oregon, Dems have the votes to pass abortion-rights and other legislation but Republicans simply walk out so there’s no quorum. In Ohio they’re engaging in elaborate gamesmanship to keep an abortion-rights measure off the ballot.

“She told her friends Slaton drove her home the next morning, stopping at a drugstore so she could obtain emergency contraception. Slaton at one point proposed to penalize the use of emergency contraception, including what is known as the Plan B pill.” — from an article about Bryan Slaton, a Texas state legislator who supposedly hates groomers but had no trouble hitting on an intoxicated 19-year-old staffer.

On a sort-of up note, the South Carolina legislature has been debating a ban on abortion after conception but women in the legislature, including pro-life Republicans, have blocked it. So that’s a point in their favor but on the other hand, two of the Republicans were fine with a six-week ban.

Over in Louisiana, rape and incest victims testified in support of a rape and incest exceptions to the state’s abortion ban: “Some Republican committee members got up and left in the middle of witness testimony.”

NC’s misogynist Lt. Governor Mark Robinson thinks mass shootings are punishment for abortion. It’s always abortion or gays with religious conservatives, never that the US doesn’t beat its swords into plowshares or usury or that rich people don’t give enough to the poor. I wonder what he’d say about a Texas man murdering his girlfriend after she got an abortion. Then again, I don’t really want to know.

For more on forced-birther arguments and why they’re bullshit, check out my Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holders.


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I’d like belief, I’ll settle for support

For months now, America’s right wing has been on a non-stop shriek-a-thon about woke business. Budweiser has a trans spokesperson in the Superbowl ad? They’re woke! Disney markets to gays? They’re woke! Rainbow-creme oreos to celebrate pride? Woke!

In reality, of course, it’s the free market at work. Gays and trans people are a demographic that buys stuff; American corporations want to get their money. Ergo, be LGBTQ friendly, much as companies in the 1970s branded themselves as friends to liberated women.

I feel about this the same way I do politics. I much prefer politicians who sincerely share my values; I’ll settle for politicians who’ll enforce them out of self-interest. Whether Democrats are pro-choice because they believe in the right to abortion or they’re pro-choice to get themselves re-elected, it gets the same results. Part of being a voter is finding the politicians who’ll deliver the most bang for the buck, not the one who reflects your personal ideas best. It often requires compromise, but that’s politics.

On gay issues, I suspect a lot of business leaders are pro-gay or at least not anti-. The culture has shifted radically and gay acceptance is much more widespread than the end of the last century, 23 years ago. For all the outrage on the right, a large chunk of America doesn’t think catering to the LBGTQ market is a bad thing; it’s no longer a controversial or daring stand.

That’s part of the problem for the right — the realization that companies are not only willing to compete for LGBTQ dollars, they don’t see a downside to doing so. It’s like the old urban legend that Proctor and Gamble was openly Satanist and sneered that “there are not enough Christians in America” to cause any blowback. The reminder that outside the Republican Party the right-wing doesn’t have enough clout to force companies to change has to stick in their craw. Heck, Disney’s response to Ron DeSantis’ trying to bully it is to schedule a pride event. Conversely, Oklahoma officials talking about how they miss the days of lynching produces more outrage and criticism than a century ago.

Another issue, I suspect, is that right wingers such as Matt Walsh — who has embraced a Bud Light boycott as the great crusade of our time — know that being inclusive from self-interest leads to real inclusion. The more companies send a message of “we’re cool with gay, give us your money” the more normal and acceptable being gay/trans looks. This may be part of Ron DeSantis and others pushing don’t say gay in schools. Seeing gay teachers, gay fellow students, reading about gays makes it easier (I assume) for other gay kids to come out, and for straight kids to see gays are just like them, unremarkable and not the sick fiends of right-wing propaganda. Keeping them quiet, keeping pride symbols out of school, that works the other way. It’s the same logic by which attorney Matt Staver wants Christian schools to exclude kids with gay parents — otherwise students might meet them and learn gays aren’t monsters!

This is what happens when you build a worldview on a tissue of lies, you have to live in perpetual fear that reality will rip it apart.


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Undead sexist cliches about women’s looks

As the WaPo’s Monica Hesse put it after Kamala Harris became Biden’s VP pick, “I keep thinking about how, at some point in Kamala Harris’s life, she has painstakingly reviewed her office wardrobe with the understanding that the difference between “slut” and “feminazi” is a few inches of worsted-wool hemline.”

Or as Deborah Tannen put it, there is no neutral feminine appearance. A man can put on a suit that says nothing but “I’m wearing a suit” or “I’m going to my job.” A woman’s appearance is taken to mean something: if she’s businesslike and non-sexy the meaning is not “I’m going to work” but that she’s a frigid bitch, asex, or a frump who doesn’t know how to dress. As I discussed in a previous post, women have been fired for not looking good but  they’ve also been fired for looking too sexy.

Women are judged by their looks in a way men never are. It’s fine for men such as Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich to have opinions without being even marginally attractive, but women?  If they aren’t pretty their opinions don’t count. Thus a longstanding attack on feminists going back to the days of the suffragettes is that all feminists are ugly. This is bad in itself but it’s also bad because it implies they don’t care about men’s opinions.  For example, UK businessman Demetri Marchessini declared in 2005 that women who wear trousers must be hostile to men because “they are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like. It is behaviour that flies against common sense, and also flies against the normal human desire to please.” Yes, god forbid women dress in a way total strangers don’t approve of. But that’s a common assumption.

Trying to live up to the standards of guys like Marchessini is a rigged game. Look too pleasing and that’s grounds for not taking a woman seriously or blaming her for her rapist’s actions. As noted at the link, it doesn’t matter what her reasons were: she looked good for work, for a date, for a date with her husband, because she wanted a one-night stand (going out looking for sex does not mean she has no right of refusal — it’s still rape). All that matters is what the rapist, the cops, the judge and the jury think of the way she dressed.

If the woman isn’t naturally attractive and she’s making an effort to look good, that’s a black mark against her too. Women are supposed to be natural beauties, like the songs that celebrate how the singer’s girlfriend doesn’t wear lipstick or makeup. Sure, a little effort might be acceptable — they’re supposed to look good for guys, after all — but trying too hard? Using botox or plastic surgery to look better than she really is? ROFL, how pathetic she is! It’s the “few inches of hemline” rule again.

Case in point, I remember an article about the foot damage caused by high heels and the doctor kind of rolled his eyes about how yeah, it’s bad, but you just can’t stop those crazy women from being fashionable. No concession that pop culture mocks women wearing “sensible shoes” as either frumpy, lesbian or both.

I think this partly ties into the ideal of the “low maintenance” woman. If she’s just a naturally good-looking woman who’s not making any real effort — she’s nice, easy-going, not worrying about her diet, and not going to make any demands of him. As one writer put it (Foz Meadows I think, but I can’t find a link to confirm it), if the guy accepts the woman’s appearance is natural, he doesn’t have to think about what’s behind the pleasing surface It’s easier for him, just as it’s easier if a woman comes from PIV sex without any added effort on the guy’s part (as discussed in The Technology of Orgasm).

Women can be judgmental about men’s looks but society doesn’t approve of them looking at men purely as eye candy and not considering their feelings.

For more on misogyny, check out my Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holders.

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Republicans doing whatever it takes

Llano County, Texas’ county commission replaced its library board in 2021 and began removing books from the shelves (dealing with race and LGBTQ stuff, are you surprised?). They’ve been sued and the judge has issued a ruling the books go back on the shelf for now. The commission’s solution: shut down the library.

House Republicans have proposed a bill that would shield future presidents from state prosecutions, shifting them to the Republican dominated federal courts.

Missouri State Senator and Republican Mike Moon opposes gender-affirming care for trans minors, but he’s fine with 12-year-olds being able to marry.

Jared Woodfill is an anti-gay Texas Republican attorney … who not only knew and covered up that his law partner was a pedophile, he hired young men to work for his partner, some of whom claim they were assaulted.

A new bill in Florida would exempt travel records for state leaders from the state’s strong public records law, as well as hiding the names of visitors to the governor’s mansion. Hmm, could it be Ron DeStalinist has something to hide? Still, to give DeSantis his credit, he’s been very successful at crushing black political power in the state.

When Republicans approved mifepristone-banning judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, they knew he was a strong forced-birther. Now that right-to-life has proven a loser at the voting booth, they’re not celebrating the ban. Go figure.

Iowa will no longer provide free emergency contraception for rape victims.

If you’re wondering how bad, legally, Kacsmaryk’s ruling on mifepristone was, here’s a deep dive. Spoiler: it’s very bad.

So is Gov. Gregg Abbott’s argument that the guy who shot a BLM protester should be pardoned because he had fear for his life: “At Perry’s trial, a defense expert testified that Foster could have raised his rifle and shot Perry in well less than a second. This is irrelevant. Texas is an open carry state. Anyone openly carrying a rifle could, in theory, point, aim, and kill someone in a fraction of a second. If what Foster did justifies lethal self-defense, you could plausibly argue the same about anyone carrying a rifle in public, particularly at a protest, or at any tense situation where there’s the possibility of conflict.”

Speaking of Texas, a new bill that would allow the Texas Secretary of State to invalidate county election results is very precise in effect: “What makes this proposal so egregious is that the bill’s very own text says it only applies to counties with a population of 2.7 million or more. Why such an oddly specific number? Texas’ second-biggest county, Dallas, has a population of 2.6 million, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimates. The law would therefore cover Harris County and only Harris County.”

Abbott and Texas Republicans are also pushing for legislation that blocks local government from enacting labor, environmental, anti-discrimination and other rules that go beyond state regulations — like requiring water breaks for construction workers.

Looking for a state board gig in Arkansas? The application includes a 500-word essay requirement saying what you admire about Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (she subsequently dropped this).

While Republicans’ relentless hunt for election-related fraud has never produced any fraud, it’s driving honest election officials out.

Kansas Republicans narrowly failed to push through a bill that, among other things, would ban covid-vaccine requirements for schools and make it easier to claim a vaccine exemption for kids even without a religious reason.

Remember the guy who attacked Paul Pelosi while hunting for Rep. Nancy Pelosi? Sen. Ted Cruz shared tweets claiming the story of the attack was bogus — and he won’t apologize.

For Republican Jim Banks, opposing wokeness means opposing diversity in federal agencies.

Along with coming for our birth control, Republicans are coming for Social Security.

“I always knew they had drugs. They all had pot. If I needed a kid removed, I would just ask the question and 90 percent of the time, they’d say something stupid and that was enough to remove them from my classroom.” — from a profile of a particularly loathsome member of the right-wing Moms for Liberty. Her actions allegedly include using a dead woman’s online accounts to harass other people.

Equally charming, the officials in McCurtain County OK wax nostalgic on tape about the days when you could get away with lynching blacks.

Ron DeSantis remains a tinpot dictator.

I’ll wrap up by saying something I rarely get to say: good for the Republican National Committee for condemning anti-Semitism in a resolution. It won’t stop elected officials screaming about George Soros, the International Jewish Banker (nope, nothing anti-Semitic there!) but I’ll take every bit of decency I can find.

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The right-to-life movement lies a lot

Matt Walsh has been ranting about trans people on Twitter lately, shrieking about how their terrorists, monsters, Something Must Be Done — and declaring that the trans movement consists of the worst liars in America. That’s almost amusing coming from a misogynist forced-birther such as Welsh because (as I point out in Undead Sexist Cliches) misogyny is built on lies and false beliefs. As for political movements, the right-to-life movement — of which Walsh is part — lies a lot more.

For example, many forced-birthers say they don’t want to punish the mother who gets abortions and that she won’t be punished: women weren’t punished pre-Roe and won’t be now. I’ve seen lots of public statements and interviews to that effect. But in 2019, Georgia passed a bill that potentially allowed the state to prosecute women who get abortions; the right-to-life movement gave it thumbs up. Multiple states have considered laws to prosecute women since and some candidates have supported the idea.

I see lots of hand-wringing about it on the right but no actions — like, say, “If you push for punishing women, we’ll primary you hard.”  Plus of course, women are already punished and the movement stays quiet. To say nothing of forcing women to bear dead babies or opposing even a mother’s life-exemption, something they rationalize by lying abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life. As for rape, they claim pregnancy never happens if it’s a “legitimate” rape, and if it does happen, well, God wants her to be a mommy. Is she going to refuse God’s wonderful gift?

And despite the religious right’s long history of opposition to birth control, Walsh can still shriek about how no, of course they’re not opposed to birth control (I’m not linking to it though). Tell that to Colorado.

Then there’s the claim that the big issue with Roe was that abortion should be left to the states. That was supposedly the result of the Dobbs decision.  Now, of course, Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk has banned mifepristone nationwide; I don’t anticipate an outcry from the forced-birth movement. Nor if he gets the chance to declare fetal personhood (his opinion declares that “fetus” is less scientific a term than “unborn human.”). And his decision is, by the way, based on complete bullshit: “It was a simple assertion of dominance, a clear statement that the right will stop at absolutely nothing – including the outer bounds of American law – to force women into compliance.”

And let’s not forget the sunny assurances that with Roe overturned, Republicans will now care more for mothers and kids. Or that they believe just saying no to sex takes care of the problem. In a sense, many of them don’t even tell the truth when they say abortion is wrong: lots of right-to-life women get abortions, which says they do believe “My body, my choice” — they just lie to themselves that their abortion is unlike any of those other abortions.

I’ll leave you with Jessica Valenti’s thought that it’s not just the forced-birth actions that stick in her craw, “It’s the looks on the faces of the men who are ruining us.  Donald Trump. Brett Kavanaugh. Matthew Kacsmaryk. Smug and assured, ignorant and shameless. Somehow we’ve ended up with the dregs of humanity robbing us of our own.

What makes this all so much worse is that men like these actually do think they know better than we do. In spite of their absolute mediocrity and near-unbelievable idiocy, these men truly believe they are the ones best suited to make decisions about our bodies and futures.”

Undead Sexist Cliches is available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holders.


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If providing free tampons is woke, I don’t want to be asleep.

Back in 2020, some lawmakers in Tennessee freaked out at a proposal to add menstrual products to items on the annual sales-tax holiday: my god, what if they bought a whole year’s supply at once! Of course that’s possible with any item during the holiday but someone the thought of women getting a tax break on tampons pushed their buttons.

In Idaho more recently, Democrats proposed providing free tampons to girls in school because (I gather) not everyone has a steady supply and having to worry about it makes it harder to focus on schools. According to State Rep. Barbara Ehardt (who’s also pushing a new forced-birth policy) , talk of “period poverty” is too woke for her. Her Republican colleague Heather Scott complained the policy was absurd and asked if the nanny staters planned to provide free deodorant as well.

I can’t help but think of the outrage many conservatives have expressed that under Obamacare, insurance automatically covers ob/gyn stuff. The late Charles Krauthammer freaked out about it, as have Sean Hannity  — why should he subsidize birth control when he’s not having sex? — and Paul Ryan, who complained that under the ACA, “the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick.” Um, that’s how insurance works, dude. Fellow bullshit artist Megan McArdle similarly argued that saying company health insurance policies should cover birth control is as silly as demanding your employer buy you a car (I dissect her non-logic at the link).

Of course I’m sure these attacks fall into “any bullshit that can destroy Obamacare is good bullshit” category but it’s telling how many right-wingers focus their criticism specifically on ob/gyn stuff, as opposed to women buying policies that guarantee coverage for prostate cancer or Viagra (or in the case of Krauthammer, a paraplegic, that abled people’s policies cover wheelchairs and similar necessities like he relies on). Or that someone like me, who has a glass of red wine daily and doesn’t smoke, still has a policy that covers alcoholism and lung cancer. That’s all cool, but not the ob/gyn stuff.

Part of that may be simple prudery because the ACA includes birth control. If women want daily birth control pills it must be because they want sex every day; Mike Huckabee says it’s insulting the ACA covers this since it implies American women can’t control their libido. Of course it implies nothing of the sort: taking birth control regularly simply guarantees that if the circumstances for sex arrive, you don’t have to worry about pregnancy. But forced birthers hate the idea that women can have sex and refuse motherhood.

This may relate to why Republican judge Reed O’Connor just struck down the ACA requirement insurers cover preventive care, including much ob/gyn care, birth control (apparently not all forms) and cancer and HIV screenings (the government can appeal this). HIV and contraceptives, according to the post at the link, are his big bugaboos (the plaintiff in the case is a homophobe anti-vaxxer).

Some conservatives also hate the idea of treating pregnancy as a health condition rather than the magical miracle of women’s nature. Never mind that we have the highest maternal death rate in the developed world, misogynist Matt Walsh thinks “If a woman’s reproductive powers were seen as powers, rather than a disease or a burden or an oppression, I think conservatives and liberals alike could find many common reasons to reject the pill.” Here’s an idea Mr. Walsh: let each woman decide for herself whether a specific pregnancy is a burden or a blessing. Walsh thinks we should “get past the notion that a woman must be liberated from her nature” but neither he nor I get to define an individual woman’s (or man’s) nature for them.

I’m quite sure Walsh wouldn’t tolerate anyone defining his for him. And I’m just as sure that in his eyes (and Huckabee’s, Krauthammer’s, etc.) That’s Different.

You can read more of my work about misogyny in Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward.

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Strange how Republicans hate single women voting

“When the Supreme Court took away reproductive freedom from over 50 percent of the electorate with Dobbs, we were told that if we didn’t like it, we should go ahead and vote on it. Exit polls revealed that this is precisely what transpired.” Which unsurprisingly lead to shrieks of outrage online that women, particularly single women, shouldn’t vote (not a new thought on their part). Republican misogyny and forced-birth policies are massively unpopular but they’re not backing off:

“Some who voted in favor of the bill have since acknowledged they didn’t read it closely or understand how completely it tied the hands of doctors. Briggs, the bill’s co-sponsor, has advocated for changes and lost the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life.” — Pro Publica looks at Tennessee’s malevolent abortion ban and how even women in need of life-saving abortions can’t get them. As LGM says, the piece shows Tennessee is, in general, a shitty place for motherhood.

Texas is lousy too, so I’m glad some women denied abortions are suing the state. Though with the current court system I doubt it’ll help.

“Women sent to prison after pregnancy loss are among the few Americans serving time for drug consumption; most laws criminalize drug possession and sales, not use. ” Because there’s always political support for punishing moms for not being perfect. Never mind the outcomes don’t benefit the fetus (“Doctors reported a sharp increase in the number of women avoiding prenatal care for fear of getting arrested, while the number of babies born in withdrawal from narcotics did not drop.”) While some antiabortion groups say they don’t support punishing the mother, I’m not aware of any of them doing more than lip service in this area.

I doubt we’ll see pushback against South Carolina’s new bill either, even though “under a standard reading of the proposed statute, the Prenatal Equal Protection Act would mean that terminating a pregnancy would give rise to a substantially similar scope of liability as would the killing of a person who has been born alive. Further, the bill’s title indicates that its purpose is to treat fertilized embryos on par with individuals born alive under the law.” And yes, that would apparently apply to the pregnant woman getting an abortion.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas ” HB 1174 says that it’s a crime to end a pregnancy by “wrongful act, neglect or default,” language so broad that women who have had miscarriages could be prosecuted for murder if the state decides that they somehow ‘caused’ it.

In other news:

“I am certainly not an expert on sex ed, but I am an expert in having my boundaries violated,” — kidnap/rape victim turned activist Elizabeth Smart on the importance of teaching consent.

“In December of that year, as Korea’s fertility rate hovered at 1.2 births per woman (it has since slid to 0.78, the lowest in the world), the Korean government launched an online “National Birth Map” that showed the number of women of reproductive age in each municipality, illustrating just what it expected of its female citizens. ” — from an article about South Korea’s 4B feminist movement, which reminds me a lot of US feminism in the 1970s.

“I remember being scared because he kept wailing and sobbing, saying he was going to kill himself if she didn’t get an abortion.” — an account of how one conservative executive at a pro-life company allegedly impregnated an employee, then demanded she abort. Though as I’ve said before, while hypocrisy is contemptible, the issue is that forced-birth policies are bad, not the morals of those who support them.

Race-Ing Roe is a Harvard Law Review paper speculating pre-Dobbs that the Supreme Court’s forced-birth majority would invoke discrimination as an excuse to ban abortion (because mothers may opt for abortion based on race or disability). While that’s not how it played out, the article is a good history of the relationship between race, abortion, and eugenics. It shows for example that while some black male leaders worried abortion and birth control would reduce the black population, black women were a lot more pro-choice (go figure).

“Brad Pitt didn’t have to prove he was the right kind of man; that was already assumed. He existed to choose the right woman, and to prove her rightness with his approval.” — a look at the gender stereotypes in play in the Pitt/Jolie/Aniston triangle.

You can read more of my work about misogyny in Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward.

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