"I know this can't be right but I think it anyway. Everything they taught at the Red Center, everything I've resisted, comes flooding in. I don't want pain. I don't want to be a dancer, my feet in the air, my head a faceless oblong of white cloth. I don't want to be a doll hung up on the Wall. I don't want to be a wingless angel. I want to keep on living, in any form. I resign my body freely, to uses of others. They can do what they like with me. I am abject. I feel, for the first time, their true power." - the Handmaid's Tale
The right wing is trying to frame the argument about who pays for contraception into a War on Religion. And while decrying their latest fake war, like the infamous War on Christmas that never existed, the right wing, led by Rick Santorum and other cave dwellers of his ilk, have declared their true intentions.
This goes far beyond what some are calling a War on Contraception. And it has nothing to do with religion, unless it's their bastardized version of Christianity. This is nothing less than a War on Women.
When Margaret Atwood published 'The Handmaid's Tale' in 1985, it seemed just what it was: a speculative dystopian tale of a futuristic Puritanical Theocracy. Frightening reading, but it could never happen. Well, future fiction - meet Rick Santorum and the Conservative Right Wing Evangelical Base.
Consider for a moment some of the statements and positions being zealously taken up with such righteousness one would think men were the ones who birthed the children and raised them, women were property of the state, and we'd been transported back in time to the Dark Ages.
"Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit can who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing." - the Handmaid's Tale
For the record, I am quoting Rick Santorum because he may very well be the Republican Candidate for President. He is the face of the evangelical conservative wing of the Republican Party. A CBS News / New York Times poll shows Santorum with 30 percent support from GOP Primary voters compared to 27 percent for Romney. This is what the men and women who vote for Santorum are voting for. This is the future they see and desire.
Not only do they want to prevent employees who work for religious institutions from having contraception coverage, now they don't want private insurance companies to pay for it either. So if you're a Methodist secretary at Notre Dame, well, you're screwed - or not, as the case may be. The rhythm method is on the way back, ladies. Get those old calendars out.
Because in Santorum's Evangelical Empire, you won't have contraception of any kind. He has vowed to repeal federal funding of contraception because "it's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." That's right. Rick knows the way things are supposed to be, because God told him.
Ladies, your ovaries will be taken care of in a Santorum Administration. There will be entire panels of old white men to help with Ovarian Decision Making and Control.
The all-male opinionators above on Hannity's Contraception Panel are willing to go to jail, or even die, before they agree to provide contraception for women. It's a Brave New World.
And if you think that panel was lopsided, take a look at the Official House Panel on Women's Health and Contraception...
Not having contraception will keep you from having all that unlicensed sex you are not supposed to be having anyway. And who cares if you can't afford it?
As one Fox News Commentator stated, "This makes no sense to me. The decision is supposed to help make birth control affordable to millions. How much more affordable can you make it? It's like 50 bucks a month. I mean, should we start up like a "Buy the Pill" campaign? Like "Feed the Children" - where we make sure we all adopt one woman and pay for her pills? Anybody can afford this."
"Nature demands variety, for men. It stands to reason, it's part of the procreational strategy. It's Nature's plan." - the Handmaid's Tale
If you're a woman of lower income and need to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Program to raise your family, Santorum wants to decrease the amount of assistance because the nation's increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary. That's right. You and the products of your ovaries must live off the fat of the land, so to speak.
"Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse for some." - the Handmaid's Tale
But don't think you'll make more money under a Santorum GOP Theocracy. "They talk about income inequality. I'm for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality."
Heaven help you if something goes wrong with your female parts. Or you need to get into a hospital to have one of those babies you conceived because you had no contraception. Because if it's a pre-existing condition or you don't have insurance, once again, you're SOL, as they say. As Santorum told one woman who told him she spent $200 on life-saving prescription drugs to "Stop complaining and lower your cell phone bill." Santorum feels that health care is a luxury resource that is rationed by society.
Furthermore, if your female parts were diseased before you switched to another low-paying job, well tough. Rick says you should pay higher premiums because your ovaries cost more to insure. No pre-existing exemption for you. The Susan G. Komen debacle was just the tip of this iceburg.
And while you and your ovaries are trying to get along without contraception, should you be the victim of rape, (61% of rape victims are females under the age of 18) Santorum suggests you consider this is something God is giving you. Even if carrying a child of rape or incest to term endangers your life, Rick says that exceptions to late term abortion are phony.
"I believe and I think that the right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, but nevertheless, in a very broken way, a gift of human life, and accept what God is giving to you."
Rape is terrible, yes ladies, but it is a gift.
Also, Santorum has concerns about women and their ovaries in front line combat. "I think that could be a - a very compromising situation where - where people naturally, you know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved. And I think that's probably, you know, it already happens, of course, with - with the camaraderie of - of men in combat. But it's - but it's - I think it would be even more unique if - if women were in combat. And I think that's probably not in the best interests of men, women or the mission."(Feb 9, 2012, John King CNN)
Now, Rick has tried to walk this back to say he misspoke and meant men's emotions, but we all know Rick and the bible thumpers are worried there might be some sexual mischief on the front lines while bombs and bullets are flying. Because that's what happens when you put people with ovaries in places where real men work.
Why, even Liz Trotta has taken up this torch against women in the military, when she recently stated, "Since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect? And the feminists have also directed them, really, to spend a lot of money. They have sexual counselors all over the place, victims' advocates, sexual response coordinators. So, you have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much."
That's correct. Women, you and your ovaries need to be content with just being raped a little. What did you expect when you entered the military, for crying out loud?
Also, you're not strong enough to be on the front lines. At the CPAC conference, Santorum told Jonathan Karl, he thought men would be overinclined to protect vulnerable women then added: "You throw on top of that just simply physical strength and capability and you may be out there on a mission where it's you and a woman and if you're injured, the ability to transport that person back. And you know, there's just, there are physical limitations."
I'm sure the families of the 144 women who bravely fought and died in combat, in addition to those taken hostage, would appreciate your concern.
And women, if you and your ovaries happen to be married to or in love with someone who also has ovaries, this chauvanistic theocrat will annul your marriage and void any legal protection you might have because same-sex relationships "destabilize society". Santorum frequently compares same-sex relationships to inanimate objects even blames the economic crisis on gay people.
As Santorum explained back in August, religious people have a constitutional right to discriminate against gays: "We have a right the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that's above a right that's actually in the Constitution, and that's of sexual liberty. And I think that's a wrong, that's a destructive element."
So ladies, you better get those ovaries pumping and go find yourself a warm-blooded all-American male.
And think of this. Who challenges these statements? Is there an outcry, an outpouring of anger or protest, even from the women at his town halls? Have we heard it anywhere but here, on the internet? Is there no fear that in small increments, the Santorum Evangelicals and chauvanists of this world might eventually have their way and all the rights we've struggled so hard for, might simply one day be gone?
If there is no fear, then there should be. If there is no outcry, we must make one. And not as a fundraising tool, but as a real and true declaration that we will not stand for it. We will not go back. We will not allow this to happen. We will not be talked about and discussed and our rights dissected by anyone in the name of their "god". Don't ever think this can't happen. Remember the surreal horror of the year 2000, and believe it can.
I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will . Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I'm a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping. - The Handmaid's Tale
Kay W. Gardner
Originally published at Democratic Underground and My Blog
Thanks to Think Progress for Publishing "Santorum's 10 Most Outrageous Statements"