Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

So it’s now legal to ban abortion

As Scott Lemieux said, lots of people said SCOTUS would never reverse Roe. Republican officials didn’t really care about it. Voter mobilization came from promising to kill Roe, not from actually doing it. Anyone who claimed abortion rights were at risk was just scaremongering.

Nice political analysis, dudes. While I don’t know how many voters the many claims of this sort swayed, the claims are still dead wrong. Wewound up with enough Republican judges to end abortion rights, even if some of them had to lie to do it. The results will be considerably worse than pre-Roe. Nor, if they get the federal clout to do it, will they blink at passing a nationwide ban and ignoring all their states’ rights pretenses. Or maybe some right-wing judge declares that fetuses are people and therefore the mother has no rights.

And gay marriage and contraception are at risk, even though the Log Cabin Republicans insist gay marriage is secure. I suspect if Obergefell goes, they’ll be reassuring everyone that it’s still okay to vote Republican, it’s not like they’d make homosexuality illegal again (if they ca, they will).

It’s impressive, and a hopeful sign, that so many women I know are angry about this. Regardless of whether they’re at risk of pregnancy, the idea that any woman can be coerced to bear a child against her will has touched a nerve. A lot of nerves. As I’ve said in Undead Sexist Cliches, while I’m pro-choice and pro-women’s rights in general, I don’t have a woman’s perspective or lived experience. Seeing the furious reactions reminds me, again, that this is so.

I’m also reflecting on how the ban on abortion neatly fits like a jigsaw puzzle piece with all the other pieces of misogyny. The conviction only nymphomaniac sluts need birth control. That shotgun weddings, even to a rapist, are preferable to abortion or contraception. That wives should put out, even if they’re don’t want to (“Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can — indeed, ought to — refuse sex because she is not in the mood?” — Dennis Prager).

After all, if married woman can’t get contraception — and if Griswold is overturned, states could outlaw that — some women may choose to avoid sex rather than risk another baby. And while conservatives want single women to stay virgin, a lot of right wingers assume wives are obligated to put out. Not only do we have people like Prager and DC McAlister who think wives should just lie there and think of England, plenty of conservatives think marital rape is not rape. So if a woman doesn’t want to have sex and get pregnant, her wishes don’t matter, not really. In the eyes of misogynist religious conservative Douglas Wilson, man dominates; women submits, and sex can never be fun for both partners.

They also have multiple ways to rationalize away any discomfort with rape victims having to bear their rapist’s child. It’s God’s design. If it was real rape she wouldn’t be pregnant. The victim isn’t feeling traumatized, she’s feeling shame for letting some man use her as a masturbatory aid. In short, she’s a slut at best and a lying slut at worst. So no need to feel guilty about the rape victim’s trauma, or the amount she’ll have to spend on ob/gyn care — she should have just kept her legs pressed together.

These views are not unique to the right wing but conservatism, particularly the religious right, is a breeding ground for extreme misogyny. They’ll always do their best to make it worse.


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How do we judge the Southern Baptist Convention on abuse?

Despite my loathing for the way so many conservative Christian churches deal with abuse issues — if they deal with the at all — I’m pleased the Southern Baptist Convention is tackling its history of turning a blind eye to abuse. As abuse survivor and attorney Rachel Denhollander says, the third-party investigation into abuse is way more than the Catholic Church has ever done. But as she says in another article, the SBC “is 10 years behind everyone else in its understanding of abuse.”

In the long run how we judge them on this depends how things play out. The SBC is in a position to change, but institutional inertia (as Denhollander notes) is a powerful thing — as the saying goes, changing a large organization is like teaching an elephant to dance. Plenty of pastors and church leaders dismissed dealing with the issue as a distraction from preaching the gospel. We have men such as Franklin Graham who (allegedly, not that I doubt the allegations) told an abuse victim that as her husband wasn’t beating her every single night she should go back to him. He also lied about Christine Blasey Ford during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, claiming Ford’s statement proves Kavanaugh stopped when she said no (he didn’t).

Even if SBC do a good job on this, it doesn’t excuse them being viciously anti gay rights or opposed to churches that ordain women. And it may be years before things play out enough to see if they’ve really changed. I think Fred Clark’s discussion of evangelicals and slavery gets close to what I’m thinking about.

First, it’s not whether I approve of the SBC that matters. It’s that if they change, that means justice and better support for future victims, and steps to reduce the number of future victims. That’s a good thing, even if the church remains otherwise horrendous.

Second, change may also require deconstructing the church’s view of women. How did their theology (which as I’ve said before is the fruit of a poisonous tree) shape their view of women who reported abuse and assault? Did their belief in purity culture and their enthusiasm for Trump shape their theology? If they identify where they went wrong, will they have the courage to reassess and change? I will be glad if they do but they have a long way to go first.

In other women-related news:

Karen Attiah wonders if America could accept a muscular She-Hulk.

Federal legislation would make it possible to sue partners who remove condoms before penetration.

Bill Cosby’s civil trial for assault has to start jury deliberations over.

Even if Republicans don’t ban contraceptives, many American women live in contraceptive deserts.

Republican states adding Medicaid benefits for new mothers does not balance out for banning abortion but it is a good thing.

Is cheerleading a sport? And why it’s significant legally if it isn’t.

Monica Hesse points out that transgender bans in sports assume all that matters is winning.

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Assorted political links

A Texas pastor wants gays put to death. If the right wing gets to throw out the Lawrence decision that legalized gay sex, I guarantee we’ll hear more people advocate making death the punishment. As Fred Clark says, whether gay-haters think they’re acting from love of god rather than hate of gays, the hate is in their actions.

Amazon sells books by a white supremacist publisher.

Fun with algorithms. There’s one that can find your face in photos anywhere. The tech’s current owner says “he was relying on people to act “ethically,” offering little protection against the technology’s erosion of the long-held ability to stay anonymous in a crowd. PimEyes has no controls in place to prevent users from searching for a face that is not their own, and suggests a user pay a hefty fee to keep damaging photos from an ill-considered night from following him or her forever.”

Then there’s the algorithms that supposedly spot test cheaters.

As criticism of the Uvaide PD’s response to the school shooting mounts, the department has a solution: stop cooperating with investigators.

In the same spirit, the Parma OH police responded to a FB parody mocking their account—parody is legal First Amendment stuff—by locking up the creator and putting him on trial. He got off, then counter-sued, but a federal  court says the police acted within their rights.

The Bible bans charging interest. Fred Clark has some thoughts.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the 14th Amendment’s bar on insurrectionists holding office may be applied to current/future political candidates. I’m sure the Supreme Court will tank it but that would be good news.

White nationalist Neil Kumar hopes his run for Congress will spread the word about replacement theory, which he pretends to believe in.

More Republican election fraud! Possibly this is another example.

What drives people with lots of money to do unethical things for even more money?

Wrongfully convicted because your public defender was inept? Supreme Court says screw you.

According to Tucker Carlson, Kamala Harris is “a dyslexic poet with a limited vocabulary, she just kind of bombs around the country emitting words. And they’re hilarious.” Funny, that sounds like a description of Carlson himself, except he’s not hilarious, just vicious, misogynist and bigoted.

For good news, the Supreme Court has told parents opposing New York State ending religious vaccine exemptions that they’re not hearing the case.

Too many conservatives think the collapse of American society and Western civilization all boils down to tolerating gay rights.

Here is the Republican message on everything of importance: 1. They can tell people what to do. 2. You cannot tell them what to do.” Which is not news, but the linked Twitter thread states it well.

In 2020, the GOP saw no problem with declaring their candidates’ wins legit, even as they lied and shrieked about election fraud. They’re still at it.

I’m sure many Republicans would insist that even though many right-wingers want gays executed, it’s never going to happen. Don’t believe them.

Just because Obama’s no longer in office doesn’t mean Republicans won’t try to use the Scary Black Man to frighten voters: “operating from the shadows while dummy dementia puppet Biden serves as decrepit front man. And who is giving Obama the orders? The enemies of America – billionaire, meglomaniac, psychopaths George Soros, Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and the Chinese Communist Party.” — Wayne Root

Well here’s a shocker: the Uvalde PD and the city government want to shut down information requests about the shooting on ground the information would be embarrassing or show weaknesses criminals could exploit (like cops not being willing to risk their butts to save kids?). Given what we already know, it makes me wonder how much worse is being covered up?

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Guns, abortion and other hot topics

“[Texas Governor] Abbott has doubled down on his stance that mass shootings are an issue of mental health and not gun access following the Uvalde massacre. However, in April, Abbott slashed nearly $211 million from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), which oversees mental health services in Texas. Abbott diverted the funds to add to his effort to send National Guard to the Texas-Mexico border, currently known as Operation Lone Star. No other Texas agency received a more significant cut than the HHSC when Abbott slashed funding.”

The Texas state government is willing to take action, however, when companies don’t do business with gun makers. And DeSantis vetoed $35 million for a new Tampa Bay Rays facility because they donated to a gun violence-prevention group. Nevertheless, a number of Abbott donors are pushing for restrictions.

Why do we let children buy firearms?

Trump Jr. babbles even more gobbledygook than usual about how what happened in Uvaide is not a gun problem. Because he could have killed all those people with a machete or a baseball bat, right! Um, no, the reason people pay upwards of a thou to own an AR-15 is because they’re way more effective at this sort of mass killing.

“The brand of heroism that enables someone to advance on a gunman is more rare than Hollywood would have us believe.” — David Von Drehle on the challenge of heroism. “A strategy for curing the epidemic of mass shootings that depends on the presence of a calm, collected, gun-slinging hero in every classroom and pew is doomed to fail. Such people are rare — even among graduates of police and military training.”

Ted Cruz storms out of an interview after questions about school shootings leave him flustered.

Better gun-spotting tech isn’t the answer to preventing shootings.

Lauren Witzke, right-wing racist liar, blames Uvaide on a government false flag operation. On the plus side, Alex Jones’ efforts to file bankruptcy and escape those Sandy Hook lawsuits has failed.

Peter Thiel puppet Blake Masters — it seems he has more than just J.D. Vance — says the reason for gun violence is simple: black people.

“The circumstances that make a mass murder of fourth graders possible are inherently political. The legal access to the weaponry involved is political. The most visible people refusing to see these things as political happen to be elected to political office. ”

“Even if I caused an accident, and the victim is bleeding out, and only my blood can keep them alive — I still have the right to say no. I have the right to choose whether or not to donate my blood.” — Jim Hines on why coerced pregnancies are an immoral idea.

Some Texas cities are passing laws that forbid their residents from getting abortions anywhere. The advantage of Republicans stuffing the courts with forced-birth judges is that these laws will probably pass constitutional muster.

Jacky Eubanks, a Trump-backed Michigan state Senate candidate, says she supports banning all contraception because sex should only be between married couples. Of course, married couples use contraception; I suspect her distaste for “consequence-free sex” has more to do with it (see here and here for more)

Some businesses are offering to pay for employees who need to leave the state for abortions. The Texas legislature is not happy.

How trying to arrange for an abortion leaves a digital trail.

Austin, TX is looking at ways to protect city residents from Texas abortion bans.

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And this is why religious groomers are the worst kind

A while back I posted about the Southern Baptist Conference’s sexual harassment problems on Facebook. A guy I know took issue, complaining that I’d singled out the SBC when the same harassment occurs in every other group. I pointed out that harassment and assault are even more toxic when backed up by religious authority; he hand-waved that away (he’s unfriended because I count “well you didn’t bring up some other group that’s just as bad” as a rape apologist defense).

First off, I have written about lots of secular assault and harassment cases, here and on FB (case in point). Even if I hadn’t, the “what about some other group that’s just as bad as the SBC” is still a rape apologist argument—the equivalent of the Boys Will Be Boys  defense—so the dude is now blocked.

Second, I agree that sexual harassment is horrible in many institutions and situations. For example, New York doctor Kevin Cahill has been accused of assaulting a female patient years ago, manipulating her (he got her needed medical treatment but that meant she had to see him again) and constantly harassing her. And while Alabama Republican Mike Durant isn’t accused of abuse, he seems willing to cover up Durant’s father’s abuse of Durant’s sister.

We have the Ohio legislature passing a bill that requires any female athlete submit to a genital inspection if anyone accuses her of being transgender. I’m sure nobody’s going to abuse that. And we have Marjorie Taylor Green hiring Milo Yiannopoulos, who thinks pedophilia is fine if it’s with sexually mature 13-year-olds. In fairness, Yiannopoulos claims he’s changed his ways, but I don’t take anything he says in good faith, any more than Greene; she’s a narcissist 3rd-rate celebrity posing as a politician who’s now hired a fifth-rate celebrity to grab a little more attention.

All that said, the power and authority that comes with religious authority makes it more toxic, much as my commenter disagreed

Dr. Cahill couldn’t give his patient an argument such as “In our “fantasy talk,” you have affectionately spoken of being “my wife.” That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!” as slimeball preacher Jack Schaap of the Independent Baptist Church (which has plenty of assault problems) did to a 16 year old girl he was counseling. This is how grooming happens in churches—the authority of a spiritual leader, quotes assuring his prey that God wants them to hook up, and no systems in place for blocking it. As the victim put it, “[Schaap] violated my trust. But when it was being violated, I didn’t even know it because he made me believe what we were doing was okay and right in the eyes of God.”

Then we have pastor David Walker, who started having sex with one girl when she was 14; he later claimed he’d mistaken her for his wife the first time. We have Hillsong Church. We have the multiple pastors who think rape or abuse is a husband’s right in marriage. And again, this has more punch when it supposedly has God’s authority behind it.

As always, you can find more on this topic in my book Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holder.


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Undead sexist links and quotes

The NYT’s unctuous religious conservative pundit, Ross Douthat, claims Harvey Weinstein and similar predators flourish because, liberals and consent standards: “If your culture’s code is libertine, don’t be surprised that worse things than libertinism flourish.”

That raises the question of why sexual assault is so common in the very anti-consent, anti-liberal Southern Baptist Conference: “For decades, the findings show, Southern Baptists were told the denomination could not put together a registry of sex offenders because it would go against the denomination’s polity — or how it functions. What the report reveals is that leaders maintained a list of offenders while keeping it a secret to avoid the possibility of getting sued. The report also includes private emails showing how longtime leaders such as August Boto were dismissive about sexual abuse concerns, calling them “a satanic scheme to completely distract us from evangelism.”

One response to that: ” When pastors believe that the importance of their mission — reaching the lost, spreading the Gospel — somehow justifies the concealment of terrible crimes, they have crossed the line into heresy. The Christian message can never be advanced through strategic lies.”Here are some key takeaways. I’ll give the SBC credit for finally dealing with this, but it’s a very small credit compared to the damage they spent years ignoring.

Similarly: “A Warsaw, Indiana, pastor who drew a standing ovation from his congregation after telling them he was stepping down because he committed adultery with one person at least two decades ago drew their wrath minutes later after a woman tearfully alleged she was only 16 when the pastor took her virginity on his office floor while she sported a purity ring.”

Now here’s some insight from a Louisiana senator: “In an interview with Politico, the following words came out of Cassidy’s mouth: “About a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality. So, if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear. Now, I say that not to minimize the issue but to focus the issue as to where it would be. For whatever reason, people of color have a higher incidence of maternal mortality.”  In other words if it’s mostly black mothers dying, no big.

Texas continues its efforts to expand its ban to states that don’t think The Handmaid’s Tale is a good role model. Fourteen Republicans have proposed banning any business from the state if they pay for employees to get abortions where it’s legal.

“Overturning Roe v. Wade could have disastrous consequences for the U.S. armed forces, and here’s how I know: When I was 21, I was drugged and raped violently while serving in the military, a crime that resulted in pregnancy.”

To CYA themselves, some doctors and hospitals already turn away miscarriage patients or delay treatment. As detailed at the link, the new anti-abortion laws make it worse. However forced-birth leaders are resorting to even bigger lies than usual, such as aborted fetuses being used as fuel by power companies. That’s up there with the furries in schools bullshit. Or we have Fox News’ Jesse Watters arguing we shouldn’t listen to pro-choice arguments from older women because they can’t get pregnant.

Can victims forgive institutions for sexual misconduct they ignored?

As always, if you want more discussion of the myths around abortion, harassment and male supremacy, 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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Assorted political linkage

Abby Johnson is an anti-feminist who got some attention in 2020 for saying only the head of the household should vote — which (as covered in Undead Sexist Cliches) is one of the standard excuses sexists offer for why women not having suffrage is justifiable: the man, as head of the household, voted for his family.

Which is bullshit. Widows who headed households couldn’t vote. Single women couldn’t vote. Single men with no household could vote; sons living with their parents could vote; younger brothers living with  wealthier brothers could vote. But she’s also a devoted forced-birther who recently declared her enthusiasm for executing ob/gyns who perform abortion (I’m unclear whether she includes the patients as well, but it sure sounds like it).

It’s not a good sign when they feel comfortable saying the quiet parts out loud, like right-winger Patrick Howley saying he supports free speech until the right is able to take it away from liberals.

I’m not sure what it signifies that Jim Bakker claims Christian pastors are already being executed for controversy.

Missouri Republicans want to prevent pharmacists from saying ivermectin isn’t a covid cure. Over in Florida, Typhoid Ron DeSantis has wealthy anti-vax supporters. And Senator Ron Johnson accepts claims that covid vaccines give you AIDS. An Oklahoma Republican wants Fauci executed.

Florida Republicans are bad in other ways, too. And yet other ways.

Fascist attorney John Eastman had a simple path to Trump stealing the election: make numbers up.

Some conservatives insist the Alito draft opinion on Roe v. Wade won’t affect gay marriage, contraception rights or interracial marriage because they’re so popular. Of course, that’s what they said about overruling Roe … and right-wingers are eager to get to the overruling.

A mostly black town in Tennessee looks to benefit from a Ford plant opening near by. State officials want to take over running the town.

Republicans continue equating gay characters to adult sexual material that should be kept from kids. Even to the point of hiding it in library databases. At least some teens are fighting back.

The Texas Bar is suing allegedly corrupt state attorney Ken Paxton — who by amazing coincidence is now suing them.

Despite all the right-wing lies about “groomers” they’re fine when the grooming’s coming from inside the house. Fred Clark links to a few more examples. And here. And here.

The real reasons gas prices are so high. And prices in general are going up so companies can enjoy record profits.

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Replacement theory, Republicans and misogynist Matt Walsh.

You’ve probably hear by now about the Buffalo shooting fueled by the killer’s belief in the great replacement theory, that Democrats are deliberately important non-white immigrants to destroy the white race. As explained at the link, it’s a protean paranoia that can attach its rage to multiple targets: Jews (they’re behind it), immigrants, environmental destruction (but blaming it on immigrants) and white women who don’t have enough babies. It can therefore justify anti-immigrant policies, anti-abortion policies and opposition to feminism. Among the reasons college is bad for women is that educated women have fewer kids — though to be clear, misogynists hate women’s education for lots of reasons.

It was popular with racists in the last century but it hasn’t vanished in this one. As the Washington Post says, Tucker Carlson and a number of other of prominent right-wing pundits believe it or claim they do. Elise Stefanik is one of multiple congresspeople who claim to agree. Stefanik’s pseudo-outraged response was that pointing out her statements was the same as saying the shooting was her fault waaaah, why are liberals so mean?

Forgive me for stating the obvious but this is a racist theory. It’s based on the idea that the U.S. is a white nation and that nonwhite immigrants are going to take “our” country away from us. Guess what, if nonwhite citizens outnumber white citizens they’re perfectly entitled to elect the officials of their choice. That’s how democracy works. And it’s unlikely a Latino-run government would do any worse than Republican WASPS.

A number of conservatives, such as Laura Ingraham, claim they’re only concerned about illegal immigration but their words show they’re lying. Ingraham we should put the blame for Buffalo on the media, presumably exempting her own channel, Fox. A network that, coincidentally, is avoiding any mention of replacement theory as the killer’s motive.

Some conservatives, such as the Wall Street Journal editorial page, have condemned the theory. I will give them credit for that. But the bulk of them? Not so much. Arizona State Senator and raving anti-semite Wendy Rogers blames it on the feds. Franklin Graham says only Jesus can stop mass shootings (funny how our deeply Christian nation has more than many nations with fewer believers).

But then there are people such as right-wing Christian Matt Walsh. While I blogged about Matt Walsh’s misogynistic writing almost a year ago, I had no particular reason to think he was racist as well as misogynist. My bad: he’s now claiming Democrats “want to minimize what they call whiteness in America … this isn’t a conspiracy theory. There’s nothing wild or speculative about it. It’s just a fact. And one of the ways you know that it’s a fact is the left and the media — The New York Times, CNN — they’ve been very open about it, many times. So if it is a theory — if the great replacement theory is a theory, then it’s a theory propagated by the left. They’re the ones who go around talking about this supposed scourge of whiteness.”

Much as I despise Walsh, I doubt he’s idiot enough to think criticizing whiteness (whether he means CRT, the 1619 project or merely pointing out racism is widespread) translates into “we must take power away from white people.” So I assume he’s lying, even though in Christianity, bearing false witness against your neighbor is a big no-no. Whether he’s lying because it’s good for his bottom line or he’s racist and wants nonwhites to stay out, I cannot say.

I cover more misogynists and more on misogynist lies about women’s education, in Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers.

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DeSantis: Sexual harassment training is evil, just like Disney is evil!

As you all probably know, Fla. Governor Ron DeFascist and his fellow Republicans are outraged that Disney dared defy him and question the wisdom of Don’t Say Gay. He’s claiming that Disney’s sexing up cartoons — as noted at the link, it’s not a new thing in cartoons — but it’s doing the job of encouraging corporations to collaborate. He’s unsurprisingly fine with Nazis protesting Disney. And his party’s on board too: Josh Hawley’s suddenly discovered corporate copyright lasts too long and needs to be changed. Provided you’re a corporation with $150 billion in revenue so it’s not like he’s targeting revenue.

While I agree copyright stretches out way too long, altering the law to punish specific companies is not a good alternative.  Once again, Republicans show themselves as the Stalinists they pretend to despise. It was a staple rule in the old USSR, and many other oppressive states, that you either give lip service to party orthodoxy or pay a price. It’s not the first time, either: back when George Soros looked at buying into major league baseball, some Republicans said that would cost MLB its antitrust exemption. But the important thing from Republicans’ perspective is that its discouraging other corporations from speaking up.

The focus on Disney and DeSantis’ hating on gays shouldn’t obscure that he’s also punching down at sexual-harassment and diversity training. It bans training that says, for example, that race, sex or national origin make some people privileged, or that tells employees they should feel “guilt, anguish or psychological distress” because of actions committed by people who share their race or gender. If an employee thinks their employer has crossed the line, they can sue.

Rather like the Texas abortion bounty hunting program this is considerably more freewheeling than a policy supervised by the government. Would saying that statistically more men than women commit harassment or that women have to deal with harassment a lot qualify? Even if the employee loses, it’s going to cost the employer time and money, providing an incentive for employers to be very, very careful about harassment and diversity training).

Like Don’t Say Gay, the primary goal here is proving DeSantis is fascist enough to be a Republican presidential candidate. I suspect the right-wingers who complain sexual harassment is an arbitrary standard will be fine with it. They’re not offended by sexual harassers such as Madison Cawthorne or Roy Moore. Like Suzanne Venker they assume the problem is that women are there in the workplace so it’s their fault. Just keep women and men apart at work and if women’s careers suffer, well why should misogynists care? Likewise, the assumption is that diversity is a synonym for “minorities and women getting jobs they aren’t qualified for” in contrast to the fantasy era when white people ran everything because they were superior.

I don’t know if DeSantis believes any of that or is just making a calculated political gesture. Like his enthusiasm for punching down at gays to gain political points, it’s vile either way. Which unfortunately makes him a perfect Republican.

I have a chapter on sexual harassment-excusing bullshit (including the Pence Rule) in  Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers.

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Some pundits pretend repealing Roe v. Wade is no big deal

I disagree. If you follow my blog regularly, you know that. Nevertheless, syndicated conservative columnist Kathleen Parker assures us that none of the judges want to go down in history as the ones who opened the floodgates for forced-birthers. Of course, as noted at the link, Parker also wrote in 2016 that Congress would rein in Trump’s worst impulses so it wouldn’t be a catastrophe if he got elected. I doubt her precognitive abilities have improved.

Ramesh Ponnuru insists that even if Roe goes the right to contraception is not in danger and there’s no chance of a national abortion ban. Gay conservative Andrew Sullivan claims that gay marriage is totally different from abortion and so should be safe. It would be bad if gays couldn’t marry you see, while making it possible for states to ban abortion is just fine with him.

I presume they’re either clueless or trying to damp down the possibility of a pro-choice backlash in November. But plenty of politicians, including Mitch McConnell, feel confident enough to say that yes, they might ban contraception (assuming SCOTUS throws out the relevant cases) and yes, a national abortion ban is on the table. On the other hand the National Republican Senatorial Committee is telling this year’s candidates to say they don’t want to put women or doctors in jail or to take away access to contraception. For most candidates these will be lies, possibly finely parsed (“I don’t want to put women in jail but if the sluts kill their babies, they have it coming.”).

Even without any of that, anti-abortion laws post Roe will get worse. Christian pundit TIsh Harrison Warren, however, is more optimistic, suggesting the pro-life movement will now do positive things: better community resources, child care, economic support for mothers, etc. Other pundits have made similar claims. I think Warren’s sincere, but she’s also fooling herself; as LGM says, if Republicans wanted to do that, they’d already have done it. Nothing’s stopping them. Except their own misogyny. For example South Dakota state Republican Wayne Steinhauer helped kill a bill offering more job protection for pregnant women: if their employer doesn’t support them, they should just quit.

We have people like one guy crowing “your body is mine and you’re having my baby.” Or the online Trump-worshipping trolls who suddenly discover women have to be responsible (see here). Alito says it’s a matter for the voters, ignoring that SCOTUS and Republicans are building towards minority rule. To say nothing of the draft opinion citing the domestic supply of infants as a relevant issue because that makes it harder for other women to adopt. Which is, I’m sure, linked to the conviction that America needs women breeders. And the neo-Nazi view that their wombs belong to men. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, women are individuals with the right to make their own choices, not a means to an end, either society’s or men’s.

Then there’s the question of how they’ll enforce the ban. Monitor cell phone location data? Turn an ob/gyn’s office into a room full of informers? Access period-monitoring apps and see if there are irregularities (which is normal and common, but I doubt they’ll accept that)? Investigate miscarriages, Just In Case? As Jennifer Rubin says at the link “since the ‘crime’ takes place in a woman’s womb, the enforcement mechanism by necessity will be intrusive.” And abortion bounty hunters (as under the Texas law) aren’t officially government agents so they aren’t hindered by the Fourth Amendment at all.

One woman who went to her doctors with a miscarriage — up to that point, she hadn’t known she was pregnant — saw how suspicious they could suddenly become. Texas pharmacies have begun refusing prescriptions for miscarriage treatments in case they’re for secret abortions. Other women have gone to jail for miscarriages already. Misogynist Georgia lawmaker Bobby Franklin (he once proposed rape victims be referred to in the justice system as rape accusers unless there was a conviction) wanted the state to investigate all miscarriages as potential homicides. As Fred Clark points out, some conservative Christians believe miscarriages come from sin so it’s perfectly reasonable to hold the mother responsible.

It isn’t.

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