Seeing Your Anti-Woman Bills & Raising You With Demasculating Legislation

I know we’re probably all sick and tired of discussing lady business over here, I know I am. But hey, don’t blame me: you boys are the ones who keep turning lady parts into political footballs, not me. Frankly I’m pretty sick of it.

So. It appears the latest trend in anti-woman, anti-choice state legislation is Democratic-sponsored riders designed to either make a point about how offensive and intrusive these bills are, or actually serving as a valid riposte to this offensive and intrusive legislation.

Last week, you may recall, Virginia State Senator Janet Howell attached an amendment to that state’s fetal ultrasound bill. The fetal ultrasound bill sponsors claimed — over what actual doctors say — that such tests are necessary for medical reasons before performing an abortion. So Howell offered an amendment that said:

“Prior to prescribing medication for erectile dysfunction, a physician shall perform a digital rectal examination and a cardiac stress test,” Howell said, reading the amendment aloud. “Informed consent for these procedures shall be given at least 24 hours before the procedures are performed.

The amendment barely failed, which is too bad, but it apparently inspired pro-choice legislators in Oklahoma, where a fetal personhood bill defining life as beginning at the moment of fertilization is making its way through the state legislature. Via Jezebel, State Senator Constance Johnson of Oklahoma City submitted an “Every Sperm Is Sacred” amendment which read:

However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.

She later withdrew the amendment, but not before another Democratic legislator added an amendment of his own:

In response to that bill, Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, who is strongly pro-choice, offered an amendment that would make the father of an unborn child financially responsible for its mother’s health care, housing, transportation and nourishment while she is pregnant.

Wilson’s amendment failed.

Well of course it did. But you know, Oklahoma: it takes two to tango. If you’re going to make women legally responsible for their blastocysts, then the men who helped put them there need to chip in. Fair is fair.

Gender equity: could it be the new pink ribbon?


Filed under abortion, culture wars, feminism, women's rights

32 responses to “Seeing Your Anti-Woman Bills & Raising You With Demasculating Legislation

  1. And as a pro-choice supporter of a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, NO MATTER WHAT, I applaud ANY attempt that makes these male sanctimonious males RESPONSIBLE to all females who become pregnant AGAINST their collective will. And I have also advocated that any male who keeps promoting these crimes against women via their ignorant, unconstitutional bills SHOULD sign a pledge to PAY the expenses of ANY female who is FORCED to carry, deliver, and raise each and every unwanted ‘life’, every fetus created via RAPE and INCEST…or because these females were totally ignorant about how they got pregnant! I am SO GLAD the ‘Komen’ fiasco uncovered how millions of women in this country REALLY resent being told that old white men actually OWN our bodies. Keep these new pay-back ideas comin’, SB!

  2. Randy

    These debates do have value. Without them we would be deprived of prose gems such as these:

    “…don’t blame me: you boys are the ones who keep turning lady parts into political footballs, not me.”

    BTW, In the interest of full disclosure, my name is Randy Johnson. I had a vasectomy. I am a mass murderer. Remember me in your prayers.

  3. deep

    I really like these bills actually. I think everyone should be more informed. I’m nominally a pro-choicer myself in that, while while I think a person should be allowed the choice they should be fully informed about what they are doing before they do it. So I am in favor of the bills to require a woman to get the ultrasound. But before all of you start ripping into me about this, I also think that the follow up bills are also great ideas and should be implemented too. Far to many patients get treatment without truly understanding what they are doing and so if doctors are failing to inform their patients (as good doctors should) then just for the sake of public health, the government should require it.

    So yes, men wanting viagra should get a full cardio examination. I think labeling every sperm as sacred is a little silly, but requiring men to help out with the costs of pregnancy is an excellent idea.

    It’s a pity the Catholic zealots seem to think that their obligation to “life” ends at birth.

  4. while I think a person should be allowed the choice they should be fully informed about what they are doing before they do it. So I am in favor of the bills to require a woman to get the ultrasound. But before all of you start ripping into me about this, I also think that the follow up bills are also great ideas and should be implemented too.

    The idea that a woman doesn’t know what she’s doing and needs an ultrasound is the kind of ridiculous crap that men dream up because they are the ones who don’t have a fucking clue.

    And if anyone wants to know why healthcare costs continue to skyrocket to unaffordable levels, just look at our national jones for unnecessary medical tests like both of these.

    Which begs the question: if you’re a poor woman (or poor man), who pays for this stuff the government is requiring?

    • deep

      So are you suggesting that a man knows what he is doing when he asks for ED pills? Or wouldn’t it be good for his doctor to say, “look, John, I know you want these pills, but your heart’s ready to explode!”

      Which begs the question: if you’re a poor woman (or poor man), who pays for this stuff the government is requiring?

      Well, I assume that abortions aren’t free, so whomever is footing the bill for that procedure would also pay for the medical consultation

      • So are you suggesting that a man knows what he is doing when he asks for ED pills?

        Yes, of course. A man knows he needs to get it up and can’t, that’s why he’s getting ED pills.

        What he doesn’t know is whether his heart is healthy enough, which is why these are not OTC drugs. Ideally he’s supposed to get a prescription and his doctor will tell him that. But this is apples and oranges. An ultrasound is not necessary before having an abortion to determine whether a woman is healthy enough to abort a fetus. That’s a complete red herring. Look: if she’s not healthy enough to abort a fetus she sure as hell isn’t healthy enough to carry it to term and go through childbirth. Pregnancy and childbirth are extraordinarily hard on the body. There’s a reason so many women die in childbirth. But the forced-birthers don’t care.

        The ONLY reason to force a woman into having an ultrasound AND VIEWING IT is to be cruel, to punish women, and to throw up both logistic and economic road blocks to the procedure. Forced-birthers seem to harbor delusions that women seeking abortions don’t realize they’re KILLING BAYBEEEEZ. If they could walk up to every single woman and shout “baby killer!” in her face, they would. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t on some legislative agenda somewhere.

      • THANK YOU, SB! And you have explained in detail the facts about these forced ultrasounds…the purpose of which, obviously is to force a woman to feel so ashamed, so guilty, that she will decide to not end a pregnancy….even if carrying the fetus to term will KILL HER…or the fetus is so damaged it would even assume it would survive…with damaged heart, two heads, no lungs…Thanks for pointing out the obvious evil, aimed at women and girls, mandated by MEN who have never been pregnant.

      • deep

        Hm. I see what you mean. I suppose a better comparison would be that men are supposed to have a scrotal exam and an explanation of what the testes are supposed to do and what happens when he uses them. lol

  5. Min

    I hope it’s not a pink ribbon. I hate pink.

  6. I promise I won’t criticize the unwarranted male-bashing that is so prevalent this last century and a half … but blaming some of this “legislation” on men is akin to blaming jazz music for the flooding in New Orleans.

    Women are in every facet of the health care industry now and they have key roles as doctors, nurses, researchers … but where they are NOT is in some of these dumb state legislatures, where the absurd laws are passed that regulate it.

    These pseudo-Christian right-wing zealots get elected (with the help of the female vote) and there’s nobody to challenge them in their little tirades in places like Virginia and Florida and Texas. We have a couple here in Indiana too, so I am not being “regionalist.”

    Stop electing these creepy ass people to your state legislatures. Get some female viewpoints on the floor.

    Remember: Laws that affect women’s health care … they ain’t about me. I am a male.

    But I try to vote for smart people.

  7. Women are in every facet of the health care industry now ….

    It’s not the healthcare industry trying to prevent women from having control over their bodies, it’s politicians! And while a few of these people are women, most of them are men. Men in power trying to control women.

  8. Randy

    “…but blaming some of this “legislation” on men is akin to blaming jazz music for the flooding in New Orleans.”-John.

    Denial. Not a river in Egypt. Or Louisiana.

    I really can’t think of a good way to counter such silliness but a statement I heard Gloria Steinem make at The University of Alabama when I was a wee undergrad back in the 70’s comes to mind so maybe it will be germane:

    “If men menstruated there would be a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea housed in a huge greek revival temple made of marble fronting the National Mall.”

    • John

      I guess there’s no point posting these things if nobody actually reads them before replying. But finding an appropriate “quote” always works for a debate.

      • Randy

        I read every word of your post John. There is no debate. With all due respect to our hostess and her readership, your dick is holding your consciousness hostage. Read a book.

    • And if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

      Look, it’s just silly to pretend that the war between the sexes has somehow flipped and women are winning and men are oppressed. Men have been charge of everything for centuries. Women have finally gained some ground but certain men — not all of them certainly, but a particular faction of authoritarian male — have been trying to stop that progress, and they’ve been using their position of power and influence to do it. Certain authoritarian types tend to be really threatened by the idea of women (and anyone else) getting a seat at the banquet table they’ve dominated for so long.

      It’s understandable but it’s also stupid to pretend it isn’t happening.

  9. John

    It is so nice to see that you have gotten to know me so well, Randy. I all due respect to our hostess, well … never mind.

  10. John, I do not think you grasp the issue. The real issue is NOT ‘male-bashing’…it is the fact that male dominated society, where ever it is, causes males in power to say and do ANYTHING to keep and hold on to their dominance over women. This is true in certain religions, in government, in the workplace, everywhere. In the Catholic Church, total ruled by old white “celibate” men, they continue to demand obedience to THEIR old Testament versions of Scripture, and in the new Testament and the rules of St. Paul about the female being totally subservient to their ‘husbands’ (or really, any male in their lives…priests, fathers, etc.) In other words, they want to tell females that they MUST NOT protect themselves physically, mentally or socially from unwanted conceptions.
    When the poll results that came out yesterday stated that 98% of all Catholic women have used or currently use some form of birth control, this should tell you that females have decided that THEY are competent to decide for themselves!
    And these right wing ‘conservatives’ have allowed the Bishops to whine and insert this issue into the GOP/TEA campaign indicates that the GOP has NOTHING, NADA to offer this country. They are hiding behind the sanctimonious!

    • John

      Did nobody read what I wrote?
      I accused the state legislators in these assemblies of creating laws that suppress women. Where in any of this did I make any other point?
      But you read the first sentence, hit the reply button and …. off you all go.
      It IS ABOUT PEOPLE IN POWER. (Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.)
      This isn’t a caveman “man bad woman good” argument.
      But if you continue to ignore the sensible (at least considered) male point of view, you will lose an alliance. I am on the side of that alliance but I am a bit befuddled as to how such a concise point of view has been overlooked. Did I write something that wasn’t understandable?
      I didn’t mention the Catholics. I pointed out that … let me just say it again if you don’t have the inclination to read it … women are in a position to establish health care policies but are choosing (or being told) that they can’t get into a position to legislate that.
      If you want the abuse on women’s health to continue, then keep reelecting these fuckin bozos to your state legislatures.
      Did I clarify what I wrote the first time?
      If not, help me here. And to assume that my “dick” has anything to do with it is crude and very unsettling. I tend to react to that sort of attitude in a negative way.
      So I don’t much really weigh in on whether the world treats women badly. Unjust social history is interesting and part of the overall discussion. But it’s also part of the future if you continue to whine about it and avoid conversations that can change it.
      If you want to fix it, stop bitching about it and get these fuckin’ yo-yos out of your state assemblies. That’s where it’s at.

      But since nobody will read this, I just exercised my “dick” for no good reason. I probably have no more to add here since it’s been a waste of discussion.

      — John

      • John, I did get your point. And I agree that we females have not been able to un-elect these yo yos. Nor have we been able to find a way for ‘conservative religions to agree to allow women LEAD in positions like elders, bishops and/or pastors. Nor have we been able to find more competent, qualified females to run for public office, although we have made strides IN CONGRESS, not in local and State elections. Also, the number of women in positions of power in large corporations are still small in comparison. Here in the South, even women I know, college graduates, I am sorry to say, are willing to allow their husbands to “handle politics”. But I still say that the GOP has absolutely nothing to offer this country, so they have allowed the right-wing faux religious use this hatred of women’s ‘rights’ as a distraction, not a valid issue. That’s all.

  11. John

    Well, if it’s about “the South,” not much I can add. Even here in Indiana, we have evangelical zealots who get a lot of voter support because of the perceived family values as opposed to helping “welfare trash.” It sells in an Assembly election. Democrats are still wandering around pretending they have the auto union support, not realizing that robots don’t vote and even union members have 401 (k) plans and want the economy to do well.

    Enough of that (out of breath) … but for what it’s worth, I still think it’s sensible to not blame “men” for this … women do as much voting for these teabaggers as men do, even in the South. Most men aren’t going to weigh in on this because it doesn’t affect us unless we have a wife, sister, daughter who is in need. Even then, we’re inclined to believe here in Indiana that a woman who needs health care is going to get it.

    So the point is: Which health care issue should men care about? As a society, are never going to come together over abortion. Never. We can gripe about it and argue till the asteroid hits. We just won’t ever come together on it. I know many women who oppose it more than men do.

    Nobody wants my opinion on it.

    For many years, churches didn’t take an active role in politics. They didn’t always do the right thing by society but they didn’t try to steer policy. In the era since Falwell and Pat Robertson, that changed. It’s a real factor now and that will not change.

    But once upon a time, organized labor mattered. As I wrote earlier, the Democrats keep thinking those folks are still around. Uh … nope … unions were sold out to China.

    If you want a national/international women’s alliance, I’d recommend toning down the “anti-male” voice that I’ve heard so loudly in the last few days. This isn’t about men and if you insist it is, they’ll just watch football.

  12. Randy

    If men are so damn anxious to work with women they shouldn’t have to receive an engraved invitation. I’m 58 years old. Ever heard of the Equal Rights Amendment? Where were these loving brothers when women needed them? How’s that Affirmative Action thing going? @John In re: My crude and unsettling language. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Had a guy come through there tried to make nice in pursuit of social justice. They put him in jail and later killed him. Enjoy the game. Maybe you can get your mom to hold your hand.

    • john

      Randy, I am sure that your story about the guy they killed is directly connected to your crude and unsettling language. I guess we all learn about social decorum in our own way.

      Enjoy being so acidic. I think I will spend my time sharing thoughts with intelligent people.

      — John

  13. Randy

    You have shared your thoughts with intelligent people. You just didn’t like our response. That’s the premise of your whole position. “I am a man. I will help women as long as they treat me the way I like to be treated.” You have no investment in the issue. You’re just looking for an “attaboy.” “Tut tut Gloria those anarchists can be so strident.” “One lump or two?”

  14. Randy

    I stand corrected. Sorry to the other commenters for co-opting your views. Delighted to let mine stand on its own. Now I’m off to my analyst to develop some insight.

  15. John, this probably doesn’t address the issue of this thread….but something you alluded to is important to hear. I believe I’m pretty woman friendly with my politics, I can’t think of a single issue “they” have that I don’t agree with. That said, you wouldn’t believe the heat I took when I suggested that certain messages they adopt don’t even appeal to a majority of women voters, never mind the men voters. It’s a minefield, John, and I’ve lost friends for wandering in. It’s ridiculous, though, to suggest we men don’t have a stake in these issues. I have a wife, and I have daughters, and the policies put in place will affect their lives.

    • Education is clearly being sent scurrying when alternate opinions are belittled, ridiculed and, in Randy’s case, dismissed as irrelevant or intended to be self-serving.

      • I love it when conservatives come on liberal blogs and chastise those who disagree with them for having an unwillingness to be educated. I’m sorry if we’ve failed to adequately marvel at your great and glorious wisdom. Clearly the reason no one has been sufficiently swayed to your way of thinking is because we’re all brainwashed rubes incapable of such great insights. Perhaps we swine are unworthy of your pearls.

        Yeah, that’s it.

  16. What point of view did I offer that confused anybody?
    I just suggested that if you want bad legislation to end, you need to elect smarter people. That was the thrust of it. Too bad you don’t read the things your blog contains.

    So my accusation that you aren’t educated … no, I wrote something that you agreed with but condemned my for having said it in the first place.

    (Check your first reply. I blamed bad state legislators and … guess what, I was wrong because … as you put it …
    “It’s not the healthcare industry trying to prevent women from having control over their bodies, it’s politicians! And while a few of these people are women, most of them are men. Men in power trying to control women.”

    But whatever you consider me to be — I seriously think you need to evaluate your definition of conservative. If it means having rejected war and its motives, all forms of abuse and stupidity by choice, I guess I plead guilty.

    And if being liberal means dismissing other points of view because all you read was “hmm… John sounds like a man’s name … fuck him because he doesn’t have a menstrual period” … but you don’t have any wiggle room on that, I guess.

    Good luck selling your agenda. All I wanted was dialogue … guess I will go where the “smart” women post.

    Thanks for letting me share my stone-age points.

    • All I wanted was dialogue …

      Bullshit, you got your fee-fees hurt after coming in here like a bull in a china shop with your ridiculous claims of “unwarranted male bashing.” Then you had to bash other commenters for their “crude and unsettling language” and lack of social decorum. Oh, my. I bet they even use the wrong fork at dinner on occasion.

      Welcome to the internet, hon. This ain’t nothin’.

  17. Randy

    Dang. I always miss the chance to use “pearls before swine.” It’s an election year – better pay closer attention.