Tag Archives: Feminism
Without further ado:
Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.
“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” Pedulla said. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”
Studies show that women using contraceptives consider pregnancy more unwanted than wanted, he said.
Ummm … DUH!!! That’s the point of being on contraception, you idiot!!!
“Studies show”? Really, you needed a study for that? And this is how you conclude that motherhood is “a natural part of women’s identities?” Seriously? You can just stuff that crap where the sun don’t shine, genius.
This brilliance all came from one Dr. Dominic Pedulla, who requested legislation in Oklahoma banning the Obamacare contraception mandate. The damn thing probably isn’t even legal but he found a like-minded nimrod named Senator Clark Jolley to write one up. This being Oklahoma, of course, it passed the committee and will go to the full state Senate.
Pedulla is supposedly a cardiologist but I looked him up and he actually works at one of those varicose vein centers where rich ladies go to get their legs restored to youthful beauty. He also started something called the Edith Stein Foundation, because he apparently cares about women’s dignity, but actually he just really really really hates birth control. From the Edith Stein Foundation website:
In 1968, an Italian scholar predicted that if contraception were to become a cultural norm, four things would result: a general lowering of moral standards, an increase in promiscuousness and infidelity, a rise in the disrespect men have for women, and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments. Strikingly, in the more than forty years since that portentous prognosis, all four of these have been realized. Social science not only shows it, but is showing the connection between a contraceptive culture and the social maladies of our day.
What’s more, medical research has shown and is continuing to show the far reaching ill effects of all methods of contraception. Not many people have heard about the 1968 predictions, and the growing body of evidence against contraceptives. For the dignity and health of women, this has got to stop. This is where the Edith Stein Foundation comes in to educate, advocate, research, connect, and heal.
So in short, contraception is evil. We get it. He doesn’t mention who this “Italian scholar” is, but I’d bet anything he’s talking about Pope Paul VI, who issued an encyclical against birth control in 1968.
I love the Edith Stein Foundation’s “Mission Statement”:
To advocate the dignity of women through fostering a non-contraceptive culture.
Sure, ’cause nothing says “dignity” like some man telling me what’s good for me.
Fuck you, “Dr.” Pedulla. I don’t need you to tell me what my identity is. I’ve got a pretty good handle on that with no help from you. What absolute gall you have to try to wrap your antiquated, oppressive views about women in some kind of feminist package. We aren’t that stupid.
Last week I went to the dentist. Today I went to my ob/gyn for my annual.
These days, any trip to the doctor is an infuriating, exasperating traipse through our screwed up healthcare system. And I’m a really healthy person, with really good insurance. Still, red tape and insurance bullshit manages to piss me off every damn time.
I had already decided I was going to ask my doctor about the mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound bills currently making their way through the legislature, in particular, the deafening silence from the medical community and ob/gyn’s in general on this and other issues affecting women’s healthcare. But dang, before I could even get to that we got in a debate about socialized medicine.
It started when she told me she wouldn’t perform the ol’ “blood in the stool” test, aka the FOBT, which I’ve had done routinely for 30 something years. This was because, she said, “BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee no longer covers it.” Lovely. I repeat: not because I didn’t need it, but because insurance wouldn’t cover it. And that, she said, was because over the past few years insurance has routinely been paying for fewer and fewer things.
This test is an easy, cheap way to detect colorectal cancer. But hey, I’m over 50 now, it’s not like colon cancer is a concern for us olds, right?
Don’t answer that.
It doesn’t matter because she said I need to think about getting a colonoscopy at some point, since I’m an olds, and of course it’s a better diagnostic test. Now, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee only pays for one every 10 years if the first one comes back clean. So let’s hope I don’t develop anything in the decade in between tests because apparently I’d have no fucking way of knowing about it.
Okie dokie, let’s hope what I don’t know won’t kill me! Thank you, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee! May you all get colorectal cancer and die an excruciating, miserable death.
Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about bureaucrats coming between me and my doctor. I’m dying to hear.
So then we both commiserated about how awful insurance was. I asked her which insurance company was the best in terms of coverage, since she dealt with so many. She said none of them, they’re all bad. Okay, I said, fine, then why don’t we ditch them all and go to socialized medicine?
“Oh, no! That’s worse,” she said. In England, she said, whether you have a hangnail or cancer, you’re put into the system at the same place. In other words, serious health issues aren’t given any more priority than minor ones. She heard this from a patient who lived in London for two years. Her patient, however, was considered a “guest of the country” and was put to the top of the list, she explained. (I’m a little unclear how the patient would know, plus if that were true, wouldn’t there be astronomical cancer fatality rates there? Which doesn’t seem to be happening.)
“That’s certainly not what my Canadian friends have told me,” I said. “I don’t know about England, but they told me in Canada if something’s seriously wrong, you’re priority. It’s true you might have to wait longer for routine stuff, but heck, I made this appointment a year ago!” It’s true, I had.
“Oh no,” my doctor responded, wagging her finger at me. “I know someone who lives in Vancouver and when she needed something done she went to Seattle.”
Clearly we weren’t getting anywhere, trading our stories about “people we knew.” What I did say was, what do we do? This can’t be the best there is. What we’re doing now isn’t working, too many people are uninsured, and the poor are suffering the most.
“Oh, the poor have TennCare,” she said.
And so it went. Clearly my doctor didn’t know the first thing about people who weren’t her patients. She worked at a nice office in the heart of Nashville’s central healthcare campus, not the Vine Hill or Downtown clinics. Her clients weren’t the uninsured or marginalized. Nor did she know anything about what was happening in the state legislature. I asked her if she was aware that there were bills in the legislature requiring women to get an ultrasound before receiving an abortion.
“Really?!” She seemed genuinely surprised. Jesus, lady! I wanted to scream. You’re a gynecologist! This is your field! Don’t you pay attention to what legislators are doing affecting your own business?
I asked if there was any medical reason why this procedure would be necessary. “They need to do it,” she said, “to determine the age of the fetus.”
“But what if a woman is positive that it’s within the first trimester?”
“They still need to do it, to make sure.”
“To make sure?”
“To make sure she’s telling the truth.”
Wow. So we have this law to mandate a diagnostic procedure because women are liars. Got that, ladies? The government thinks you’re all liars, just like with all of that “legitimate rape” stuff, and so they need to check up on you with a diagnostic tool whose sole function is to make sure you’re telling the truth.
Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about your belief in “small government.” I’m dying to hear.
Keep in mind, I was just told I wouldn’t get a routine colon cancer diagnostic because my insurance won’t pay for it.
Like an idiot, I asked my doctor if she performed abortions. She told me no.
“Does anyone here perform them?”
“So where does someone go if they need one? Someone with insurance, who can afford it, where do you refer them?”
“Planned Parenthood, I guess,” my doctor answered. “Or Atlanta.”
Keep in mind, Nashville is a healthcare city. Healthcare is one of the largest industries here. We have several major hospitals here. The Nashville Chamber of Commerce proudly touts how healthcare contributes $30 billion to the local economy and creates over 210,000 jobs. But that’s all bullshit. None of that matters if you’re a woman who needs an abortion. For that, you go to Atlanta.
I asked why, although I already knew the answer. But I wanted to hear her say it. And she did. It’s just too controversial, she said. “It’s the religious people, they don’t want it,” she said. Insurance won’t pay for it. Hospitals don’t want to have anything to do with it. And finally she said, “doctors have been killed.”
I’m sure “the religious people” will be thrilled to learn they have successfully intimidated doctors in Nashville into not performing abortions. What’s sad is that Nashville is touted as being a progressive city, a patch of blue surrounded by a sea of red. But we’re still a city where women are second-class citizens because our healthcare needs aren’t treated equally.
It’s not just abortion. My doctor told me that as of January 2009, she can’t perform tubal ligations at Baptist Hospital. Baptist is one of the major hospitals here in Nashville and in 2002 Baptist merged with St. Thomas, another major player, so both are now under the Ascension Health umbrella, which is a Catholic non-profit. I had read that because religious hospitals all receive federal funds, they had to offer some kind of “secular floor,” where stuff the Catholics find religiously offensive can be done.
“It was a room, not a floor,” my doctor told me. “A separate room.” And the nurse technician that would assist her had to clock out, clock in again for the hour of surgery, and clock back out again, so she could be paid out of separate, non-religious funds. But as of January 2009, that room is no longer there. Someone who is not a Catholic will nonetheless have their medical choices made by the Catholic church.
Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about your belief in “religious freedom.” I’m dying to hear.
This is all just so crazy to me. I didn’t intend to write a novel, but we just covered so much ground. What I wanted to know is why the medical profession hasn’t spoken up as the state house and senate legislate their profession. I mean, good lord, every time something happens in Washington we have a flurry of industry associations and phony astroturf groups telling us why it’s a bad idea. Where’s the TN Medical Assn.? Besides offering “doctor of the day” volunteers and lobbying for tort reform, I mean. It seems they haven’t spoken up because the just don’t know or don’t care.
I asked my doctor why people in her profession didn’t speak out. And she said it’s because nothing was ever going to change. That was just it, it’s too big, too hard, too controversial. It’s not going to change. I was so outraged. I just refuse to believe nothing will ever change. I said, what if people said that back in the days of Jim Crow? We’d still have black hospitals and white hospitals. Yes, she said. You’re right. And that was that.
It was the most disheartening conversation I’ve ever had. Apparently the doctors just can’t be bothered. I mean, I don’t know what else to say and I’m way beyond needing to wrap this up. But I guess I had somehow thought that doctors cared about their patients’ healthcare. Silly me.
Just to prove that I was 100% correct in this post, it appears that Katherine Fenton, the teacher who asked the question about gender pay equity which resulted in Romney’s “binders full of women” response, is still undecided!
Yes, it’s true. She told Andrea Mitchell she “wanted to know their future plans,” not what they’ve done in the past. I guess she hasn’t heard that old bromide that “past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.” But fair enough.
So I’m going to explain it to her very simply and carefully. Here we go.
Dear Ms. Fenton:
Mitt Romney’s solution to the gender pay gap is an executive Joy Book. President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law and made sure women don’t have to pay more for an insurance policy that covers their contraceptive needs. Because you shouldn’t have to pay more for your insurance policy just because you’re a woman.
It seems the choice is very simple. It also seems that one person answered your question Tuesday night and one person did not. So please pay attention because this shit is important.
P.S. If, on the other hand, you’re justing holding out for a reality TV show and trying to milk your 15 minutes of fame for all it’s worth, never mind.
The meme that wouldn’t die. This is just so hilarious, I had to share.
Oh sure, we all laughed when a week and a half ago Politico declared Ann Romney Mitt’s “secret weapon” and “the Romney Democrats fear most.” That was immediately followed by her astonishing “unzip Mitt” remarks, causing much hilarity in the blogosphere.
But the media establishment’s prophecy was fulfilled yesterday, wasn’t it? The attempt to turn Ann Romney into some kind of relatable Everywoman reached its fruition with the ginned-up Hilary Rosen flap; suddenly Rosen’s clumsy comment was manipulated into an attack on stay at home moms and the rabid right pounced.
Democrats are trying to unring this bell, but it ain’t happening. We’ll be hearing about this all weekend because the Republicans got their first win in the message wars in months, and they won’t be dropping it. Not when every poll shows Romney tanking with women voters. Finally, Republicans had an opportunity to steer the conversation away from the War On Women which, despite 135 actual laws passed in 2011 affecting women’s reproductive lives, the GOP could only lamely call “fake.” Now it’s been twisted into a “war on families” and “war on moms” (there’s now a #WarOnMoms hashtag on Twitter), dovetailing neatly with the GOPs framing of Democrats as anti-family, ready with the forceps to yank the fetus from every pregnant, white Christian woman they see.
This thing played out in predictable fashion: the right wing is reacting to something that was never said, just what they were told was said by those with an interest in stretching the truth. The media has thus far failed to distinguish between what was actually said and what the Republican Party wants them to think was said, because, Look! Shiny-sparkly horse-racey thingie over there! Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before.
The left is a little shocked at how readily the national punditry co-opted the Republican messaging here, but they shouldn’t be. The Republicans always have the Wingnut Wurlitzer ready to exploit the smallest slight. It just goes to show, the right-wing still rules the discourse. What Rosen actually said is that Mitt Romney is using his wife to inform him on women’s issues, when her life is no more typical of the average American woman’s than is his. That was completely distorted and manipulated into a non-existent attack on stay at home moms, something she never said. And we’re off to the races.
As fauxtroversies go, this one is playing out in all the predictable ways. Rosen apologized in less than 24 hours, President Obama and Joe Biden have both thrown Rosen under the bus, and the Wingnut Wurlitzer is continuing to push the story because, let’s face it, it’s the first lucky break the Romney campaign has had.
But it’s been fun to watch the right wingers milk this for all its worth, in sometimes astonishing ways. The Catholic League’s Twitter feed has been a predictable source of amusement. First we have the gay-bashing of lesbian mom Hilary Rosen:
Wait, what? We thought you guys loved adoption! After getting smacked for that one, the following Tweet struck me as odd:
Um … Simone de Beauvoir? The French intellectual who died nearly 30 years ago? This is relevant here how? Pretty sure most Americans think Simone de Beauvoir is either a brand of perfume or a former judge on American Idol.
Watching all of this play out yesterday I wondered how long before the Romney camp exploited this fauxtroversy for donations. The answer is, not long at all:
Wow, you just couldn’t have planned it any better than that. Personally, I don’t think this Everyman/Everywoman schtick is going to stick. I’m already seeing big push-back, because there was an underlying truth to Rosen’s comment that no Frank Luntz-approved messaging can disguise: the economic reality is that millions of women don’t have the choice to stay at home and raise their kids the way Ann Romney did.
I’ll celebrate the choice of the wife of a millionaire to stay at home and raise the kids like I’ll celebrate the winner of a yacht race or a polo match.
Ain’t that the truth.
There are very few times in my life that I wish I knew how to crochet or knit (my knitting experiments at a young age were disasters). However, I might pick it back up again just to participate in The Snatchel Project.
I would love to send Senator Corker and Senator Alexander a hand-knit vagina. Maybe something like this:
Ladies, if you knit or crochet — and I know there are plenty of you out there — please sign up at the link. They even have patterns. How awesome is that?
’cause we can knit one, purl two and oh yeah: we can determine what’s right for our bodies and our lives without any help from you.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus took to the airwaves to claim that the Republican War On Women is just all in our silly little heads. Really!
Republican opposition to renewing the Violence Against Women Act? Scott Walker repealing Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act? The attacks on women’s reproductive rights in every state — the ones making a legal requirement that women submit to shaming, dehumanizing, psychologically stressful and medically unnecessary procedures in order to obtain a legal, safe abortion? Or restricting women’s access to contraception? The shuttering of health clinics that serve poor women around the country?
Ladies, these things should not be taken as attacks on your freedoms or rights or privacy (or even your intelligence, abilities or value). No, these are just logical, necessary pieces of legislation that the penis-Americans in charge deem absolutely vital to the nation’s interests. Any personal offense women may take at being legislated this way is simply unreasonable, maybe even hysterical. Now, run along and swap recipes at the Tupperware Party or however it is you spend your time while the penis-Americans do the heavy lifting of keeping shit running in the world.
But to hear Republicans talk there is a very real war going, and it’s the war on Christians. Yes, little known fact: in state legislatures all around the country, the faithful are being oppressed by anti-Christian politicians passing laws limiting their ability to practice their faith! And even the President of the United States has passed draconian legislation forcing Christians underground. Why, you can’t hardly find a church or a Bible study or even a prayer group anymore!
I have absolutely no evidence of this, of course, but that’s what right-wingers keep telling us. And by right-wingers I don’t just mean fringe crackpots over at ClownHall, I mean people like Rep. Marsha Blackburn who hosted a “rally for religious freedom” in Nashville last month (actually, it was just another highly-orchestrated rally against women’s healthcare but pay no attention to that! This war is real and that one is not!)
No, actually, there is a war on Christianity in this country. I know this because last month an Assemblies of God youth group in Pennsylvania was kidnapped and held at gunpoint. This really happened, however the folks who orchestrated this attack were the church’s pastor and some parents, trying to teach kids age 13-18 a lesson about religious persecution.
Y’know, Jesus did say “suffer the little children.” How ironic that this would come from the sadistic pricks leading the church.
There is a war on Christianity going on, but it’s coming from inside the church, not outside. For example, I just read that the Catholic Church has cut off funds to a group helping the poor because it’s a member of an immigrants’ rights coalition, and that coalition had worked with a GLBT rights group. Got that? The organization receiving the funds didn’t work with this GLBT organization, they were just members of the same coalition. Cooties! Apparently when it comes to fighting poverty or fighting gays, the poor lose out. Fighting gays is way more important. This kind of thinking and attitude will drive the church into cultural irrelevancy faster than any packet of birth control pills or condoms, but hey, don’t listen to me.
So, real or not real, ladies? Who are you gonna listen to: Reince Priebus or your lying eyes?
We all know that pundits say incredibly stupid things and none of the Villagers is more guilty of that than the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn. I never read her stuff, but her Dec. 29 column crossed my path somehow. And ugh, Quinn tried to embark on a modern feminist path but instead arrived at a destination so ridiculously provincial and trivial, I just had to share it.
The blue bra. That’s what did it for me.
Yes, I know. There have been jillions of atrocities against women all over the world, many much worse than what happened to the young Egyptian woman who was beaten, stomped on and nearly stripped by the military during a demonstration. Aside from the sheer brutality, I think what got to me was that she was wearing this gorgeous, sexy bright blue bra. Under her abaya.
There was something so shocking about it, so unexpected. This person covered from head to toe demonstrated her beliefs through her choice of underwear. The blue bra said what I imagine her to be feeling: “I may be oppressed. I may not have rights. I may have to cover up my body and face. But you cannot destroy my womanhood. You can’t rob me of my femininity. You can’t take away my power.”
First of all: no, the “blue bra” woman did not demonstrate her beliefs through her choice in underwear. She demonstrated her beliefs by protesting in the streets of Cairo. She paid for it by being savagely beaten by military police. She has become a symbol, but not because of the color of her bra.
Second of all: Really? You saw that picture and what got you was the fact that an Eqyptian woman was wearing a blue bra? What, did you think she had it smuggled in from France or something? I’m sorry, but when I saw that picture what got me was the vulnerability, not the bra. I saw a woman being attacked by police so viciously, her clothing had been torn off. I saw her being hauled off and thought, “that woman is about to be raped.” In fact, we don’t know what happened to her. But that was my takeaway from that image.
Maybe this is a generational thing but I don’t get my sense of empowerment from my underwear. And I’m pretty sure that photo would have been just as shocking if the woman in question were wearing a white bra. Or a sports bra.
You know what I think? I think what got Sally Quinn was the realization that beneath the head scarf was a Muslim woman who looked like any Western female. She was wearing blue jeans. Tennis shoes. And yes, a blue bra. She could have been any female being hauled away from any of the protests which have rocked the world lately: Occupy Wall Street or a demonstration in Washington, D.C. Or London, or Sydney, Australia. I think Sally Quinn expected women in Cairo to be different from the rest of us somehow, maybe wearing special Muslim underwear or something. Hey, these aren’t Mormons (sorry, cheap shot).
I mean seriously, don’t you people travel? Or at least watch travel shows on TV? Or, hey: try reading your own damn newspaper, Sally. Haven’t you seen photographs from around the Muslim world of women with plucked eyebrows and carefully applied eye makeup, lipstick and Chanel sunglasses? Some even dye their hair. It’s all very Western save the head scarf.
The truth of the matter is, people are pretty much the same everywhere. Sure, people like Rick Santorum and John McCain can say they’d bomb Iran but just remember in Tehran there are women who, beneath their hijab, are wearing blue bras and lace panties like the rest of us. Why wouldn’t they? And they love their children just as much as we love ours, and they worry about their kids getting an education and how mom is starting to get forgetful and how Dad maybe shouldn’t be allowed to drive anymore. They worry about gaining weight and have crushes on film stars and adore their pet cats and dogs like everyone else in the world. We’re all part of the same human family.
Yes, there are cultural differences. And yes, as the global economy undergoes a major transformation, the balance of power around the world is undergoing a transformation as well. The world doesn’t belong to America anymore, we’re sharing it with growing economies like China, India and Brazil. Changes have taken place and this means cultural change as well as economic change.
The great thing about it is that when women go into the workplace, or the public square, or anywhere else, the men are always going to wonder, does she have on the blue bra? Let the answer always be yes.
Um, no they are not. At least, men aren’t undressing women in their minds any differently than they ever have through the centuries. They’re going to wonder, “if the women are in the workplace or the public square they are asserting themselves in an arena that used to belong solely to men. Is this change good or bad?”
It’s not about the damn bra, Sally. Please, look beyond the superficialities.
A question the Free Hand of the Market has yet to answer:
“Why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff?”
From the mouths of babes. A young girl gets her first lesson in the ways corporate marketers reinforce cultural stereotypes. A young revolutionary in the making. Riley, you rawk: