Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Politicization of Human Bodies

The inadvertent revelation that there was a strong political component to the House Select Committee on Benghazi would necessarily make me leery of the promotion of another Select Committee on Planned Parenthood--is "select" a euphemism for GOP enemies' list, perhaps? But the thing of it is, since the Tea Party "wave" election year of 2010, abortion access has been directly in the sights of many conservative legislators. Planned Parenthood, as the biggest provider of those services, has been particularly targeted. This is not the first time that a GOP-led House has decided that hoax videos should result in defunding Planned Parenthood.  I've known for a while that right-wingers basically are opposed to the idea of any family planning services for low-income people at all, regardless of whether they are abortion-related, because you never hear "Hyde Amendment" brought up at all.

The current fight is in part fueled by a particular donor/agitator, Stephen Baer. He's sort of pushed the rumor that might have shut down the McCarthy speakership by alluding to a Kevin McCarthy/Renee Ellmers affair. (I'm calling bullshit on the affair bit because it isn't verified and every time I try to think of it, my mind goes to a super-cut of scenes with Majors Houlihan and Burns from the popular 1970's sitcom M*A*S*H*.) But let's be honest, an odd-numbered year is when there aren't elections, and the signifying whackadoodles can feel like doing shit like threatening to not raise the debt ceiling (if they know what that is) or shut down the government. They're bloody nihilists, that way. It stimulates the gawkers. It's fireworks. It costs taxpayer money, but we've already established that they don't care. They take that expense, turn around, and fundraise off it. It's ballocks but they're working it.

In different example of "giving the game away", a conservative anti-abortion activist admitted that the problem is really all about sex. Consequence-fee sex for pleasure. A "culture" of consequence-free sex for pleasure shouldn't be encouraged. If we didn't like it at least a little, I'm afraid the human race would have died off by now, and for what it's worth, humanity is in no danger of doing so even with all the birth control and abortion access we currently have.

Planned Parenthood, of all organizations, knows too well that the price of this anti-sex culture is violence, because they know that abortion doctors, nurses, and clinics have paid the price for performing necessary and lawful services. I asked recently, and not without some archness, whether the makers of the current batch of hoax videos weren't asking for more violence against clinics, their employees, and possibly their patients. I was thinking of course of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who I memorialized by trying to explain his dedication to what pea-brains called "baby-killing" by centering the focus on his patients, the pregnant people who came to him for care. If violence or at least vandalism was part of the cynical goal--it's being answered.

The women who choose abortion services are often ignored in all of this rigamarole. Where abortion services are restricted or delayed, women have later and more-involved procedures. They may try to self-harm in the attempt to abort, and there are signs that a market is developing to assist them--this is in no way a good, safe, or responsible alternative to the legal health care they could get before, but women who are desperate will try desperate things. Making abortion illegal or inaccessible, without regard to what women of various situations deal with every day--which is their own business and not someone else's place to judge--only drives them to less-safe options and possible tragedy.

Some states that have passed local concern-troll laws about Planned Parenthood are discovering that without that medical care, they have an exploding incidence of STD infections. A national defunding of Planned Parenthood would be a damn tragedy.

But to get back to why they fight, to some stupid folks this whole Planned Parenthood thing is just centered on women's health (and we're obviously witches and up to no good, so why are people even intervening for our health and choices, right?), so what about the men?

Well, turns out, in this old world, it takes two to tango, and Planned Parenthood is also all up in the men's health business, also. Not to complicate things, but men are also parents, and these guys are Planned Parenthood after all.

Reproductive health is not some weird satanic thing, as fractured crockery Jim Bakker appears to be suggesting. It's about accepting that human beings, as sexual beings, use their bodies and have their bodies used, and that their health is important first and foremost, and their choice in how they take care of themselves is also to be respected, without the judgement or input of people who may not even give two shits about who they are or how they are doing as sentient beings on this planet. But who for some reason just love them damn pictures of little bitty fetal baby folks. Which were largely manipulative stagecraft, just like the videos put out just now.

All anti-choicers ever do is lie. They are politicizing human bodies and relationships. My body is not your battlefield Christian crusaders. It is mine--and your body is yours, and I don't give a damn what you do in your alone time. Just respect that people have their own lives, and mind your own business.


mikey said...

Yep. The basic tenant of a theocratic - oriented government or a dominionist ideology is "it's not enough that I follow the taboos and restrictions of my mythology, YOU must follow them too". It is that demand for control over your actions even if they can't control your beliefs that makes them so violent, and so dangerous. It is the same experience people have lived under Islamic State rule in Mosul, under Taleban rule in Afghanistan, under Wahabist rule in Saudi Arabia, under the theocratic authoritarian Shi'its in Tehran. It continues to fascinate me how ideologically identical our Christianists are to their Islamists, and yet the sectarian hatred is virulent. Why yes, Alanis, it IS like rain on your wedding day.

As my friend Kevin Drum points out every now and then, if you believe abortion is murder than it makes sense for you to do EVERYTHING you can to stop it. If you CLAIM to believe abortion is murder yet you don't act, you're clearly a lying hypocrite. And if you DON'T believe abortion is murder, than you would like women to be able to make medical and life decisions without the forcible intercession of the state.

But the politics is really very simple, and unsurprisingly come down to economics. There really is only ONE Republican political agenda - that is lower taxes on the wealthy and corporations, reduced spending on social services, and limited regulation of business practices that reduce profits. The political problem with representing the 1% exclusively is that, well, it's only 1%. Not much of a voting bloc. So THAT'S where the vaunted 'social issues' come in. You need some way to encourage people to vote against their own economic interests in large enough numbers to be competitive, so you appeal to their bigotry, their sectarian and tribal hatred, their twisted understanding of gender roles, their worst, most violent natures.

THAT'S what the abortion argument has always been about, and you hear them say every now and then that the very worst possible outcome for the Republican party would be to win it - to overturn Roe v. Wade. They need their supporters feeling like they are victims who need to fight - and that's where the crazy keeps boiling over...

Vixen Strangely said...

Tax dollars, ultimately, shouldn't pay for anything--in the ideal Teahadist view. No Obamacare, no Medicare, no Medicaid, just millions of poor-ass wage slaves on their suffering own. This complete lack of respect for human dignity, or willingness to invest in the human capital that makes things happen, should appall truly Christian conservatives on the basis of the dehumanization of the working class, that so little care is given for their access to water and food, the likelihood of the poor to end up in prison--they don't care, and this is (for an agnostic fluent in Bible-talk) so contrary to the Gospel of Matthew. When I was hungry, you gave me food. When I was thirsty, you gave me water. When I was in prison, you visited me.

None of this textural gospel means squat--what do they proclaim? "Him that does not work, neither should he eat." Which had a very limited application in the early church.

So I kind of view the idea that women should bear children for the sin of being human in part as a way of making women breeder-bitches for the laboring class. We should just make the kids and raise them for no other reason than cheap labor.

Conservatism is contra-humanism. The idea of pro-life is a lie if it isn't pro-living a good life. I think a human life should be about the exploration of potential--what can any of us do to have the most fulfillment in our limited time here? Me, I write. But people who wake up every day and try to thwart women's reproductive freedom, or try to hold down gay rights? A person can not reach up while they are holding down someone else. I despair of them in almost equal degree to my contempt for them.