Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Tag: sexism Page 1 of 3

Only the NY Times Could Write This Headline

Colorado’s Effort Against Teenage Pregnancies Is a Startling Success

This is Colorado’s approach to anti-abortion, and it’s working great.  A reality based program:

an IUD

  • Educate young women
  • Make long-term birth control available to them
  • They choose the option to not get pregnant
  • It works

How is this startling?  Who at the NY Times was surprised this would work?

When women have a choice, they choose a method that acknowledges their humanity – unlike “abstinence-only” education that imposes a bronze-age view of women’s sexuality.  By the way, if the Colorado program reminds you of the approach taken by Planned Parenthood, it should.  They are nearly identical.  Planned Parenthood truly follows the principle that “abortion should be legal, safe, and rare.”

The program was started with a private grant but now will need state funding.  Given that the Colorado state senate is controlled by Republicans, expect opposition.  Expect the same puzzling approach the so-called pro-life crowd take to Planned Parenthood: if you really want to stop abortions, shouldn’t you be handing out contraceptives on every street corner?  But the right-wing approach to abortion, contraception and sex-education is not about any of those things, it’s about men controlling women’s sexuality.

Why Conservatives REALLY Hate Marriage Equality

During the whole debate and the progress of the various legal cases, conservatives argued incessantly that gay marriage would damage if not destroy straight marriage. Obviously this is not true, but unless we assume that they are all drooling morons, why would they keep saying that?

In an awesome essay for TPM, Amanda Marcotte explains that “traditional marriage”, to these conservatives, means more than the correct combination of genders.  It means that a woman is not independent, but under the control of a man:

It’s true that women in modern society no longer feel like they have to be married to be granted entrance into adult society. Single women living by and supporting themselves is no longer considered scandalous. Marriage is, bit by bit, becoming more about a partnership between equals who choose each other for the purpose of love and happiness. Which means it’s becoming less about giving men control over women’s lives.

A disturbing theme runs through a lot of causes championed by the Right, and it is this: Men are supposed to be in control of women, especially their sexuality and their reproductive capacity. Since men cannot themselves make the next generation, they feel they must own the means of production. So “traditional marriage” doesn’t just mean with respect to the sexual binary. It also means that the female becomes subservient to the “leadership” of the male — “leadership” is a common euphemism among the religious right-wing for absolute male hegemony. 

The Biblical view of women as property that occasionally talks back is no accident; extreme religious men today view their wives’ opinions with some bemusement.  They know that they need to make sure their peaceful homes don’t fall prey to constant nagging, so they try to learn the tricks to keeping her quiet.  Where I come from, this is called shalom bayit – “the peace of the house.”  That sounds nice, but remember: that same culture calls the husband ba’al – “owner.”  The more you know.

Conservatives’ desire to control women explains their attitudes toward sexuality, birth control, sex education, equal pay, workplace diversity, and even rape.  It’s kind of scary how little is NOT explained by this framework.  Are we becoming conspiracy theorists?  It’s hard to be sure when everything fits the overall rubric so effortlessly.

The good news is that marriage is quickly losing this “control freak” quality.  For more and more couples, marriage is entry into a joyful partnership of equals and not the subservience of one to the other.  That’s why same-sex marriage had to become reality.  In Justice Kennedy’s description of what marriage is and why any couple should be allowed its benefits, he gave no comfort to the controllers and all to the partners. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”  Search in vain for any mention of who’s in charge.

“Who wears the pants in your family?” was the taunt hurled at men deemed insufficiently in control of their women.  Not all that long ago — in my lifetime! — this had a sting.  It was what they called “fighting words.”  That today it generates more confused looks than embarrassment and rage is a huge accomplishment for our society. 

What if all consent worked like this?

The everydayfeminism blog imagines, what if all consent worked the way rape culture assumes sexual consent works?

Here’s an example:

But go — read the whole darn thing.

Men (and yes, it’s primarily, almost exclusively men) who take the liberties described in this series of illustrations need to become aware of the privilege that they assume entitles them to behave this way.

And it’s not going to go away just because symbols are removed.  cf. how expunging the Confederate Flag from respectable public display will end racism in the US.  


In Touch with Reality

+Citizens Fed Up posted this meme, and asked, “How can these Republican Candidates be so out of touch with reality??”

The answer is, they are not out of touch with reality.  They are in touch with this reality: their only remaining constituency (not counting billionaires and lobbyists for multinational corporations) is angry old white men who watch Fox News, plus the women those AOWMs control.

When speaking to that audience, “single mother” is a dog-whistle for “slut.”  It doesn’t matter to them what the reality of a situation is, only what grooved track you can get the “mind” of an AOWM onto when deciding how to vote in the fall.

Implying that the women who raised our two most recent Democratic presidents fit the “slut” category is just a bonus.

Hecies and Shecies

Once again, a bit o’genius from  Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

No doubt this piece was inspired at least in part by the current phenomenon called, “Men Going Their Own Way” (just Google MGTOW  if you have time for a cry).  This is an outgrowth of the hideous Men’s Rights movement, in which men so socially and emotionally stunted that they repel even the most brainwashed of women decide it’s better this way.  They don’ need no steenkin’ wimmins.  They can even learn to cook!  Their recipes are a real hoot — it’s hard to believe some of them are not just food-trolling.

The parallels between Men’s Rights and White Supremacy are pretty fun to trace.  For certain very odd values of “fun”.  In both cases, the ridiculously over-privileged are incapable of seeing that privilege, and so interpret any attempt to level the field as a vicious attack and/or attempt to “oppress” them.  Which leads to idiots on social media asking every February, “why can’t we have a White History Month?”

As an aside, it is actually an interesting idea to me: whether language alone could have resulted in speciation of Homo Sapiens, had the Internet not intervened to eliminate that possibility.

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