I am a feminist, and no, it is not a nostalgic term. The very fact that we think of feminism as “passe” is the work of the male dominated culture. The need for radical feminism in the U.S. is growing because male Politicians are discussing the following issues; abortion, birth control, womens salaries, paid maternity leave, rights of rape victims, female health, and autonomy. To humor the sexist comments, and to increase the written legislation that is suppressing women, is making room for sexism in the next generation.
The expectation of me to listen to the politicians who want to invade my uterus is as ridiculous as that sounded. It is a jaw-droppingly sexist, mind-blowingly repressive joke. I will represent the “feminist” and all the negative connotations that come along with it, if it helps to point out the paternalistic attitude of government officials, and seeks to hold them accountable.
I have been struggling with the notion of sexism in politics, particularly from the GOP and Republican candidates who have added women to the ever growing list of people who are to be discriminated against in legislature. Every where I turn my head, I hear disgusting and sexist comments– which would be fine, if those men weren’t in charge of the fucking country. Women have become numb to this gender discrimination. Like any minority group, women have been objectified and put down so many times, we barely feel it anymore. We choose to ignore the negative, and instead focus on positive strides. But the mere discussion brought on by the “pro-life” anti-woman campaign is taking gender equality back 100 years.
I’d like to congratulate Todd Akin for successfully securing the rapist vote. “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
This man is so stupid. Rape isn’t a subject with grey area. It is pure evil. Men like Akin are simply reifying a huge problem in American culture, one that minimizes rape. While most Republicans are disowning Akin’s comments, Mike Hukabee is not only defending Akin, but providing further contexts. Hukabee “Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
“Rape is rape,” Obama said at the White House press briefing. He called Akin’s comments “way out there.”
“What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, the majority of which are men, making decisions that affect health of women.” Obama spoke to the press to address the core campaign questions, acknowledging how absurd and offensive the subject of “legitimate rape” is.
Mitt Romney has pledged to defund and get rid of Planned Parenthood, which would leave millions of women without access to basic birth control and OB-GYN needs. Paul Ryan also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and last year sponsored a “personhood bill” that would not only give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs but could ban some forms of birth control and fertility treatment.
If they are taking the extreme in the case of the personhood of female eggs, then why don’t we take the other extreme and say that every single sperm is a potential person? Every time a man relieves himself in a tube sock, let’s call it reckless endangerment of a human life. Or murder. Why does this analogy terrify the sexist male? Because it is the exact mirror of what they are attempting to control in females, and it makes them aware of their own autonomy being threatened.
I am shocked that the discussion of birth control access is even on the table. A very different yet similar situation exists in Ireland. A country that seems “Western” and modern, and progressive, has made abortion illegal. Women go to England or to the closest possible country to get medical help. Irelands strong catholic traditionalist government also restricts birth control pills and contraceptives until a woman is married. This attempt at control of womens health hasn’t helped the country, it has severely hurt it.
In the United States, the land of the free, are we seriously discussing taking away womens rights? Isn’t health, at it’s most basic level, a human right? I can’t stop some old white man from being sexist. They miss the good ole days, when feminism was docile and obedient, when women had to choose between a career and a family, and when we were told don’t get raped, instead of men being told not to rape. These “good ole days” are not good nor old, they are current. They are antique problems that have held tight for far too many years. It is time to fight these ideals, and call them what they are. Sexism is not an opinion, it is not freedom of speech; it is wrong.
I can stop a misogynist from being the President or Vice President of my country. A country founded on freedom, and womens freedom valued least of all. Don’t take us back in time to the pre-suffrage days of blatant descrimination. And don’t expect me to take this nonsense with a smile on my face.