Guilty as charged. I possess a vagina, but lack the will to become a baby factory for religious conservatives. One cannot ponder the issue without including a discussion of world population and the many children born in this world unwanted and unloved. Therefore, I am one of those who use 'whore pills' (or as they were formerly known in civil society; "birth control pills") to satisfy my 'femi-nazism'. (What does that mean?)
The new public narrative crossed the line on being offensive a long time ago; now it is simply a pageant for Mr. Misogynist of the year. The contest is tough with many states like Mississippi, Kansas etc. trying to pass the 'personhood amendment' and making abortion or miscarriage a potential "homicide." Rick Santorum, another worthy contestant, preaches that a woman should give birth even if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. So much of this rhetoric from the potential leaders of our country, includes negating women and their rights. Mitt Romney, a strong newcomer to the contest, swears to abolish Planned Parenthood. His commitment is about an organization that spends much of its time and money in family planning to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The clear front-runner: Mr. Rush "women are sluts" Limbaugh. While I was rooting for Mr. Limbaugh to win the title, a new contestant has entered the contest.
Enter the Arizona Legislature. With a dynamic proposal for a new law, which would give employers the power to insist that women prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they are using them for non-sexual reasons (and the authority to fire the female employees for non-compliance), the Arizona state legislature has staked a place among favorite contestants. Why wait till a woman gets pregnant, asked the state legislature in its infinite wisdom? Let's fire her from her job for taking birth control pills, so she can go home, have sex (as of yet, no requirement to exhibit the videos on YouTube) and become the factory God intended her to be, according to our religious masters. It's God's work being done with the utmost obedience concluded the legislature. It doesn't matter if your God is different than theirs, or if you have a God, it's their decision.
As we have recently entered the second decade of the twenty-first century, I marvel that we are once again fighting a battle that our mothers and grandmothers had already won. Gender discrimination and the "let's control the women" sentiment has been around since the caveman era, but what is troubling about the new anti-women narrative in our politics is that now we are trying to legalize gender oppression. Ironically, it's the same people who argue that the government should stay out of people's personal lives -- except, of course, "people" roughly translates into 'corporations' and non-female bodies. The uncouth and vulgar tone of the new "women are sluts" national discussion is clearly designed to divert from the public policy issues and instead focus on a primal reactionary instinct of oppression. The saddest and most damaging part of this political football is and what it teaches all of our children.
What is so interesting and hypocritical is that states like Texas, with some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, that condone deceit, force vaginal ultrasounds against a woman's will, and insist that she take 24 hours to reconsider her choice, also allows illegal immigrants no waiting period with free abortions. How's that for the moral high ground? It is remarkable that we women with such feeble mental capability have to have our patriarchal leaders step in to manage our lives.
Earlier this month, I would not have believed that the crown would go to anyone other than Mr. Limbaugh as America's top Misogynist. Today I stand corrected. So who's it going to be tomorrow? I wait with bated breath for the coronation.
Follow Michealene Cristini Risley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@michealene2012