On Mar. 12, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was complaining about his toilet. Can you believe sometimes he has to flush his toilet up to 10 times to get it to flush properly? He sympathizes with this unnecessary drain on water resources and he is 100% in favor of water and energy conservation. However, that doesn’t mean he wants the government telling him that he absolutely has to conserve energy. He’d like to reserve the right to use water-wasting toilets if he feels like it, because hey, flushing a toilet over and over is a liberty we all should be able to enjoy without government intrusion.
He contrasted his plight with the comfortable position women enjoy today. Our government allows women to have all the choice and freedom in the world. We have freedom and control over our own bodies with the right to choose to have an abortion, yet Sen. Paul is left in the dirt. He is denied this same freedom of choice and is forced, punishable by a nasty fine, to use water-conserving and energy-efficient toilets, light bulbs and washing machines.
I don’t usually identify as a feminist. I don’t act or look like the stereotype; I shave my legs, I wear make-up and sometimes I call other girls sluts and whores (sorry, Tina Fey). But Congressmen aren’t making it so easy to continue to make that distinction. So, I’d like to hereby declare myself a feminist.
I am a feminist because I oppose Congress getting inside my you-know-what (I don’t want to offend the Florida Senate who consider “uterus” a dirty, unspeakable word) to tell me how else I, and all women, are being indecent, impulsive or selfish. Can someone please tell me what is indecent, selfish or impulsive about having autonomy over my own body and my own life by deciding when the best time for me to have a baby is? In the words of Tina Fey via Regina George, Congress, you are the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met.
Feminists, those ungodly creatures pro-lifers love to rally against, are now demanding from Congressmen (emphasis on men), that women continue to have access to abortions at Planned Parenthood, which is made possible by federal subsidies. Sure, tax payer money isn’t specifically allocated toward abortions, but paying for sexual health education for women and family planning and health care services like HIV testing, pap smears, breast cancer screenings and contraceptives certainly does free up a lot of “other” money that can go toward providing abortions.
Another victory for masculinists (that’s the opposite of feminists, right?) was narrowly won in early April when SB 1744 passed through another round of votes 7-5. This bill would require pregnant women seeking abortions to first have an ultrasound and then listen to a description of the fetus. Graciously, she will not be forced to see the image. Clearly, women are too stupid and flippant to be trusted with a decision as big as abortion. We must first sit her down and go over in painful detail and simple language what a fetus is, what her fetus looks like, and, to be certain, what a baby and abortion even are.
To be fair, once funding is cut from Planned Parenthood she probably won’t know what any of those are anyway since her access to sexual health education, women’s healthcare services and family planning will be limited. The hope is that she will not get an abortion, either because she can’t afford one now that Planned Parenthood is defunded or because she will be so traumatized by the sonogram and rhetoric being forced upon her, that she will save tax payers that expense and will just start a family.
Unfortunately, she won’t be able to send her child to pre-school, an institution that has proven to give children an academic advantage in elementary school, because Head Start, a federally-sponsored program designed to give disadvantaged children and families that opportunity, will be defunded by $1 billion. That woman might then be forced to stay at home with her child, which might prevent her from getting a job. Since she can’t get a job, she might need to go on welfare, which no matter how you feel about it is generally acknowledged to cost tax payers money. That child will then have a Backwards Start, being born into a low-income household without the opportunity of a pre-school environment or planned family situation.
When a woman doesn’t have access to contraceptives, health care or sexual health education, she is at the mercy of her body and those she may choose to share it with; she can’t control the course of her own life. Since contraceptives and abortions were made legal and accessible in the United States, women have been able to significantly reduce the number of children they bear; fewer women marry and those who do, marry later on in life. Consequently, more women pursue a higher education, earn higher incomes, maintain better health and participate in politics.
This “war on women,” this social conservative attack led by male politicians to keep women at bay, to keep us out of the workforce, out of school and essentially out of the entire social sphere, so that we will stay home and carry a baby to term we may or may not have planned for is disgraceful.
Until men are the ones to bleed from their genitals, until men become sacred vessels that carry life, until men are victimized by rape, until men are scrutinized for their clothing and blamed for their situations, until men want to live in a society where there are no women, no sex, no children and no future, I suggest they sit down and shut the fuck up.
This is 2011 and I will not sit idly by while women’s rights are reversed and the glass ceiling is lowered. And neither should you.