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Offline Steve

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The GOP’s Long War Against Women and Sex
« on: February 22, 2012, 02:32:40 PM »
The GOP’s Long War Against Women and Sex

Jessica Valenti
February 22, 2012

Aspirins and short skirts and contraception, oh my! The last few weeks have seen a slew of Republican gaffes concerning women’s sexuality. From Rick Santorum’s billionaire supporter Foster Friess’s waxing nostalgic about the good old days when women put aspirin "between their knees” in lieu of contraception to an online furor over whether the young conservative women at CPAC dressed too provocatively—the GOP has a major woman problem on their hands.

Their fear of sex—of women’s sexuality in particular—has become a major media talking point, and a source of outrage among American women. But what I don’t understand is why anyone is surprised. Republicans have long based their agenda for women in a deep-rooted disdain for all things female. We’ve been down this road many, many times before.

When a picture of Congressman Darrell Issa’s all-male panel on birth control (the make-up of which prompted several Democratic women to walk out of the hearing) hit the Internet and mainstream media—I couldn’t help but be reminded of a similar picture of George W. Bush signing the “partial birth” abortion ban, surrounded by a group of smiling clapping men. All men. (Santorum was one of them.)

Dahlia Lithwick reported last week in Slate on a law that’s poised to pass in Virginia that would make it legal to penetrate abortion-seeking women against their wills by requiring a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound—a procedure that would count as rape under state law. Delegate David Englin told Lithwick that one Republican lawmaker told him that the invasive ultrasound wasn’t an issue because women seeking abortions had already made the decision to be “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” Apparently once women have been penetrated, all other future penetrations should be no problem, consent notwithstanding.

If this attitude sounds radical, consider that up until 2008, it was the basis for Maryland rape law. If a woman initially agreed to sex, but later withdrew consent, any sex that followed wasn’t rape. The justification was based on archaic legislation that said after the initial “de-flowering” of a woman, nothing could be considered rape because “the damage was done,” she was no longer a virgin and couldn’t be “re-flowered.”

The focus on birth control is not new either. Conservatives and Republican appointees successfully held up emergency contraception for over-the-counter status for three years in the FDA, despite a recommendation from an independent joint advisory committee to the agency to make the drug available. Dr. W. David Hager—appointed by then President Bush to the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs—told the New York Times about why he voted against the drug’s approval, noting, “What we heard today was frequently about individuals who did not want to take responsibility for their actions and wanted a medication to relieve those consequences.” (Hager also penned a book in which he argued that prayer could cure PMS—quite the expert on women’s health!)

It also came out that in an internal memo FDA medical official Janet Woodcock argued against making the contraceptive available over the counter for fear that it would cause “extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.” (The same fear-based rhetoric over young women becoming promiscuous was used when conservatives tried to hold up Gardasil, the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.)

But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that this is just a problem of men attacking women’s rights. Conservative women’s rights groups, always eager for a patriarchal pat on the head, have long thrown other women under the bus under the guise of protecting them from their own wanton sexuality. The Independent Women’s Forum—who oppose the Violence Against Women Act, Title IX and who don’t believe pay inequity exists—started a campaign years ago to get the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues banned from college campuses, arguing that it’s pornographic and reduces women to their body parts. (Specifically, the one they’d rather not think about.) The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, another right-wing women’s organization, launched a campaign and contest in 2008 to “Bringing Back the Dowry and Hope Chest.” The winner received a “cedar-lined hope chest filled with $1000 worth of dowry items” as well as $500 toward her future wedding. Retro-chic!

Given this long history of paternalism and efforts to rollback women’s rights—I think the calls that the GOP is launching a “war on women” are right on, but years late.

Perhaps today, with the Internet moving information faster than ever before, Republican and conservative sexism doesn’t go as easily unnoticed (just ask the folks at Komen). Perhaps the influx of young women and feminists into self-directed and social media activism has changed the course of the national debate. Or maybe women are just fed up with yet another legislator dictating how they should run their lives and use their bodies.

Whatever the reason, we need to ensure that Republicans are held accountable and don’t get to brush these comments and actions off as mistakes or misunderstandings. Because they’re not simple gaffes, they’re a crystal clear window into the future that the GOP wants for women.


“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

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Re: The GOP’s Long War Against Women and Sex
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012, 04:56:55 PM »
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
"See, this is new"?
It has been already,
in the ages before us.
Ecc 1: 9-10

Offline Wook

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Re: The GOP’s Long War Against Women and Sex
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 05:38:58 AM »

I do not need anybody period
in gubbymint
to buy rubbers
if I think I need some
invite a Yoda
to a frog leg dinner.
a Wookieism

Go ahead
invite Yoda
to a Frog leg dinner

Offline Wook

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Re: The GOP’s Long War Against Women and Sex
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 10:07:12 AM »

15 Ways Politics Steals Our Energy
Politics is Exhausting – And That’s Exactly the Point

Wiki image
Dylan Charles
Activist Post

From grade school on we are taught to appreciate the American government and its civic processes as the cornerstone of freedom in the world, the ‘shining beacon on the hill.’ We are taught how to pledge allegiance to and revere a flag. We are told that goodness will prevail if we all just participate heartily and enthusiastically, playing by the rules.

We grow up believing that a basic responsibility of being born a human on planet earth is to participate in all of this political activity, and likewise, we are taught that non-participation is irresponsible, lazy, deplorable even. And so as good citizens do, many of us participate.

So, perhaps you’ve donated money to a political campaign or ran for public office. Maybe you’ve staffed for a political party or organized at the grass roots level. Maybe you’ve even joined the electoral process as a delegate, gone to your County or State convention, or just showed up with signs at the polls. Perhaps you’ve written your Congressman once or twice.

But is all this frenzy of well-intentioned activity doing our society any good or providing hope for a better future for our posterity?

Is it possible that our electoral system is cleverly designed to exhaust our positive, community-minded energies and to pacify our violent human will to live the prosperous and peaceful lives we deserve?

Could it be that the resources and energy we have applied to this social mechanism have been squandered in one of the greatest opportunity costs of all time?

Actually, when looking at politics as a drain on society, it becomes rather easy to conclude that we may be indeed wasting our greatest potential for societal progress in this endless game of ego satiation and public parade. Furthermore, it appears that the hidden costs of our political efforts have been quite vast, and have had many detrimental effects to our collective psyche and identity.

Consider this:

Politics devours time, energy and resources that could be spent elsewhere.
Politics creates widespread division amongst the populace by providing us with few choices and then positioning those choices as mutually exclusive enemies.
Politics nullifies the value of society’s potentially most effective members by forcing passionate, community-oriented individuals into a rigid arena that demands conformity and ultimately defers to entrenched power cliques.
Politics falsely empowers the thoughtless by providing an arena for people to believe they are positively impacting the world by simply pressing a button or checking a box when told to do so. Politics erodes our natural idealism by fragmenting our grandest ideas for our future into single-issue chunks that make little sense when taken out of context. Then by ranking and marginalizing them in accordance with various political agendas, then, again, by prioritizing them against conflicting entrenched interests.
Politics gives us false impressions about what it means to be civilized. For example, it is not civilized to allow yourself to be raped by even the most polite of rapists, yet the success of politics relies on violated people being kind and patient with those who would selfishly saddle our futures with unbearable debts, endless wars and unacceptable restrictions to our personal liberty.
Politics prohibits us from ever reaching our highest societal potential. Because politics never concludes it is always dramatic and we learn to adjust our lives according to its highs and lows, thus our psychological development is trapped by the imposition of these never-ending patterns.
Politics protects society’s most heinous criminals by providing them the infrastructure, security apparatus, public platform, time and resources to obfuscate truth and protect themselves from meaningful prosecution. Election cycles, hearings, recalls, investigative committees and impeachments are an insult to justice when the accused are part of the government.
Politics demands that we become dishonest in order to gain advantage.
Politics consumes an absurd amount of financial and material resources.
Politics creates and exacerbates massive public cognitive dissonance between the prosperous and peaceful world we know we should have and the world that a corrupt political class can actually create for us. By repeatedly failing to deliver on its promises, the political system becomes so unbelievable that we have no choice but to believe it.
Politics severely limits society’s possibilities for meaningful and timely solutions to our most pressing problems by subjecting every opportunity for progress to the scrutiny, whim, and interests of largely corrupted and under-informed political bodies.
Politics insults our intelligence with its embarrassing pomp, flashiness, hubris, blatant rigging, hokey formatting, omissions, dumbing down and oversimplification of important complex issues.
Politics selfishly frames issues in terms of their impact upon people and fiat economics, largely disregarding our unmistakable dependence on the natural world for the gift we call life.
Politics exhausts our spiritual energy by claiming the authoritative role in our lives and diminishing our intuitive capacities and will to search for spiritual truth.
In the pursuit of a brighter future for ourselves, families, communities, and this Earth, we must be conscious of how we expend our personal energies, so as not to misallocate it or feed them to something that does us harm.

Politics is presently the status quo forum for setting the course for society’s future, but, as humankind evolves we must be ready, willing and able to leave behind designs of the past that have ceased being of any value to our future.

Our continued participation in this circus performance we call politics continues to feed the illusion of its legitimacy. By withdrawing our consent and participation in politics we may be freeing up considerable resources to apply toward the creation of a better world, while simultaneously helping to snuff out this energetic vampire that feeds heartily on our collective good will and positive energy.

This article first appeared on Waking Times. Dylan Charles is a former Ron Paul delegate, a black belt in many Eastern arts, and the founder and editor of

invite a Yoda
to a frog leg dinner.
a Wookieism

Go ahead
invite Yoda
to a Frog leg dinner


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