Thursday, February 16, 2012

Republican men to all women: Put an aspirin between your knees, pray to God, submit to us, and shut the fuck up about birth control


Not all Republicans are saying that, whatever the implications of their crusade against birth control, but one prominent one is, Santorum's main benefactor, via his super PAC, the repugnant Foster Friess, who had this to say today about what women should do about birth control:

On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it's so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly.

With Republicans on their theocratic rampage, you knew it was only a matter of time before one of them brought this sort of thing up, but it's still somewhat hard to believe that it would be quite to this extent, with its sense of paternalistic oppression. It's one thing, after all, for the Catholic Church to say in theological terms that birth control is wrong, or even for Santorum to talk about how sex should be "special," quite another to tell women to do what they're told. And make no mistake, this isn't about women having a choice, or being empowered to say no, it's about controlling women so that sexually, and indeed socially, they are really nothing more than receptors, willing or not, for sperm.

Oh, and it's not like things were so wonderful in Friess's "days." Women, like men, are sexual beings who may not want to have to close their legs. Abstinence is fine for some, and certainly for those not yet ready for sexual activity, but it should be a choice, not a requirement, and it's ridiculous to think men or women will just abstain from all non-procreative sex. And, of course, some men will force a women's legs open whether she likes it or not. This was true in Friess's "days" and it's true today. Women have been liberated from the shackles that constrained them for so long, as have men as well. And if you're such a fucking idiot that you don't understand what sex is really all about, in all its multifaceted ways, you should really just shut the fuck up yourself.

But also make no mistake, Friess isn't alone in thinking this. Just today, as you may know, House Republicans led by the repugnant Darrell Issa held a hearing on birth control that featured no women testifying. And across the country Republicans are  promoting "personhood" legislation that would criminalize abortion. It isn't enough to say Republicans are re-waging the culture wars of the '90s, and on issues like birth control the '60s or even earlier. This is now an all-out assault on women's rights, the goal being to deprive them of control over their own bodies and more broadly to restore a sexually tyrannical social order based largely on the dominance of men and the de-humanization of women.

I'd like to think it's hard to believe that we're even having this conversation in 2012, that birth control and women's rights are even issues anymore, but of course this is the Republican Party we're talking about, a party that is descending further and further into madness, a party increasingly of fringe extremism, a party deeply out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Americans, out of touch with contemporary life generally.

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