When Sandra Fluke testified at the Women’s Health and Contraception hearing before Nancy Pelosi and members of Congress, she began by specifically stating that her testimony was “on behalf of the women who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage regulation,” thereby making clear that she was not there to address any sort of personal grievance or request. She was not there, for instance, to ask members of Congress that she be “paid for having sex.” She was there to praise the President’s new proposal that insurance companies take care of women as well as men. To promote access to birth control. To stand up for women’s rights to full healthcare.
It’s a wonder that we are still discussing such an antiquated topic as “equal insurance coverage for women,” but, here we are, talking about the gender-dividing stuff that the “humanists-not-feminists” regard as outdated issues. And while they go on about how advanced our society is now and how many rights we should be grateful for, after-all-we-don’t-live-in-Saudi-Arabia, and how feminism is now rightly deceased since we no longer need it, the Republicans gleefully chime in with, “Why are you having sex in the first place?”
Despite the common knowledge that Republicans are no fan of science or evolution, most should at least be capable of recognizing that sexuality is quite the permanent and relentless component of our human DNA, without which our species would die off. But instead, without the guidance of evil, feminist science books, they insist that abortion is the one act likely to cause the extinction of the human race.
The follow-up question might then be, “But who needs abortion when you have full access to reliable birth control methods?”
And the unnecessary-but-informative feminist replies: Unfortunately, even 99% effective birth control pills and latex contraceptives can sometimes fail, not to mention the fact that miscarrying mothers may need abortive services along with victims of molestation, rape and incest — but the compassionate, Christian God already knows that darn well, so let’s move on.
So. There are Republicans and then there is Rush Limbaugh. Amirite? Um… unfortunately, no, not really. Rush Limbaugh represents the majority of Republicans and it’s obvious by the tepid Republican response to Limbaugh’s offense against Fluke that they agree with him in some way or another. The “well-I-wouldn’t-have-used-those-exact-words” schtick is reserved for when someone you admire and agree with is taking heat and you simply can’t politically afford to full-on agree with them right now. Amirite? Yeah, I’m right. Moving on.
So, as I was saying, there are Republicans and then there is Rush Limbaugh, their glorious, fat-headed (meaning idiotic, not in reference to his body weight) leader, who thinks it makes perfect sense to whine and cry about “Obama’s” gas prices and the hefty penalty he pays just to take his Hummer out for a spin meanwhile slandering college students for daring to request health services from their own insurance plans. Rush Limbaugh preaches that sexual abstinence is the answer to Fluke’s financial difficulties; however, the idea that he might ride a bike or take the bus to avoid higher gas prices has never occurred to him. And, without reminding our audience that Fluke specifically addressed at length several other medical conditions which require hormonal birth control pills to regulate (such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome), Rush has absolutely no idea how birth control pills work anyway.
Rush: She’s having so much sex she can’t afford her birth control anymore!
Rush: She gives the numbers – three thousand dollars worth of birth control pills worth of sex!
Rush: Not one person says, “Well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?”
Obviously, without a Feminazi© to guide him, he has no idea that women do not, in fact, take a birth control pill each time they engage in sexual intercourse. Birth control pills are actually a preventative measure that women take to regulate their periods, govern their hormones and ward off cysts. Oh yeah, and rapist’s babies. Because the reality is that you never know when you could be raped, no matter how high your morals , or your neckline, may be.
We need feminists to remind us of these kinds of things from time to time.
We need feminists to piss people off and rile them up and to speak out against injustice and to applaud measures for equal rights. Like Sandra Fluke did.
Because the only people who are being quiet now are the Republicans. And that’s how I like them.
Feel Free to Sign a Petition or Two:
And Tweet Your Thoughts on the Big Jerk: #FlushRushNow
and Thank The Sponsors Who Stood Behind Women and Flushed His Show:
@JohnDeere, @Allstate, @AOL, @Sears, @ProFlowers, @Carbonite, @LegalZoom, @QuickenLoans,@Geico, @JCPenney, @Netflix, @CapitalOne
Indiana Rep. Jud McMillan (R.-Brookville) recently sponsored and then withdrew a welfare drug testing bill which would have mandated testing for individuals 18 years of age and older who receive assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. There was a small hitch when South Bend Democrat Rep. Ryan Dvorak responded to McMillan’s proposal with an amendment that would additionally require elected officials to undergo drug testing. As a result of this amendment, McMillan withdrew the bill. However, he reportedly plans to reintroduce the bill on Monday.
The hypocrisy and victim-blaming is at an all-time high within the Republican party. If you don’t have insurance due to a lay-off or unforeseen financial struggles, they cheer for your death. If you don’t have a job due to the sad state of the economy and rampant outsourcing, they tell you to take a bath and shut up. And, most certainly, you are at fault for any personal weakness you may have and you should be either indifferently discarded or righteously punished for such weaknesses.
But apparently not all recipients of government money are created equal. As Assistant Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told the Huffington Post, “I don’t see anyone in the Republican majority demanding drug testing for folks who receive oil and gas subsidies.”
This bill is merely one of many manifestations of the too-common, bipartisan practice of victim-blaming frequently directed at addicts. It’s so easy to do – much easier than looking closer at the issues, concerning yourself with the fallible human factor, experiencing empathy or compassion for your fellow Americans, and creating progressive policies based on effectiveness. Blaming addicts for their addictions is the latest trend in political band-wagoning.
Addiction, whether or not you consider it to be a disease, certainly has the criteria. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, disease is described as “a harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism. A diseased organism commonly exhibits signs or symptoms indicative of its abnormal state.” And, whether you believe it or not, no one intentionally sets out to incur an addiction.
People have weaknesses and are susceptible to irrational behavior, especially when distraught. Some of the major risk factors for drug addiction are mental illness, anxiety, depression and loneliness, according to research by the Mayo Clinic.
Do we blame those who suffer from bipolar disease for their distractability, rapid speech patterns, insomnia, impulsiveness, delusions and irritability? Do we demand that these people “stop being bipolar” in order to merit our sympathy or care? (The answer is no.) Fortunately, sufferers of bipolar disorder currently have the option to take medication (that is, if they can afford insurance or qualify for medicaid). Unfortunately, there is no reliable method for treating addiction.
Statistics show that 19.5 million people over the age of 12 use illegal drugs in the United States (Mayo Clinic). 12-step programs such as N.A. have failure rates of between 90-95%, depending on the source of the statistics. It’s easy to blame the participants in the program; it’s easy to claim that they’re not trying hard enough or that they don’t really want to quit. But the reality is that addicts have little to no control over their impulses and actions; their brains are, in most cases, physically impaired by chemical dependence on the substance. Even cigarette smokers have a nationwide 90-95% failure rate for quitting, regardless of their methodology.
These are things that most people don’t want to hear. People want to believe in the success story, like all those 80’s movies where babysitters become fashion designers overnight, or the mailboy makes corporate partner in a week. It makes them feel better about their life. It gives them hope.
Unfortunately, the facts are not very cheery and sometimes there’s no way to climb back out of the gutter.
Family members, spouses, and friends of drug addicts (if they’re not drug addicts themselves) often go the route of “tough love”; in other words, the shunning and alienation of their struggling loved one. This method of encouraging recovery through ostracism is firmly anchored in victim-blaming. It’s also unrealistic. Without a support system, a person is unlikely to acquire enough emotional strength to rip themselves away from their sole source of solace. Additionally, an addict lacks realistic perspective and they need a trustworthy confidant of sound mind who cares enough to help point them in the right direction. Occasionally, a person gets their life together and beats their addiction despite their growing despair and isolation from friends and family, but more often, people fall deeper into the warm, comforting arms of their addiction instead.
Punishing those who struggle with addiction is a backward and harmful policy. The fewer resources and loved ones an addict has to conquer their addiction, the less likely they are to recover.
Not everyone can be helped, either. Some situations are irreparable. It’s not pretty, but it’s true. And the sooner we face it, the sooner we can move forward and make changes that might actually help addicts instead of kicking them while they’re down. “Tough love” policies may be convenient and quick ways to ease our feelings of guilt and responsibility for those in need, but they only make matters worse. Victim-blaming makes people feel better about themselves and their inaction. It’s time to end this cycle of behavior. It’s time to find ways to make things better.
STOP THE VICTIM-BLAMING.
It is time once again for the traditional inspection of the President’s long form birth certificate. This custom dates back to Einsenhower; when he was inaugurated in 1953, the American people naturally demanded that a copy of his birth certificate be printed in the newspaper and shown on television. People’s suspicions were founded on the premise that he was of German descent and on the fact that he simply “looked like a traitor to the American people.” They speculated on his religion, despite his claim to have practiced Christianity. His German roots simply could not escape public scrutiny. He finally put all fears to rest when he produced a copy of his birth announcement with his feet-prints on it accompanied by a birth certificate which confirmed the information found on the birth announcement, in addition to a photograph of himself as a newborn being foot-printed along with a stamped and sealed verification of his birth date and social security number, a blood sample and full medical records. As is the tradition, the President’s origins are constantly doubted and questioned by the opposing party.
Ford continued the legacy when his British heritage was found out; people demanded reassurance that he was, indeed, born in Omaha, Nebraska. He was forced to produce five witnesses who could confirm his identity, a petition proclaiming his innocence, his marriage certificate and living will, his full dental records and a court-ordered psychological evaluation. It was then that his political opponents pounced on his lack of transparency, pointing out that he’d never offered to provide his school records or his original driving permit and must therefore be hiding something. Ultimately, Ford was forced to comply with the demands of the people, and revealed the shocking truth: he got C’s in Biology.