While sporting events often have clever names by which they are remembered, election campaigns do not. If you were to argue that they should not be trivialized by cute titles like "The Thilla in Manila", I would have certainly agreed with you, in any other year. This year, however, we have a campaign that has been trivialized unlike anything in recent history. We have an incumbent President who is charged with not fixing his predecessor's and current political opponents' messes fast enough - despite the positive economic turnaround and a Republican candidate whose only real turnaround involves the number of positions he' s taken on every value he claims to hold. The latter's turnarounds often take place over the course of hours, not days, weeks, or months.
It's just too bad that Mitt Romney hasn't found a way to quickly turnaround his endorsement of Akin, Murdoch and even his own running mate, Paul "rape is an alternate method of conception" Ryan. This election, at least on the side of the republicans, has become "The Handmaid's Tale" campaign. While Atwood's novel has been viewed as a cautionary tale, a warning about how easy it can become to create dystopian societies which strip women of their rights and dignity, the GOP seemingly views it as a playbook for future - more uptopian, by their standards, than dystopian.
In the novel, women serve powerful men and become surrogates for their symbolically chaste (sterile) wives - in any way the master of the house sees fit. Women lose the right to their bodies and their names and become "of"... OfMitt, OfPaul, OfTodd, OfRichard, etc. Women, against their will, can be forced to bear the children of their masters. They are expected to have no will, thoughts, or beliefs of their own. They are expected to embrace the will, thoughts, and beliefs of their masters and trust that their masters have their best interests at heart as they create a society that provides for the needs of the "of...".
I am chilled to the bone when I hear privileged males talk about the "thinking" women who don't care about issues related to reproductive rights. "Thinking women" are focused on jobs, they say, like the voting male public. It hasn't dawned on the greats, the "Pauls, Mitts, Richards, Todds" and their ilk, that we not-yet-ofs realize that reproductive rights are economic rights as well.
If we not-yet-ofs are denied access to affordable birth control, will the great masters:
1. Require fathers to take mandatory time off to help care for children so that mothers won't have to lose seniority at work?
2. Require employers to hold womens' jobs so that they can return without the worry of having been replaced after an unexpected pregnancy?
3. Require courts to use the strictest punishments available to "deter" deadbeat parents from skipping out on their children?
4. Work with legislators to create stiffer laws for deadbeat parents and anyone who provides support to them in any way that allows the "deadbeat" to avoid responsibility?
If we not-yet-ofs are denied access to safe and legal abortion (even in cases of rape) will the great masters:
1. Make rape a crime that carries a mandatory life sentence? (to protect other women from becoming victims)
2. Terminate the parental rights of men who impregnate their victims? Deny them visitation?
3. Pay to finally analyze rape kits which may have protected numerous women from becoming victims more than a decade ago?
The great masters have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking of ways of stripping women's rights but seemingly little to no time in thinking of the ramifications of their proposed policies. The handmaiden ideology is one the GOP tries to keep hidden- with zero success. They run on job creation but attempt to govern on the issue of procreation.
They should relax - take some time off. We thinking women won't become "of" any time soon - or ever. We'll be voting, and thinking, and sending THEM home to think about our will, our thoughts, our beliefs.