I don’t think this got enough credit the first time I posted it so welcome back, Theocat Grumpavelt!
I don’t think this got enough credit the first time I posted it so welcome back, Theocat Grumpavelt!
A brilliant metaphor.
Follow Ramona Flour on twitter @RamonaFlour
#tbt #wcw to 2006 when @jessblatter and @raaaes and I drove all the way to Yorba Linda to take this picture and to nerd out on Richard Nixon.
The Nixon Library is the most fun library.
The year is 2014. It’s a favorite refrain of the average idiot to wonder why we don’t have flying cars yet, why we don’t teleport places, why we aren’t leasing apartments on the moon, and all sorts of other wonderful 1950s fantasies of the future. It seems like a lot of fun to demand the luxuries you were promised back in the Eisenhower era, and to act indignant that they’re all taking so long.
Women have been able to vote in the United States for nearly a century (and that’s 50 years after African Americans won the right to vote, though it isn’t fair to count decades of intimidation and violence as actually having the ability to vote, so I only mention it for purposes of an historical timeline) and we have not taken that right for granted. In fact, women vote more than men; 63% of women 18 and older turned out in the 2012 presidential election compared to 59% of men (source). Women make up more than half of the population in the United States, roughly half of the work force, and more than half of all college students. We are not just part of this country; we are the majority in the country. We make up half of the world. And yesterday morning, the Supreme Court casually asserted that we as individuals are worth less than papers of incorporation as far as the law is concerned. Our health care is elective. Our bodily autonomy is a luxury.
Earlier this year, when the UCSB shooter killed 6 people and injured 13 more, feminists saw it for what it was: the result of the normalization of misogyny in our culture. News outlets called it mental illness. And perhaps that is part of it; after all, no sane person stockpiles guns to kill strangers because their need to have sex is more important than other peoples’ lives. But it wouldn’t take the average person more than a few clicks to find a defense of the UCSB shooter’s actions in an op-ed or personal blog because goddamn it, men just need to have sex and women should be providing it if they want to live! Not all men are like that, but it’s impossible to tell who is so we should just relax and trust every man to have our best interests at heart.
Hobby Lobby is just another example of powerful male religious zealotry exerting its influence over American politics and policy, only this time it’s wrapped up in yarn and googly eyes. It is a corporation that employs about 10,000 people, run by a family of fucking lunatics who are so damn holy they fought religious persecution all the way to the supreme court and won! Yay for America! Except no.
I don’t give a shit what the ancient relics on the Supreme Court say, we all know what happened yesterday. A corporation manipulated the First Amendment to not just excuse their own bigotry, but to inflict it upon every person working in their company to the detriment of their physical health. Justice Ginsberg made no secret of her contempt for the decision, pointing out what every smart and conscientious person already knows: we just opened a floodgate to denying health coverage to specific groups of people based on the fantasy of religion. And why do 5 out of 9 justices think this is OK? Because women aren’t actually people, of course.
Alito patted the court on the back with this decision, bragging that the restriction is limited to closely-held corporations so it’s not really harming anyone, right? Women can just go get their whore pills wherever, it’s not like its a financial burden for people working for minimum wage at a fucking craft store. But even if we ignore the fact that 90% of corporations in America are closely held, and even if we just pretend not to know that the second-biggest closely-held corporation is Koch Industries (source), a major political contributor to the Republican party (that super fun party that hates women and looooves money), we are still left with the issue of whether or not it’s religious persecution to require a corporation to provide health care for all of its workers. And the short answer? Fuck no. Nobody is persecuting this family of slimy assholes by requiring basic health coverage for the employees that are paying for their insurance premiums with their labor and contributions from their paychecks. Nobody told this family of toilet mold that they needed to renounce Jesus Christ or be burned at the stake. This family of festering sores doesn’t need to take down their crucifixes or burn their bibles, they don’t even have to say “Happy Holidays” when it’s time for the entire country to celebrate Jesus’s birthday for 3 fucking months out of the year. The Christian Right is not now, nor has it ever been persecuted in the United States. In fact, if anyone in this family of dead toenails needed emergency contraception or an abortion, they could just pop on down to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, one of the many companies in which Hobby Lobby is heavily financially invested, which produces the very specific items that the Green Family of prolapsed rectums is so religiously opposed to their employees using (source).
So where does that leave us? Corporations now have not only free speech (though their words are just made up of $ signs) but thanks to Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Kennedy, they now have feelings and beliefs. Aside from the fact that this is literally not true, corporations now have the ability to pick and choose the type of health care that they provide to the employees that depend on them for a paycheck. Of course, this is a terrifying precedent of employers deciding on health care (instead of, you know, health care providers and their patients) and so the court emphasized that this decision would not extend to blood transfusions or any other type of health care that could affect men, too. It only affects women, so who cares?
Who cares that women take birth control for dozens of reasons that have nothing to do preventing pregnancy? So what if emergency contraception acts nothing like an abortion pill? Jesus said that it’s sort of like an abortion pill so that means your scientific facts are meaningless! And please, it’s not like women are trying to prevent getting pregnant any good reason, such as not being able to care, provide, or carry to term the children that they never planned on having! Women have plenty of free child care and extensive, paid maternity leave (except for poor women and fuck them)! They LOVE being human incubators for more humans! And besides, Christians just adore babies (unless they’re girls—gross!!) as long as they come about honestly and against the mother’s will, as God intended.
This decision is a sham. It is a miscarriage of justice—no, it is an abortion of justice. This decision is an official document, on paper, written by the supposedly most brilliant legal minds in the country, that confirms what feminists have known and conservatives have weakly denied: as far as the United States is concerned, women are second class citizens.
All of this isn’t news. We’ve been talking about the War on Women for years now, and we’ve been talking about women’s rights and issues for decades. We have been banging our heads against a wall as our reproductive rights are stripped away, piece by piece, one 24-hour waiting period and trans-vaginal ultrasound at a time. And for what? What is it about women controlling their bodies that is so offensive to the religious shit stains in this country? Why is it so terrifying to think that women should be able to have sex without being forced to cook a baby inside of their bodies for 9 months? Why is it that only women should face the consequences of sex while men view sex as their god-given right? Why should women bare the burden of pregnancy against their will while the biggest sexual restriction men face is that a woman might say “no” (in which case, it seems that a vast number of men don’t give a shit about consent anyway)? Why do we defend a kid who killed 6 people and injured 13 others because he didn’t get the sex he felt he deserved, and punish women for wanting to have sex at all?
The answer is a woman in control of her body means that nobody else is in control of her body. A woman in control of her life is more likely to stand up for her rights, and for the rights of others which are so easily trampled every day. A woman with a voice, a brain, and a vote terrifies any man with a penis and a bible because despite how hard they try to deny it, they know that we are in fact people. One more woman in congress or on the supreme court means one less man telling us we don’t matter, and that scares trolls like the Green family shitless.
This decision, this putrid, rotting pile of feces known as Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius (how fitting that the entire case is against a single woman) is only a temporary setback. It is just another straw on the back of a camel who is pretty fucking tired of being told to break. It is a decision from the 1950s, made my men who still can’t figure out why we haven’t reached the future yet, who are standing around scratching their balls and wondering where is my flying car?
Well I’m here to tell you that your flying car isn’t coming any time soon (because it physically doesn’t any sense, you fucking idiots) but the future is coming at you a lot faster than you realize. See, the problem with pretending women aren’t people is that for all your faith in whatever god told you so, you’re fucking wrong. We’re here, and we’re not going to take this shit anymore. Welcome to the future.
I watched The Punk Singer on Netflix instant two nights ago and loved it a lot. It’s essentially about Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill, but it’s also about how she made a place at the table for women in punk and women in grunge and women in music in a way that there never had been before.
Honestly, the most affecting thing was just learning that this kind of feminism existed. I’m peripherally aware of what Riot Grrrl meant/was, but I was also born in 1988, and the only way I imagine I would’ve ever been exposed to the culture when it was live was if I’d had an alt babysitter who was into sharing shit with me at ages 4-7. My babysitter was into Blues Traveler and Boyz II Men.
So the entire account of her career was educational and — in light of SCOTUS and the 11,000-word Emily Gould nightmare — comforting. Women have fought things like this before. Women have been libeled and written off and angry and still made a space for each other and come out of it fucking thriving and faceted and vital.
And is it depressing that we’re still seeing shades of the same misogyny and inequality everywhere all the time? Of course. But it’s also very gratifying to look at what one woman did 20 years ago and feel sincerely that she changed things. She did the part that she could, and she made a bigger and more open space for the rest of us to yell from.
Anyway, if the past couple weeks have taken a toll on yr heart, this might help.
Girls to the front.
Inside the SCOTUS Break Room