I am mad. No, that doesn't begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am enraged. I am livid. I am FURIOUS.
"All men are created equal," states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken over two centuries for women to win the right to vote, to have alleged protection under the law, to earn 77 cents on the dollar that men are paid, and to gain control over our own bodies and destinies.
And now, nearly 250 years later, we are seeing our rights being stripped away, one by one, by mean-spirited misogynistic right wing religious super-conservatives.
New laws in several states dictate that before a woman can get an abortion, she must (without her consent) be subjected to an internal sonogram by means of shoving an apparatus into her vagina and up to her uterus. I don't know about you, but I call this RAPE. Legislated, officially sanctioned rape.
Rationalizing his state-sponsored bill mandating vaginal probes, a Virginia Republican Delegate had the unmitigated gall to declare that women already consented to being "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant."
A parallel rule would be that if a man wants a prescription for Viagra, he must undergo an anal probe or an electric shock to his penis to see whether he really can't get it up. Now that is equality under the law.
While Virginia is pushing legal personhood recognition for an unfertilized egg, women, the creators and bearers of eggs, are being denied our personhood. This is really scary, like something out of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.
In a review, Kathleen A. Cameron describes the book as "a vision of a fictional theocratic regime that reduces the value of women to reproductive commodities. This depiction is a disturbingly accurate account of the status of women in the Middle East and other parts of the world, [but worse,] in many ways it reflects political, legal, and cultural doctrines, ideologies, and practices [right here] in the U.S."
When Congress recently held hearings on birth control, the panel of invited experts giving testimony consisted of five male religious leaders.
To her credit, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) loudly demanded, "Where are the women?" before she and several other democrats stormed out of the hearings. This, I believe, was a tactical mistake. Better they should have stayed and created a righteous rumpus.
The one Democratic proposed woman witness to speak in favor of subsidized birth control, a third year law student at a Catholic University, was ruled to be "not appropriate and qualified" by GOP Chairman Darrell Issa who defended the exclusion of a woman from his all-male panel on contraception.
But the indignation didn't stop there. Rush Limbaugh then excoriated her on national radio:
"What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. [. . .] If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
Watch out. We sluts vote. And we run for office, too.
But while Congress keeps trying to defund contraception, Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) proposed a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up.
In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. Clearly pro life only applies to the unborn.
Can this war against women get any worse? Oh, yes! Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.
Wisconsin just passed a law to repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act for women. The shocker? The bill to repeal was authored and sponsored by a woman: Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-Oshkosh.
Another female turncoat collaborator with the enemy of women is journalist Liz Trotta, who, in a Fox News report on sexual abuse of women serving in the military, asked "Well, what did they expect?"
That same old outrage of blaming rape on the victim. Unlike short skirts and revealing blouses, combat fatigues are hardly alluring. So according to her, the mere fact of having breasts is invitation and excuse enough for molestation. Maybe we should bind our breasts. And our feet, too.
A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
Are you angry enough yet?
You've heard the saying, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Well, ladies, it is time for some serious fury! And men, I am talking to you, too -- all fathers, sons, brothers, lovers, and friends of women.
It is high time that we stood up in a unified, powerful protest: We are angry and we won't take it any more!
Half the population of this country are women, and we will not be sent back to the Dark Ages, and we will not be denied our rights.
- Carolyn Maloney
An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Virginia Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert said that women already consented to being "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant."