Former Governor Mike Huckabee spoke out on behalf of women last week, characterizing the "War on Women" charge against Republicans as one big misunderstanding.
In light of the Obamacare detail requiring the majority of employers to include birth control in their healthcare options, Huckabee has been spreading the Republican message that such requirements are unconstitutional and should not be mandated, but that such a position is in no way disadvantageous for women.
Huckabee views the Democrats' argument to expand access to birth control as a foolish ploy in their made-up war on women: "That's not a war on them. It's a war for them," he insisted, naming the GOP as the party that speaks to women's capacity and equality, seeing them as more than simply "victims of their gender."
And, in possibly one of the most sexist characterizations of Uncle Sam yet, he accuses Democrats of dangling an "Uncle Sugar" before "helpless" women voters, bringing gifts of birth control and designer handbags and chocolate, one would suppose to help them control their raging, out-of-control sex drives.
He added, "If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it."
It's almost funny; Huckabee's declaration that his opposition somehow benefits women and is a strategy that speaks to the higher cognitive faculties of women. It's as though he's reaching out and speaking to every attribute except those distinguishing features that actually make a woman a woman.
In an unsurprisingly belittling fashion, Huckabee has unmistakably insulted any woman who has ever allowed herself to stoop to the lowest cognitive level evidently possible; that is, considering her reproductive present and future. And that would be everyone.
Contrary to what the likes of Conservative Radio Host Rush Limbaugh would have you believe, all women who use birth control are not wild, out-of-control, sex-crazed 18-year-olds. The profiles are quite diverse, proving all the more why access needs to be revised and expanded.
There are certainly teenage girls looking to avoid teen parenthood, young college students focusing on their education and young 20-somethings working on building their careers.
There are 30-something women who may have children already and don't want a second or third or so- on, and 40-somethings who never wanted children in the first place and are looking to keep it that way.
The matter of one's libido is completely irrelevant in the decision to take birth control, and if we set aside its other health benefits, its main function of preventing pregnancy is truly about liberty and nothing more.
Birth control is a gift of science that enables women to say, "when," making it one of the most transformative advancements in history, allowing women to pursue higher learning, indulge their hobbies to their hearts content, adopt any career of their choosing, live for themselves and by themselves for as long as they so desire. It is so deeply troubling that a politician could see otherwise, and worse, turn those alternative perspectives into governing laws women then have to live by.
Huckabee says that the GOP is for gender equality, but birth control is one of the great equalizers. He says the GOP is for enabling the potential of women, but birth control is one of the greatest enablers.
And regardless of whether the libido plays a role, are women any more required to control it than men are? Language that suggests women can't or need to contributes to the condemnation of female sexuality, which has endured throughout history. Even today, women walk the line between being considered "prudish" and "slutty" while wrestling with the notion that their sexuality is not their own, but rather something that belongs to the man to be taken and tempered at his own will. How tired is the attitude that the female body is purely for male consumption, from sexual intention to dictation and regulation of her reproductive system?
The GOP self-identifies as a champion of the Constitution, and yet it fails to acknowledge how its opposition is in blatant defiance of women's liberty.
With the aid of birth control, women are afforded the freedom to live as carefree as any man. It relinquishes the burden of unplanned parenthood; it is, in fact, a liberator.
And liberty, which Republicans stress time and again, is a fundamental pillar in society, afforded to us by God and protected by our government. And yet Huckabee crusades against just that. He shames women who would stand up and say, No, birth control is not the most important thing to me, but it's pretty damn important."
Such obstruction does nothing but criminalize womanhood, returning us to a state of second-class citizenship where the places of employment and healthcare are restricted, all because we want to plan our families and decide when and where they begin. And it's not because we can't control our libidos, but because, if given the choice, we'd choose liberty every time.
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