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Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’

This Stupak bullshit really, really, really angers me. A friend (of course a dude) told me that really, it’s worth it in order to get health care reform, and hey, it probably won’t actually really change anything.

What the hell is wrong with our political system when people think it is perfectly sensible to exchange one right in order to achieve another right? Rights aren’t exchangeable, there aren’t only so many rights to go around, whatever moderate Democrats may think. Yeah, health care should be a fundamental right in our society. But personal autonomy is pretty much the most basic fucking right of all, so why on Earth should half of our population cede it to make sure health care is passed? What the hell? It makes no sense.

It’s unbelievable that people who hate and desperately want to control women are so well-respected that they can completely piss all over our legal rights. It’s unbelievable that they’re taken seriously. Obama wants me to respect the sensitivities of people who want to control my body, he wants me to respect that we all feel differently on this issue, and that I should agree to disagree with those who think I am not allowed to decide what happens to my body since I am a woman.

No, sir, no fucking way! You know what I find morally repugnant? Murdering people. Actual people. I hate having MY tax dollars going to building bombs, going to weapons to murder actual living, breathing human beings. I hate my tax dollars going to torture, the death penalty, corporate welfare, and the general destruction of the planet. I hate tax dollars being spent by a government that does nothing for the poor, but perpetuates a power structure designed to benefit parasites who use their power only to make more money.

But my tax dollars go to all of that stuff, and my anger about it doesn’t matter because the progressive agenda is easily dismissed by those in power. Now we’re supposed to smile as they continue to snatch control of our bodies away for us, because health care reform is necessary for the general good. No, you know what’s good for everyone?  Respecting every citizen’s personal autonomy. Or, Medicare for everyone, and shutting down for-profit insurance companies, because no one’s well-being should be subjected to the profit motive.

So I think this bill is bullshit. Everything about it is bullshit, and people who think of themselves as liberal but are willing to exchange one right for another are not liberals at all, but cowards. We should never, ever negotiate when it comes to human rights. You don’t give one up in order to get another. We shouldn’t feel forced to pick and choose which ones to support now and which ones to betray. The way is always forward, never back. If you betray one right, if any basic human right is worth giving up, then any of them are. Sometimes we have to agitate for one more than another, sometimes one is more threatened, sometimes one isn’t being recognized and needs more attention. Right now the human right to medical care needs to be fought for. But to just completely abandon one right, to say it’s okay, it’s negotiable, something else is more important? That’s insanity, and it’s wrong. It’s  wrong to support this bill with this amendment, because it can never be morally right to give up a right (which is what the Stupak amendment does by making abortion even more inaccessible) to achieve something else. The means define the ends, and these are bad, bad means. Let’s not get Machiavelli about health care. It may not seem important to some people now. But tomorrow, it may be a right that they find precious, and things may suddenly seem very different.

Here’s some links to other people who are outraged. Which means, I love them.

Kill This Bill. Right on!

What the Stupak Amendment actually does.   Best line:

Remember the promises? Reform was about expanding choices, not allowing government to come between you and your doctor, no one will lose their coverage, and if you like your current plan you get to keep it. Apparently being female is a preexisting condition that exempts us from the promises, too.”

I like the contempt here. When the President treats women with contempt (as well as the entire progressive agenda), then I read things like this, and nod. Vigorously.

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Man, that Stupak amendment, and all those Democrats who voted for it… kinda makes me not crazy about, you know, dudes. And moderate (i.e. sexist) Dems. So I have complied a list of rants I have seen in various places around the internet. It doesn’t make me feel better, but it does make me feel like I’m not the only one sputtering and shaking my fist.

This post at Shakesville, written by quixote, is the most articulate thing I’ve seen in some time on why women’s rights are everyone’s rights; and if women don’t have personal autonomy, then no one does. A particularly good excerpt:

I’ll repeat: personhood is necessarily a matter of belief, whether that’s based on religion or social consensus.

Therefore those who oppose abortion because they believe the fetus is a person with special status have to hope they are never successful in legislating how others handle their pregnancies. If they are, it means that exceptions could be made to the right to control one’s own person.

Once that principle is admitted, then there is nothing to stop a majority with different beliefs from legislating forced abortions.

Over-population is, after all, the source of the environmental problems killing the planet.

There is nothing to stop an aging population from requisitioning a kidney from healthy people walking around with a spare.

There is nothing to stop doctors from performing medical experiments on you for the public good.

There is nothing to stop the majority from deciding all those old folks are too expensive to live.

Really. Nothing. Once you take away the right to control your own body.

Extreme? Sure. So why is it okay when applied to women?”

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon does an excellent job of pointing out that the misogynists who gave us this amendment won’t be satisfied with just limiting abortion access. There is no compromise, no middle ground with people determined to tell you what to do with your own body.

Digby at Hullabaloo reminds us that we really need more women in Congress. Also, maybe we need a female president, since Obama really doesn’t give a shit:

Apparently Obama called congressional Reps personally and told them to ‘work it out’ on abortion but he never weighed in on his own preferences, thereby letting everyone know that he really didn’t give [a] shit.”

Now, I’m gonna go look and see if there’s a way to just get thousands of women to stand on Capitol Hill until Congress and the Senate feel like acknowledging 50% of this country.

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Okay, the wonderful news is that health care reform passed the House Saturday night. And, to be positive, it got through the way it did (as in, not completely watered-down and meaningless) because of the efforts of one lady.

Nancy

Nancy! Use that gavel!

So that’s good. She really kept meaningful health care reform alive.

But.

To a lot of people’s chagrin, the fucking Stupak amendment put up by fucker Tom Stupak (oh, he’s a male. what a surprise) passed. Unfortunately, no aspect of this shocks me. The Stupak amendment, which basically makes sure low-income women can’t get abortions since their insurance won’t pay for them (as the subsidies lower-income women would receive to purchase health insurance will not be allowed to go towards a plan that provides abortion coverage), was put forward by Stupak, a Democrat. And a lot of Democrats voted for it. These moderate Democrats (also called misogynist, classist pigs) said they’d only vote for the bill if this amendment was added. So, great, yeah, they did, and women’s rights continue to be sacrificed. Lovely.

It’s all just part of a big trend. What is this trend? It is called: I hate women. Or, more gently, Please Remember Men Are Ultimately Your Superiors. It’s Democrats being afraid to stand up to hate-mongerers and terrorists, because they’re afraid of offending the sensitivities  of the pro-life, the same group of people who also happen to be homophobic, racist, unwilling to fund public education or provide welfare (you know, services to help those precious little babies who stop being so precious as soon as they’re born). It’s Democrats being unwilling to question the motives of pro-lifers. I mean, if these people were so aggrieved by abortions, maybe they would be into doing absolutely everything they can to make birth control accessible? But of course they don’t! Chris Matthews goes on Hardball during discussion over the stimulus and yells that increasing aid to states for birth control is “like China”. They promote abstinence-only education, because these dudes are fucking idiots. And they fucking hate women. They hate women, they hate women’s sexuality, and they hate little children because they don’t do a damn thing to help them once they’re in the world. These are the same people who freaked out over integrating the schools, over women being paid equally, who lamented the idea of women going to work (while refusing to work to increase available child-care to women), and who try to shove their agenda down everyone’s throat.

Let’s not forget that only ninety years ago did women receive the right to vote. That’s not too long ago. And we’ve made a lot of process since then. But regressive assholes have a hard time dealing with change, and they pull back on any issue  they can. And Democrats have allowed them to do so on abortion. The success of the pro-life movement has led to the general ineptitude of the Democratic party. Pro-life movements produce terrorists who kill doctors, and the Democrats shy away from using the appropriate language. They let the Republican party get away calling itself the party of “family values”. Their reluctance to push back against the dangerous rhetoric and tactics (and sheer ignorance) of the far-right has led them to feel increasingly comfortable acting out. The teabaggers arrive. Nonsensical terms are bandied around. A man like Glenn Beck, not only in need of therapy but in becoming, you know, literate, is highly regarded by these people.

There is nothing, nothing the far-right is right about. It’s a crying shame. It’s gotta be pretty hard being so wrong. And it’s a bummer that many of their needs have been so neglected by the officials they elect. But let’s not give in to them. If anyone seriously wants to reduce abortion rates, there are several answers: dramatically increase access to contraception, stop funding absurd abstinence-only education and celebrating seventeen year old girls getting pregnant as adorable, and increase access to child-care services and increase wages and chances of mobility among the lower-class, since the number one reason most people say they are having an abortion is because they “cannot afford it right now.”

So, health care: great. Too bad it, like so much, comes at the expense of women’s rights.

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