WTF? Cavemen in America

It’s baffling that some folks seem to have gone all retrograde in America, with particular men deciding when women should get pregnant.

I try not to write about politics too much, I really do, mostly so that I don’t make myself crazy. But a series of related events, which I would not have imagined would be part of the public discourse in the USA in 2012, ARE front-page news.

First, the Republican-led Congress convened a panel of “experts”, most of whom railed against employer insurance plans covering birth control. Interestingly, they happened to be mostly a bunch of guys. The odd thing is that many of these same insurance plans with contraceptive coverage that the panel was railing against will cover Viagra and similar products that will be a sexual aid, even for (gasp!) unmarried men.

So some Democrats allowed Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify from a different perspective, e.g., a woman’s, regarding women’s reproductive health care; LISTEN to her opening statement. Note that Fluke’s comments were primarily about the use of contraceptives for other purposes, such as to avoid ovarian cysts. A windbag named Rush Limbaugh slandered Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute,” then, in response to the outrage of his remarks, exclaimed that he would “buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want.” (It would be off-topic, I suppose, to note that Limbaugh has been married four times and has no children, suggesting at least the possibility of contraception use.) The talk radio guy eventually offered a limp apology after sponsors left his show.

Limbaugh’s comments echoed those of Foster Friess, Presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s billionaire supporter: “And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s [so] inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Santorum, who apparently has distanced himself from Limbaugh’s “slut” comment in an “oh, but he’s an entertainer” remark, talks about “the dangers of contraception”: “Many in the Christian faith have said, ‘… contraception’s okay.’ It’s not okay… because…[things in the sexual realm are] supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal … but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.” I think Santorum has the perfect right to express his opinion, but my concern is that these issues would likely dominate his policies if he were elected.

If that weren’t enough, the Girl Scouts of America are under attack by some shady group because the GSA has “liberal progressive troop leaders [who] will indoctrinate the girls in their troop according to the principles of Planned Parenthood.” Oy.

It’s baffling that some folks seem to have gone all retrograde in America, with particular men deciding when women should get pregnant, while railing against the number of children born out of wedlock, and wanting to cut funds to them. Or maybe it’s just that these dudes want women to shut the hell up, particularly about issues that primarily impact women. I have to check my calendar. Nope, it’s not 1952. In fact, I don’t think the country was as backward 60 years ago as these folks are today.

The Pregnant Woman, La Donna Gravida by Raphael, 1507

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

10 thoughts on “WTF? Cavemen in America”

  1. I honestly don’t know what to make of all this. It’s one of the most mind-boggling things I’ve ever seen. Really? Contraception is an issue now?

  2. I’m with you, Roger—and I appreciate your take on politics. I especially like your thoughtful response, far more circumspect than I can manage that. More often than not my exasperation overwhelms me (my folder of unpublished blog posts is brimming with posts on such political topics, ones that I felt I simply couldn’t tone down).

    You wrote, “Interestingly, they happened to be mostly a bunch of guys.” In fact, the Republicans called ONLY men—to talk about issues affecting women. They refused to allow the Democrats to call their witnesses (including Ms Fluke) because, the Republicans said, they knew what the Democratic witnesses would say—what, they didn’t already know what Republican witnesses would say?! The Democratic-held event was not actually a hearing (only the Republicans, as the majority, can convene hearings, so the “testimony” was, technically, not that at all—it was more like a briefing to Democrats. What that means is that it has no official standing, only what those men said about the little ladies “matters” for Congressional purposes.

    I tell you, there are days I expect Republicans to start extolling the virtues of that brand-new invention, the electric refrigerator. I think that they simply don’t understand the modern world.

  3. There was something I read (and can’t find) that there was some other woman. But the basic point’s still valid.

  4. I’m with you. I keep thinking, “if you think life is so precious why don’t you worry about the quality of it outside the womb?” There’s a core of people in such fear that they’re getting a big voice in politics;I just try to have faith that there are more people with some sense who will vote.

  5. In no way do I condone what Limbaugh said on his show. What everyone does need to remember is he IS an entertainer and he does have a first amendment right to say whatever he wants. That said, it’s also true that no one is forcing me to listen to him so I choose not to hear his rantings. If this hadn’t exploded in the media, I wouldn’t have even known about it. On the issue itself, I’m torn. While I’ve wished my insurance would have covered contraception when I was having to pay for it myself, I completely understand why religious institutions balk at having to provide it if it goes against their tenants. Again, no one is making you work for that religious organization so leave if you don’t agree their policies. It’s your choice. I just don’t think this is why we sent people to Washington.

  6. Rick Santorum and the other Republicans want to control the lives of the poor and the middle class, the only people who will have freedom in their version of America are the wealthy! These people are the true enemies of Democracy, and we must fught them at every step.

  7. “They refused to allow the Democrats to call their witnesses (including Ms Fluke) because, the Republicans said, they knew what the Democratic witnesses would say—what, they didn’t already know what Republican witnesses would say?!”

    They were unfamiliar with Catholic beliefs…? That’s the best I got. 🙂

  8. An Important Fact:

    The Oxycontin Kid is owned by Clear Channel. Remember them? They got a bad public rep and started to decline in value. So Clear Channel was bought by two corporations 50-50, one of which was Bain Capital. That’s Mitt Romney’s corporation.

    So Mitt Romney owns one half of Limbaugh. (The chubby boy grudgingly acknowledged this fact on his show.) So the only question is, which of Limbaugh’s butt cheeks does Romney own, the left or the right?

    BTW, I think it’s time for Rush to come out of the closet. And I don’t mean as an illegal immigrant.

  9. With the downfall of the blunt amendment i think the fight is over. Birth control is such a important issue we have to resolve in our heads before moving forward.

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