On Friday night Ron Paul, the great Libertarian
hype hope for America, told CNN’s Piers Morgan that a woman who is the victim of an “honest rape” should have access to certain services:
Piers Morgan: You have two daughters, you have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped — and I accept it’s a very unlikely thing to happen, but if they were — would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated.
Ron Paul: If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, and I would give them a shot of estrogen.
This is what passes for the “moderate” abortion position in your modern Republican Party. Pre-Susan G. Komen uproar this would have been taken as just another piece of stupid falling out of the mouth of just another anti-woman Republican. But yesterday my Twitter feed was filled with outrage, blog posts were furiously attacking Ron Paul, and right on cue the Ron-bots rushed to defend this idiot, claiming he didn’t say what we all heard him say and he didn’t mean what he obviously meant.
[Let me add: they do this all the time. Ron Paul’s not a racist, he had no idea what went into years and years worth of newsletters bearing his name! (except he did. Oh yeah, and then there’s this stuff.) You guys just have zero credibility. STFU.]
But back to the topic at hand. I’m trying to figure out what an “honest” rape is, and who gets to determine that. Should we convene a panel to decide if the rape was “honest,” something like the FISA court? Would women need to show a certain amount of bruises and broken bones for the rape to be sufficiently “honest?” Should we evaluate her clothing to see if she “asked for it”? What if the rapist was the woman’s husband, would that still count as “honest”? What if the woman is a prostitute?
Is it an “honest” rape if a black man rapes a white woman? But if a white man rapes a black woman, it’s not? Sorry, I have to ask.
And haven’t we decided this stuff already? Haven’t there been, like, fifty gazillion Lifetime movies aired about these topics? Don’t we already have that “shot of estrogen” available to women at any drug store, a pill called Plan B? Didn’t you people just fight tooth and nail to make sure women can’t access it over the counter?
This is the difference between the phony “pro-lifers” of the Republican Party and the pro-choice side. The phony “pro-lifers” — the people we call “forced birthers” — are trying to roll back the clock to that time pre-Gloria Steinem when men could still decide these issues for women, when modern medical advances hadn’t wrested that control from their hands. When women’s sexuality was still something to be afraid of. They’re fighting stuff that’s already been decided by the culture and trying to pretend that the solutions modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry have created don’t exist. This strikes me not just as delusional but pathological.
Ron Paul is 76 years old. He went to medical school in the late 1950s. He’s of a generation where it’s okay to question a woman about whether she was “honestly” raped, you know, as opposed to just “making it up” the way we ladies like to do in our hormone-induced hysteria. In his world a woman “honestly” raped needs to go to the emergency room for treatment, and all that implies, as opposed to picking up a pill at the corner Rite-Aid.
Meanwhile on the other side we have a generation of women (and men) raised with the mantra “no means no” and women have direct access to information and safe solutions that didn’t exist in the 1950s. Those bells won’t be unrung, much as the other side pretends they can be.
It’s over, we all know it. If the pro-choice movement heretofore looked sufficiently unmotivated during these repeated attacks on women’s healthcare — stuff like fetal ultrasound legislation and anti-coercion signage and such — it’s because no one is really interested in refighting a battle that we’ve already won. I think the Susan G. Komen flap woke a bunch of people up, though.
Here’s the reality: cultural change can’t be undone. You’re not going to undo civil rights and women’s rights and gay rights. You can’t undo the fact that we live in a post-Christian society.
These things were decided long ago. These are battles you either lost or weren’t part of when they happened a generation ago, and they won’t be re-litigated.