Today -- International Women's Day -- much of our attention is focused overseas. But let's not forget that "international" includes the U.S. too. When it comes to gender equality, we in the U.S. are far from being a beacon of light.
Voters are soundly rejecting this right wing agenda, from the freedom-limiting Blunt Amendment, to the vile attacks of Rush Limbaugh. Not just Democratic voters, but Independent voters, and Republicans too: access to birth control has the potential to impact races across the country.
While a direct attack on the Fourteenth Amendment is fraught with unintended consequences, anti-choice activists have shrewdly chosen to broaden their efforts against health needs for women in open disdain.
How hard is it to say that women who advocate for insurance coverage for contraceptives should be heard and shouldn't be called prostitutes for stating their position on the topic? Is it really worth compromising basic decency to stay in the good graces of Rush Limbaugh?
No woman, regardless of political party, is going to stand for anyone calling her daughters or her friends sluts. And we sure don't like politicians who won't stand up to bullies who try to smear the good names of the girls and women in our lives.
If all we get out of the latest Limbaugh firestorm is that it is not appropriate to call women sluts, prostitutes, or any of the other pejoratives commonly heaped on women, then we are missing the larger point: women suffer when their reproductive health and rights are abridged.
Consistency, it is said, is the mark of a true champion. Utter lack of consistency, therefore, must indicate something else entirely. I'll be kind and call it: nincompoopery. When it comes to public health policy, we are a pack of utter nincompoops.
Transvaginal ultrasounds mandated in Virginia? Bring it! Aspirin as birth control! Tell me more. Things have threatened to become so comically repressive, it's woken us up out of our stupor. We're mad as hell.
Turning the clock back includes shaming women for their sexuality and punishing them for terminating a pregnancy (which is still legal, by the way). This brings us to one of the more degrading tactics up the radical-right sleeve: mandatory ultrasound laws.
If legislatures were requiring colorectal exams for no good medical reason, banning Viagra, outlawing condoms and vasectomies, you better believe that men would be doing more than waiting for a Gallup pollster to ring them up.