This is a Man’s World (Still)

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The year is 2014, and at the halfway mark, I’m proud to say that the U.S. is opening it’s collective mind in the right direction at a faster pace than we ever have. Between 2010-present, we’ve made more positive and forward thinking changes to outdated, ass-backward policies than in all of the 2000’s put together.

We now have a total of 19 States that recognize same-sex marriage, 14 of which have all stepped up in the past 4 years. We still have a long way to go, but the pace is picking up.

There are 2 states that have successfully legalized recreational use of Marijuana, and a bundle of others that decriminalized it, and to the disappointment of ignoramuses and hypocritical politicians everywhere, that action has had both a positive effect on the crime rate and economy of both states. Colorado alone raked in $14 Million in the first month, and the first $40 Million that comes from the trade is earmarked to go towards education in the state. In a Country where Cigarettes and Alcohol, two things that can and will kill a person, statistically speaking, are both legal, taxed, and regulated, there’s no reason not to see the future of Marijuana legalization a win; remember, this is a substance with no recorded fatalities.

So why is it, with all of these good things under our belts and on the horizon, that women’s rights are going in exactly the wrong direction?

In the past two years, women who live in Tennessee, Arizona, and Texas, have all had their rights to preventative health care compromised.

Leading, in my opinion, the Train of narrow minded douche-baggery, is Texas Governor Rick Perry. Self proclaimed “Keeper of Women.” No, that’s not a misquote.

Back in 2013, when a judge called bullshit on some of the provisions in a very ridiculous set of restrictions for Planned Parenthood and Family Planning clinics spear-headed by Perry himself, he had this to say:

“We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans. Yeakel’s decision is a threat to men’s rights as keepers of women and their role as family protectors,”

I’m going to let that sink in for a minute.

Men keep women. They’re our “keepers.” According to Perry, that is the right of anyone born with a penis.

I’m gonna break this down:

“…laws that reflect the will and values of Texans…”

No. No, no. Born and raised Texan right here. Lived here my whole life. Not my values as a Texan. Do not presume to issue such a polarizing and encompassing statement about a population you clearly know a whole lot of nothing about. Well, he at least knows about what poorly educated, ignorant, Republicans want. He should have said something to that effect, instead of misusing the word “Texans.”

“…threat to men’s rights…”

Rick, there is no threat to men’s rights. Saying that men’s rights are being infringed upon in this context is akin to saying that white’s rights were infringed when slaves were granted freedom. Nobody is trying to take anything away from men, that’s why this is ludicrous. They’re trying to take preventative health-care away from Women. From conception to birth, females are assuming the most physical and mental risk to their health by choosing whether or not to have a child; therefore, as a male, you have no rights to take away. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but they’re just not yours to take, until you grow a uterus and develop the ability to carry a child. Then, by all means, be my guest.

“…keepers of women…”

Excuse me, what? No, no, is…is this real life? What century is this again? What year does Governor Rick Perry think it is? Someone please ask him. I just want to be sure he hasn’t developed some form of dementia.

“…their role as family protectors…”

Again, what is he saying? Does he realize that he is trying to convince a generation largely raised by single and/or independent women and mothers that men still call all of the shots? Are there people who still subscribe to these archaic gender roles? Oh, right. Rick Perry does.

By putting these restrictions on targeted care providers, Perry and Co. are not only trying to take away the right to a safe and legal abortion for lower income women in Texas, they are also limiting these women’s access to contraceptives. You know, the things that can help prevent the need to utilize what they’re fighting against. I’m going to repeat that.

They want to limit access to birth control, in order to help prevent abortions. I’ll let you do the math on that one yourself, that way, you can know for sure that you are, in fact, smarter than a real, live, public representative.

If he’s so worried about terminating pregnancy and the death of innocent fetuses clusters of cells everywhere, why isn’t he trying to take away some reproductive rights from his own gender? All contraceptives, even emergency contraceptives, are made to prevent conception. So why then, isn’t he rallying against vasectomies or condoms? Is it because condoms aren’t just used for pregnancy avoidance, but also to protect us from the spread of harmful STD’s? Because female birth control also has other positive and practical applications.

So, let me get this straight, adult men get to control whether or not they want to start a family, but adult women don’t…is that it? And when they want to, its infringing upon a man’s right to “keep” her?

“B-b-but, vasectomies and condoms don’t kill babies,” some may say.

Neither does emergency contraception, regular forms of birth control, or legal abortions, actually, and thanks to the law he signed into effect in 2013, over half of Texas’ abortion clinics have shut their doors to women in need of not only abortions, but also basic preventative reproductive health care. Low income, underprivileged women, and women who live in rural areas of the state (if you’re not familiar with the geography of Texas; there are a lot of those) need these clinics for not only family planning care, but also for STD and Cancer screenings. For example, the only Reproductive health clinic for a whopping 350 miles was just forced to close, leaving women in need in Beaumont, TX. In September, more still are likely to close when the rest of the law goes into effect. I guess their basic “rights” to good health don’t matter. Rick, if you really cared about protecting “all forms of life,” you wouldn’t be condemning women in the state you are so proud to be a part of, to a life without convenient health care, and exposing them these unnecessary risks, just to prove a moot point, and garner support from what you believe to be the majority of Texans, just by telling them what they want to hear: “I’m a righteous, Godly man who loves guns and doesn’t kill babies.” Too bad you hate women, and Good Riddance. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out next year.

In any case, he’s not the only one who thinks he has business as a Male, calling the shots on what a Female can and can’t do with her own body.

Hobby Lobby CEO, David Green, thinks his religious rights should extend to his company, and therefore extricate said company from the obligation of covering contraception for their female employees, based in part on an erroneous belief that morning after pills cause abortions, or that utilizing certain forms of birth control is the same thing as having a full blown abortion.

Here’s an excerpt from David Green’s public statement on the now infamous lawsuit they filed to recognize their for-profit corporation as a person able to have its own religious beliefs :

“A new government health care mandate says that our family business must provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions. Which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one.”

Companies, by law, have to provide their employees with health insurance. Now, the exact stipulations vary from place to place and whether or not associates work full or part time hours.

What a Woman, or what anyone legally chooses to do for their own health with said insurance, is none of a CEO’s business. It has, literally, nothing to do with them, their personal lives, or their religion.

The fact that David Green thinks it is ludicrous, compounded by his almost comical ignorance of how birth control even works, (from what I gather from his own quotes, his understanding is that when woman gets a shot/takes a pill/has an IUD implanted, it results in the death of an innocent baby every time) and apparently either has no idea, or doesn’t care about the fact that it actually has a myriad of uses greatly beneficial to a woman’s general health and well being outside of preventing unwanted pregnancy, and women are entitled to that. Its legal, its accessible. It is not in his power to tell them that they can’t use it, because his personal (ignorant and erroneous) beliefs conflict with that.

And you know what’s worse? The Supreme Court ruled in his favor today. Congratulations, businesses now have religious rights. That means that now not only Hobby Lobby, but any corporation can deny a woman access to certain forms of contraception.

Some folks argue that the government shouldn’t be able to tell anyone they have to do something they don’t want to if it conflicts with their morals; and that is arguable, however your high horse is not about to come in the way of my health. In addition to that, no one is telling David Green to personally advocate, manufacture, or distribute any contraceptives. He does have control of a for-profit corporation, though, and that corporation has to provide benefits to its associates.

Moving on, does anyone remember Todd Akin? Maybe that was the wrong question. Do you remember the “legitimate rape” guy? Yeah you do.

Back in 2012 when he was the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, (he retired in 2013, and probably crawled back into whatever obscure, back water hole he came out of; Thank our lucky stars) he issued these comments in order to justify his radical “no tolerance” stance on abortion, even if the pregnancy resulted from rape.

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

That really happened. An adult person actually said that. How? How do people with such large gaps in common reproductive knowledge, somehow get put in a position to make major decisions regarding them?! Especially ones that don’t even apply to their own bodies!

Now Todd, if a woman’s body could pick and choose when it wanted to “shut that whole thing down,” there would be a lot less unwanted, parent less children in this world.

Not only that, but he had the audacity to basically accuse every woman who has ever become pregnant as the result of being raped a liar. Because if her body didn’t “shut that whole thing down,” then obviously, she enjoyed it, and its not a “legitimate rape.” What a whore. Have any of these men ever spoken to a woman? Do they have female consultants?

After an understandable negative backlash from pretty much everyone; because, and this is pure speculation, but assumedly even someone silly enough to support his incredibly sexist and polarizing stance on abortion have to draw the line at miraculous anti-conception, Akin recanted his idiot-vomit and stated,

“I believe deeply in the protection of all life, and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action…

Again, Todd, honey, if you, or Rick Perry, or David Green actually were good, honest, Men of God, as you like to call yourselves, and you actually did care about the women in question and not just how many votes you can get by pretending you care about unborn children, you would not be trying to rip our hard won rights out from under us in the name of fear of women, slut shaming, and proving you can.

If all of that didn’t have you convinced that we have our work cut out for us as far as equal rights for women are concerned, let’s throw in the kitchen sink with your age-old earnings argument.

In 2012, full-time, year-round, women workers earned a whopping 76.5% of men, up from 62.1% in 1969…not a very big jump, is it?

Aside from earnings, women are taken less seriously in the workplace than their male counterparts as a whole. Ask any female manager at a retail store, and she can tell you all about it.

Even when a woman tries to break the mold and enters a male dominated industry, she’s still not taken seriously. Or if she is, she receives backhanded compliments like, “You’re good at this, for a girl.”

When are we going to learn that women still aren’t treated as equals, and nothing is being done about it; in fact, more is being done to make sure they “stay in the kitchen and make babies,” as Rick Perry, Todd Akin, and today’s ruling for Hobby Lobby so achingly prove.

TL;DR: I’m done with this horseshit.


Related Links:

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-stanford/we-need-a-personhood-move_b_1365608.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/02/03/thanks_contraception_the_u_s_abortion_rate_hits_an_all_time_low_mostly_because.html

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/rick-perry-abortion-bill/

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/06/04/Another-Texas-Abortion-Clinic-Closes-After-Passage-of-Pro-Life-Legislation

http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/17-08-2011/118771-women_society-0/

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