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There are a lot of men who want to tell women what we can and can’t do with our bodies. Sadly, many of those men can be found in the Senate and the House of Representatives in D.C., and in state legislatures all across the country.
Speaking as a random sample of the female of the species, let me just say this: back the fuck off, gentlemen.
And I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Don’t want to provide funding for Planned Parenthood? Fine. But don’t think you’ll be getting any in the foreseeable future.
Of course, if I’m being honest, none of the gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) in question would have had a shot with me anyway. But presumably they have women in their lives, or would like to. Though they also, for the most part, seem to be a bunch of homophobic bastards in public, kind of causing one to wonder if they’re hiding a male lover or twenty in the closet.
But I digress.
If you’re the kind of woman who ordinarily would be dating, marrying, or otherwise having sex with one of the men who is supporting cutting funding for women’s health services, here is your big opportunity to strike a blow on behalf of low-income women everywhere.
And all you have to do is, well, stop doing it.
At least stop doing it with the sort of men who want to cut funding for women’s health care.
Hell, you probably won’t even be giving up all that much. The uptight moralizing bastards probably aren’t any good in the sack anyway. I don’t speak from personal experience, mind you, but I’m guessing we’re talking strictly missionary with the lights off.
Lie back and think of England, sweetheart, it’ll be over quickly.
And if you can’t imagine giving up sex for any prolonged period of time, well, it’s not as if there aren’t alternatives.
Not comfortable with indulging those bi-curious impulses? Well, let’s just say diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, sisters.
The word is vibrator.
And if you simply must have a partner of the male persuasion present to get your freak on, well, there’s a whole lot of guys out there who do support adequate funding for women’s health care (and a woman’s right to choose when and if she wants to have a baby).
They’re called liberals.
Mark my words, though, a few weeks or months without the pussy, and we’ll be hearing a change in tune in state and federal legislatures across the country.
Either that, or be witness to the largest Republican “coming out” party in history. Which would itself be a Very Good Thing. Maybe then our LGBT friends would finally get the same rights and protections straight people enjoy.
Major h/t to Crooks and Liars for the video link.
P.S. Hell, as long as we’re at it, why stop with funding for Planned Parenthood? Let’s demand equal pay for equal work, adequate funding for childcare for low-income working women, and mandatory insurance coverage for the pill and other forms of birth control. And state-subsidized chocolate for when we’re PMSing.
Inevitable, but worth watching if you haven’t seen it already:
Whoever is running against Rep. Boehner for his House seat this fall should just play this video as their campaign commercial. That’s probably all it would take to get his weirdly-orange face out of national government.
Today, President Obama signed the much-fought-over health care reform bill into law.
Almost immediately, a group of thirteen Republican state attorneys-general filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking to overturn the law.* I suppose we should be grateful that their rationale for overturning the statute has nothing to do with alleging that Barack Obama is secretly a Kenyan Muslim and thus not eligible to be president.
While the new law represents an improvement over the current system, and it will make health insurance available to many who are currently regarded as uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions, I do not believe that it will truly halt runaway health care costs.
The main problem, of course, was that the Obama administration and Congress would not look outside the current mostly for-profit health insurance paradigm for more effective ways to provide health care to the people of this country.
Someone please explain to me how insurance companies add any value to health care services? When did adding a middleman to any transaction ever drive costs down? Their role, if they want to be profitable, is to deny and/or place limitations on the health care services ordered by patients’ physicians.
And in exchange for this, they claim a hefty share of every health care dollar.
Yes, if we are doomed to retain the insurance company paradigm, the health reform bill represents a marked improvement over the existing system. But will it truly provide insurance coverage at a reasonable rate to everyone who needs it?
Somehow, I doubt it. Especially since the public option did not survive the legislative process. But the individual mandate did survive the process, so now those of us with no employer-sponsored insurance are at the mercy of all those mostly-for-profit insurance companies.
If we were serious about fixing our broken health care system, Congress would have given serious consideration to moving to a single-payer system. Take the profit-driven insurance companies out of the equation, and you will find that costs drop significantly, while consumer satisfaction will increase (so long as the system is adequately funded to meet public needs, that is). Plus, health care dollars will actually go primarily to providing health care, rather than to driving up insurance company shareholder profits.
Of course, talk of a single-payer system prompts the teabaggers – excuse me, Tea Partiers – and the sort of people who actually believe what they hear on Faux News to panic and scream about socialism and death panels. (Do they really think insurance companies don’t deny care – even though denial will mean a patient’s death – on cost/benefit grounds?)
Call it socialism if you must. I assure you, my feelings will not be hurt if you call me a socialist, as I don’t view it as an insult or a badge of shame the way certain people (cough*teabaggers*cough) do. Heck, while you’re at it, call me a liberal and a feminist as well. No skin off my nose.
But some services should be socialized. We already have a number of services that fall into this category at either the state or federal level: Medicare, Social Security, police and fire protection, public education, road and highway maintenance, and food safety inspections, to name just a few. We have the government provide these services because it is the most efficient and cost-effective way to ensure that everyone benefits from these services.
Why shouldn’t health care be in the same category?
* A copy of what purports to be the district court filing can be found here, though I question whether it is the lawsuit as filed – the document contains numerous errors that should have been caught at the proofreading stage.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce just released a report that breaks out the impact of the health care reform bill on a district-by-district basis so you can tell what it’s going to mean (and cost) in your area.
Ordinarily, I focus on national politics in this blog.
There’s a good reason for that. See, I am currently living in Colorado Springs. Mecca for evangelical Christians and right-wing hotbed. Looking at local politics is just too damn depressing.
So for the most part, I ignore it, and focus on the national issues.
Every now and then, though, something from local politics intrudes on my consciousness, and I feel like I have to say something.
This is one of those times.
Our local embarassment of a state senator, Dave Schultheis, cast the only vote against a measure that would provide for HIV testing of pregnant women. The idea behind the bill is that it would allow doctors to take appropriate steps to prevent an infected mother from passing the virus on to her child during delivery (which is when infection of the child usually occurs).
Now, there may be good privacy-related reasons to argue against mandatory testing in other circumstances, though I think the health and safety of the child should trump privacy concerns, since knowledge of the mother’s infection status can allow doctors to take steps to prevent transmission of the disease to the child.
But Schultheis wasn’t making a privacy-based argument.
He was making an “AIDS is punishment from god for immoral behavior, and if the child gets the disease the mother will feel guilty” argument. In his own words:
What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior. (Quote courtesy of the dead-tree edition of the Colorado Springs Independent.)
Nothing like condemning a child to life with an incurable and ultimately fatal disease in order to teach his or her parents (who are already similarly condemned) a lesson.
Forget the fact that many women with HIV were infected with the virus as a result of their husbands’ cheating. We have to PUNISH these women and make them feel GUILTY for their husbands’ behavior.
How utterly appalling.
The good news is, Schultheis was the only state senator to vote against the bill. It passed. Pregnant women and their doctors will have the information necessary to prevent HIV transmission to newborns, in spite of Schultheis’ moralistic myopia.
If you’d like to let Schultheis know what you think of his position, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org