Is that true?
At Last! Rationality.


September-04-12

Democratic Platform Approved: Supports Abortion Access, Equal Rights Amendment, Same-Sex Marriage

The Democratic National Convention began this morning by releasing Democratic 2012 Party Platform, which seeks to protect abortion access, ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, defend Obamacare, support immigration reform and legalize same-sex marriage among other positions.

On abortion - “Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.”

On the Equal Rights Amendment and women’s rights - “We are committed to ensuring full equality for women: we reaffirm our support for the Equal Rights Amendment, recommit to enforcing Title IX, support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

On health care - “Democrats will continue to fight for a strong health care workforce with an emphasis on primary care. We remain committed to eliminating disparities in health and will continue to make sure families have access to mental health and substance abuse services. We will strengthen Medicaid and oppose efforts to block grant the program, slash its funding, and leave millions more without health insurance.”

On immigration reform - “Democrats are strongly committed to enacting comprehensive immigration reform that supports our economic goals and reflects our values as both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

On same-sex marriage - “We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.”

Last week the Republican Party approved their 2012 platform which seeks to ban abortion and same-sex marriage, turn Medicare into a voucher system, eliminate affirmative action, and increase voter suppression efforts.

What Can Women Learn from the Atheist that Republicans Adore?
The latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll showed that President Barack Obama leads Mr. Romney 54% to 39% among women. The gap gets truly staggering when it comes to college-educated women. Here, Mr. Obama leads 63%–32%.[1]
I’m pleased to see these numbers, but I am troubled that 32–39% of women are still considering voting for Romney/Ryan. Even assuming that the poll numbers represent women exclusively from the Republican side of things, I still don’t understand.  
The author Ayn Rand, whom Paul Ryan and other prominent Republicans frequently quote, encourages people to act in “rational self-interest.”
If you are a woman, isn’t equal pay for equal work and access to family planning in your self-interest? If you have a brain, the answer has to be “yes.” If Ayn Rand were alive today to address the 32–39% of women who still want to go with Republicanism, she would have to tell them that they are voting against their own self interests.
I would add that they are also voting against the interests of children, seniors, the disabled, the poor, and other groups that women have historically provided care and protection to.
I’ve always told my daughters that when people behave irrationally or out of character, sometimes the cause can be as simple as hunger or as complex as fear (which most men have been taught to never admit—even to themselves), or they could be feeling that a situation is out of their control.
I think we can remove hunger as a probable cause for the stunts that Republicans in power have pulled this year. But fear of social change—in this case female equality, personal freedom, and autonomy—seem to be at the root of many of the new laws we are seeing.
I think fear is what spawned the following:
 Multiple, state-level personhood bills and Paul Ryan’s federal-level version of the same
The Texas defunding of Planned Parenthood, and Texas’ refusal of the 9 to 1 matching Medicaid dollars that would have gone to women’s health
The multiple, unfunded, but mandated (legally required) pre-abortion ultrasounds
The foot dragging we endured as Republicans argued over the usually ho-hum annual renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
The world is going to keep changing. Do Republicans really want women to be battered, underpaid, barefoot and/or pregnant? If not, then they need to show it. Soon.
Women are 51% of the population, and we have been saying “no” to these politicians with our voices, protests, emails, polling, and letters. They have clearly turned a deaf ear to us. I think the only way they will hear us saying “no” is if it costs them something. If that’s the way it has to be, so be it. Come November, the women will remember.

[1] Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2012

What Can Women Learn from the Atheist that Republicans Adore?

The latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll showed that President Barack Obama leads Mr. Romney 54% to 39% among women. The gap gets truly staggering when it comes to college-educated women. Here, Mr. Obama leads 63%–32%.[1]

I’m pleased to see these numbers, but I am troubled that 32–39% of women are still considering voting for Romney/Ryan. Even assuming that the poll numbers represent women exclusively from the Republican side of things, I still don’t understand.  

The author Ayn Rand, whom Paul Ryan and other prominent Republicans frequently quote, encourages people to act in “rational self-interest.”

If you are a woman, isn’t equal pay for equal work and access to family planning in your self-interest? If you have a brain, the answer has to be “yes.” If Ayn Rand were alive today to address the 32–39% of women who still want to go with Republicanism, she would have to tell them that they are voting against their own self interests.

I would add that they are also voting against the interests of children, seniors, the disabled, the poor, and other groups that women have historically provided care and protection to.

I’ve always told my daughters that when people behave irrationally or out of character, sometimes the cause can be as simple as hunger or as complex as fear (which most men have been taught to never admit—even to themselves), or they could be feeling that a situation is out of their control.

I think we can remove hunger as a probable cause for the stunts that Republicans in power have pulled this year. But fear of social change—in this case female equality, personal freedom, and autonomy—seem to be at the root of many of the new laws we are seeing.

I think fear is what spawned the following:

  • Multiple, state-level personhood bills and Paul Ryan’s federal-level version of the same
  • The Texas defunding of Planned Parenthood, and Texas’ refusal of the 9 to 1 matching Medicaid dollars that would have gone to women’s health
  • The multiple, unfunded, but mandated (legally required) pre-abortion ultrasounds
  • The foot dragging we endured as Republicans argued over the usually ho-hum annual renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

The world is going to keep changing. Do Republicans really want women to be battered, underpaid, barefoot and/or pregnant? If not, then they need to show it. Soon.

Women are 51% of the population, and we have been saying “no” to these politicians with our voices, protests, emails, polling, and letters. They have clearly turned a deaf ear to us. I think the only way they will hear us saying “no” is if it costs them something. If that’s the way it has to be, so be it. Come November, the women will remember.



[1] Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2012

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Here is an excellent explanation of how the Republicans of the Texas legislature totally screwed every woman in Texas. Reading this article, it’s clear that the patriarchal Texas legislature thinks that women in general are stupid, and need to be protected from themselves. We need to protect ourselves from this kind of thinking!

Female republicans went along with the men, for fear of not being re-elected in the super-right state. Super shame on them!

Texas has the second highest birthrate in the nation, with more than half of all babies born in the state to mothers on Medicaid (health care for the poor). This year Texas declined the 9 to 1 dollar matching offer from the federal government that would have gone to 280,000 women’s healthcare and family planning.

Through it all, somehow Texas found money to keep paying for Viagra, though.

This is a long but worthwhile explanation of how Texas now requires women seeking abortion to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound (see my first post for a clear explanation of this), while a doctor reads a legally required script pointing out the arms, head and heart (if visible) of their soon-to-be-aborted fetus, then they have to wait 24 hours after that before having the procedure. Many of these women would never have arrived at this unhappy moment in their lives if they had had access to family planning in the first place!

Once again women of America: Talk to other women about this—silence on this is not cool. We hold half the power in this country, it’s about time we use it! Access to birth control is our right! Register. Vote!

Potential for Backdraft Continues to Smolder
As I watch the numbers of my previous Tumblr post climb into the 800s, it reminds me of what I think is really going on with this whole contraception/abortion/war-on-women thing. Potential for Backdraft. 
Republicans keep saying that the “War on Women” is a liberal, left-wing-created figment of our imaginations. Maybe that helps them sleep at night. But I sense that there is a fire burning in the hearts and conversations of women all over the United States. Widespread and smoldering, glowing and growing in the dark and quiet, embers starved and waiting, needing only the slightest exposure to air to leap to flame. 
So far, women have been mostly polite and well-behaved about it all, speaking forcefully, but diplomatically on the issues. Watch Patty Murray (D-WA) as the very voice of reasoned logic. Watch our male elected and public figures say stupid things, seemingly oblivious to the fact that everything in our world is recorded now—and will therefore be replayed. Thanks to the efforts of the women of our congress, we successfully defeated the Blunt Amendment. 
Undeterred by the failure of the Blunt Amendment, Republicans soldier on, sponsoring anti-women legislation in state after state, and chipping away at our 40 years of progress in American society.
They are so clueless to the danger. They are not seeing the seething and smoldering they have engendered in women. They seem not to understand that all we need at this potential flash point is the tiniest bit of oxygen and one more public, stupid, tone-deaf comment about abortion, women’s sexuality, women’s rights to contraception or birth control, and FOOM! Backdraft.
The fire will rage on through November 6, 2012, when we go to the polls in a female tsunami, quenching that fire. I say with some level of pride that women decided the last presidential election, and no doubt we will decide this one, too. We are a force to be reckoned with. Be part of it!
 

Potential for Backdraft Continues to Smolder

As I watch the numbers of my previous Tumblr post climb into the 800s, it reminds me of what I think is really going on with this whole contraception/abortion/war-on-women thing. Potential for Backdraft.

Republicans keep saying that the “War on Women” is a liberal, left-wing-created figment of our imaginations. Maybe that helps them sleep at night. But I sense that there is a fire burning in the hearts and conversations of women all over the United States. Widespread and smoldering, glowing and growing in the dark and quiet, embers starved and waiting, needing only the slightest exposure to air to leap to flame.

So far, women have been mostly polite and well-behaved about it all, speaking forcefully, but diplomatically on the issues. Watch Patty Murray (D-WA) as the very voice of reasoned logic. Watch our male elected and public figures say stupid things, seemingly oblivious to the fact that everything in our world is recorded now—and will therefore be replayed. Thanks to the efforts of the women of our congress, we successfully defeated the Blunt Amendment.

Undeterred by the failure of the Blunt Amendment, Republicans soldier on, sponsoring anti-women legislation in state after state, and chipping away at our 40 years of progress in American society.

They are so clueless to the danger. They are not seeing the seething and smoldering they have engendered in women. They seem not to understand that all we need at this potential flash point is the tiniest bit of oxygen and one more public, stupid, tone-deaf comment about abortion, women’s sexuality, women’s rights to contraception or birth control, and FOOM! Backdraft.

The fire will rage on through November 6, 2012, when we go to the polls in a female tsunami, quenching that fire. I say with some level of pride that women decided the last presidential election, and no doubt we will decide this one, too. We are a force to be reckoned with. Be part of it!

 

Techno-Rape by Proxy
Am I the only one who can see that requiring women to submit to a trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining a legal abortion amounts to sexual assault by state legislature? What else could you call it?
Could it be any clearer that the intent of the law in both Texas and Virginia, and Governors Perry and McDonald, respectively, is to punish and humiliate women who are already in a vulnerable position both physically and emotionally?
To require that a phallic-shaped probe larger than your average dildo be inserted into a woman to determine fetal age—while at the same time directing her to watch the screen so she can understand the reality of her pregnancy—is techno-rape.
Consider the fact that some of the women seeking abortion are victims of rape or incest to begin with and are now required by this law to be re-traumatized. Never mind the fact that it is not medically necessary. Never mind that there was no consent on the part of the woman. Never mind that physicians have testified to the medical non-necessity of trans-vaginal ultrasound for the purposes of determining fetal age.
I am well past the age at which these issues affect me personally. But I am still a woman; I am still a human being. And this legislation offends me—so offends my very personage—that I must speak out.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, surely you can see that to subject any woman to this treatment—under ANY circumstances—lowers our status in this country and in our culture. If you can’t see that, then perhaps you should leave your membership card to the human race at the door—you aren’t fit to be a member. And that goes not just for the males, but for any females who cannot see the incredible misogyny inherent in this new assault on women’s sexuality. It affects all U.S. citizens in terms of our ethical standing in the world.
A woman seeking an abortion does not need to see video of the contents of her uterus to understand what she is doing. She is there to have an abortion. That very fact implies that she knows she is pregnant. There is no medical reason to do trans-vaginal ultrasounds—abdominal ultrasounds could just as easily and less traumatically determine fetal age. I can’t help but see this as rape—by proxy.
To the people who supported these laws I say simply: Shame on you. To the thinking men and women who oppose such punitive, arcane and sadistic treatment of women, I say: Where is your outrage? I’m not hearing it.
I thought that the presence of hundreds of women standing silently at the Virginia State Capital, as state legislators filed past to vote on this, would shame the legislature into behaving like human beings. It did not.
And they are not done with us yet. Today, March 15, 2012, the U.S. Senate is debating the Violence Against Women Act, and it is expected that there will be opposition to it by Senate Republicans.
Are they insane? Certain Republicans seem to be concerned that some illegal immigrants and some same-sex partners may inadvertently benefit from the protections this law might provide. These cowardly legislators are afraid of looking pro illegal-immigration or pro same-sex marriage.
That prospect is so politically terrifying to them that they are willing to throw women under the bus and leave them without the protections of the Violence Against Women Act.
Voting is our only weapon. How about a grassroots campaign to create a human voting tsunami on November 6, 2012? I propose that we organize and show up at the polls in physical groups of at least 10. I don’t even care which way you vote; just be counted. Our lawmakers need to know that we are paying attention. This is everyone’s battle.
Start making dates with your friends to go vote. Have coffee or dessert or brunch, or drinks afterwards or whatever it takes to make it an occasion to vote. How great would it be to go to the very crowded polls this year and see all those female faces? If you aren’t registered to vote, get started on that today. Just do it.

Techno-Rape by Proxy

Am I the only one who can see that requiring women to submit to a trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining a legal abortion amounts to sexual assault by state legislature? What else could you call it?

Could it be any clearer that the intent of the law in both Texas and Virginia, and Governors Perry and McDonald, respectively, is to punish and humiliate women who are already in a vulnerable position both physically and emotionally?

To require that a phallic-shaped probe larger than your average dildo be inserted into a woman to determine fetal age—while at the same time directing her to watch the screen so she can understand the reality of her pregnancy—is techno-rape.

Consider the fact that some of the women seeking abortion are victims of rape or incest to begin with and are now required by this law to be re-traumatized. Never mind the fact that it is not medically necessary. Never mind that there was no consent on the part of the woman. Never mind that physicians have testified to the medical non-necessity of trans-vaginal ultrasound for the purposes of determining fetal age.

I am well past the age at which these issues affect me personally. But I am still a woman; I am still a human being. And this legislation offends me—so offends my very personage—that I must speak out.

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, surely you can see that to subject any woman to this treatment—under ANY circumstances—lowers our status in this country and in our culture. If you can’t see that, then perhaps you should leave your membership card to the human race at the door—you aren’t fit to be a member. And that goes not just for the males, but for any females who cannot see the incredible misogyny inherent in this new assault on women’s sexuality. It affects all U.S. citizens in terms of our ethical standing in the world.

A woman seeking an abortion does not need to see video of the contents of her uterus to understand what she is doing. She is there to have an abortion. That very fact implies that she knows she is pregnant. There is no medical reason to do trans-vaginal ultrasounds—abdominal ultrasounds could just as easily and less traumatically determine fetal age. I can’t help but see this as rape—by proxy.

To the people who supported these laws I say simply: Shame on you. To the thinking men and women who oppose such punitive, arcane and sadistic treatment of women, I say: Where is your outrage? I’m not hearing it.

I thought that the presence of hundreds of women standing silently at the Virginia State Capital, as state legislators filed past to vote on this, would shame the legislature into behaving like human beings. It did not.

And they are not done with us yet. Today, March 15, 2012, the U.S. Senate is debating the Violence Against Women Act, and it is expected that there will be opposition to it by Senate Republicans.

Are they insane? Certain Republicans seem to be concerned that some illegal immigrants and some same-sex partners may inadvertently benefit from the protections this law might provide. These cowardly legislators are afraid of looking pro illegal-immigration or pro same-sex marriage.

That prospect is so politically terrifying to them that they are willing to throw women under the bus and leave them without the protections of the Violence Against Women Act.

Voting is our only weapon. How about a grassroots campaign to create a human voting tsunami on November 6, 2012? I propose that we organize and show up at the polls in physical groups of at least 10. I don’t even care which way you vote; just be counted. Our lawmakers need to know that we are paying attention. This is everyone’s battle.

Start making dates with your friends to go vote. Have coffee or dessert or brunch, or drinks afterwards or whatever it takes to make it an occasion to vote. How great would it be to go to the very crowded polls this year and see all those female faces? If you aren’t registered to vote, get started on that today. Just do it.