WSE is an apolitical organization. However I am not an apolitical person. Here in this blog, I tend largely to avoid the political nature of sex education, but that same topic is not without its own political realities. Here, I’m opting to post SCOTUS, Abortion, and Birth Control (aka Life with SCPLs)…and Kim Kardashian (just for “fun”) (be aware, profanity within).
SCOTUS, Abortion, and Birth Control (aka Life with SCPLs)…and Kim Kardashian (just for “fun”)
Today, I’m going to start out by sharing a video of my friend Cara, and that embedded link on her name goes to a facebook post of hers that articulates much of what she expresses in the video below. Worth reading EVERY word, but if watching a video is easier, then that’s cool, too.
I share the above, not because I’m some massive fan of Kim Kardashian…I’m so not. I don’t care about anything related to any of the Kardashians, and the only reason I even know the name is because I have kids of a certain age who keep me up-to-date on celebrity currency. Even granting that I laughed at Bette Middler’s tweet…
Kim Kardashian tweeted a nude selfie today. If Kim wants us to see a part of her we’ve never seen,
she’s gonna have to swallow the camera.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) March 7, 2016
…I recognized a joke from a comedienne, one for whom I’ve held much admiration for a long time. That being said, I also see a parallel between body shaming (predominantly directed at women), Kim Kardashian’s selfie, mansplainin’, what International Women’s Day is for and about, and the current abortion and birth control cases facing the Supreme Court of the United States. And before you start feeling bad for those sweet little old nuns and their hand-wringing, here is what you need to know about today’s birth control case before the high court.
There are (by far) more intersections, there is more than a small bit of religious (“faith-based”) interference in every single aspect of those intersections, and omigawd Kansas…really all over the country, but fucking Kansas…from bounty options to check genitals in public schools, to comparisons of birth control to eugenics, to attempting to criminalize (with fines AND jail time) for teaching sex ed in public schools (a throwback to Comstock laws) — while being broke! Kansas is fucking broke because of Gov Brownback’s idiotic attempts at Reagan-on-acid taxation experimentation. I can’t begin to express enough contempt for Kansas right now, but it’s in no way limited to Kansas. To be clear.
Before you think I’m demonizing Kansas…or men in general…I’d like to point you to one microcosmic cross-section of our society: Twitter. Even factoring for troll behavior, a study was conducted via Twitter, by Adobo, and to be clear, the overwhelming reality is that “[w]hen it comes to prejudice online, no group is more hated than women.” (yeah, emphasis added)
In an era when someone like Sarah Palin, with zero legal education, is poised to get a courtroom reality television show, when conspiracy theorists openly state they believe Jennifer Aniston and Michelle Obama are trans*women, and Phyllis fucking Schlafly (yes, that old bag of skin is still alive) is speaking (and being taken seriously) about not nominating a Supreme Court justice until a Republican is elected into the presidency, while yammering about anti-woman, white supremacist-consorting Fascist Donald Trump…it starts becoming a little more clear that what’s happening has precisely nothing to do with people’s feelings about abortion, or about birth control, or about fatness or thinness. It has nothing to do with anything but hatred of women, period, end of story.
These are the same idiots and assholes who -in one breath- yammer about 3-D printing of fetuses “for blind women” (presumably at taxpayer expense and for the “love” of fetuses)…while out of the other side of their mouths, screeching about not paying for birth control (which -when used consistently and correctly- usually prevents pregnancy, ergo abortion), not wanting public school sex ed outside of abstinence-only (which is demonstrably a spectacular failure), increasing restrictions on abortion access (and women’s healthcare in general), resulting in gestational rape and forced parenthood…THEN turning around and stripping funding for women, children, and families to keep food in those *precious* children’s bellies, roofs over their heads, and healthcare when they’re sick…THEN turning around and blaming the very women they forced to gestate that “if they didn’t want children, they should have been more ‘responsible’ about sex” — (circle back to the birth control debate…lather, rinse, repeat). All while continuing to ignore our human trafficking business we know casually as the (for-profit) adoption system AND the over-burdened foster system.
And they never seem to realize the abject irony of talking about children as precious, as gifts (which, no doubt, children ARE precious, they ARE gifts) — but telling women that children are “consequences”…that they are “punishment”…how “precious” is a consequence dressed up as a human child whose mother was forced against her will to gestate an unwanted pregnancy? I mean honestly?
…because really, it’s not about sex (no matter how much that stain of a Kansas legislator is uncomfortable saying the word “vagina” – I get it, for many women brought up in abstinence-based nonsense, speaking medical terminology is extremely uncomfortable…literally unspeakable, actually–
“…It starts, whether intentionally or not, with parents. When my daughter was a baby, I remember reading somewhere that while labeling infants’ body parts (“here’s your nose,” “here are your toes”), parents often include a boy’s genitals but not a girl’s. Leaving something unnamed, of course, makes it quite literally unspeakable. Nor does that silence change much as girls get older…”
When the shame attached to possible “consequences” (and “conscientious” objections by pharmacists) lead to sideways methods of pregnancy prevention…and worse, the return and increase of self-induced abortions, which results in dead women. And all of this is championed by “so-called pro-life” people (aka SCPLs).
…but it’s not about that. It’s about punishing women for being women, for being human and daring to exist with the rights of being human. In a country with 319 million people, 51% of which are women, this is beyond a travesty. It’s dismissed frequently (even by women I know and respect, with casual remarks about “responsibility”), and often ignored is the connection with beauty and thinness and any/everything connected with our bodies and/or appearances…
“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” ― Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
Which brings me back to Kim Kardashian and her selfie (which really amounts to *SO WHAT?!*)…and the staggering amount of insults hurled her way. It reminded me (quite a lot) of the same insults that have been hurled at Beyoncé for her “Formation” performance (the outrage was on multiple grounds from many quarters — all of which were ignorant to what she was/is addressing in that song, which is multifaceted, to say the very least – if you’re interested, start here, but this is merely one way of addressing the intersection of lived experience as a woman, Beyoncé is speaking one voice of the black female experience, which I am not qualified to speak to, but I cheer her on 100%). This ties in with a combination in-person and online discussion about intersectionality, but the point is, from a larger perspective, society condemns women by way of our bodies, and the how of that can vary distinctly, depending on color of skin, ethnic origin, size and shape, etc. And I even read that women should be -somehow- try to “be more like Marilyn” in terms of “beauty” — and while I’m not questioning the fact that she was beautiful, first – she was in many ways ahead of her time, true enough…but her public persona was nobody’s role model. Second – in her time, she was just as criticized for daring to exist as a human female in public (and still is by religious fanatics, lest you doubt). So that double-edged sword is hypocrisy that knows neither its own name or history.
So what if ANY woman posts a public nude selfie (or Playboy centerfold or calendar)? I mean seriously, so what?
Rather than link you back to all the variety blog entries I’ve written about the reality of today’s “conservatives” who believe they’re somehow “revolutionary” – I’ll just summarize by pointing out what they really are: Regressive Reactionary Republicans. Today’s version is yammering about “religious freedom” via birth control…but that’s just one tiny little piece of the hatred piled on women in the name of Eve.
To all of them, I raise Lilith’s fist (and more often than not, with a one-finger salute).