If you don’t live in America, you might not have heard that women had their rights rescinded. Roe V. Wade, which made abortion legal in all the states, was just overturned today, with the ruling returning if women can legally control their own bodies or not over to the states. Um. So.
Something like twenty-eight states will outlaw abortion or the red states. The blue states will keep it legal. It boils down to if you live in a GOP [Grand Old Party[ or ‘red’ state or a Democrat-controlled state. They’re the blue team here. Your geography, as of today, if you’re a child-bearing age person, matters. It matters hugely. If you’re in, say, Louisiana, you are livestock of the state. If you’re in Oregon, you’re still a full citizen with your right to end an unwanted pregnancy, if you so choose, safely and legally.
However. If the GOP regain the House of Reps and the Senate, McConnell has stated on record that he will make abortion illegal at the FEDERAL level. So. Yeah. Those in blue states, you’re on thin ice here. You’re not safe from this shit if the Gross Old Perverts get their way in late fall. I hope you realize that. I hope it’s starting to sink in how fucking devastating this ruling is today.
There are myriad laws that…yeah, it’s a fucking nightmare of a mess here in my country today, for years now, actually. If I’m honest. trump got to place three extremist judges on the Supreme Court, picked out by Bitch McTurtleman or Mitch McConnell and the Federalist Society. Go look them up. Horrifying, ain’t they?
Of course, a lot of people saw all this coming A MILE AWAY.
And now, Clarence Thomas, of that whole Anita Hill and the pubic hair fame– go ahead, look up that one, too. Why is that thing on the highest court in America, for life and why why why do we have to suffer the efforts of his cult-ish wife who wants to install trumpie as king for life? Yeah. Okay. Thomas wants to ‘revisit’ all the cases that enabled, oh, same-sex-marriage, legal use of contraception [this helps cut down on the need for abortions, you fucking loons] and even interracial marriage…of which the Loving V State of Virginia case allowed Thomas to marry Ginni legally. Yeah.
It’s not just abortion rights.
It’s just the beginning of an actual attempt to build a real goddamn Gilead. That’s the society of the Handmaid’s Tale. Where only rich straight white guys have all the power and the women are chattel. It’s a horrifying dystopian what-the-fuck-could-never-happen-in-America sort of roller coaster ride…about twenty years ago. Right now, it feels like a documentary. One of really bad ones where you sit there with your fist stuffed in your mouth so you don’t scream the entire run time and startle your neighbors.
So, of course, leadership right now from the pro-choice side seems…flat as a pancake. Or an exercise in hand-wringing or averted eyes. A few are calling for protests. And getting immediately accused of inciting violence.
A further way to make sure the loss of rights, upheld for the last fifty years or so, doesn’t get much more push back than someone rolling their eyes very carefully.
As they deny they rolled their eyes at all because those on the right immediately go the attack 24/7 about how the left wants to kill all the judges, force your kids to become gay and take away all your free speeching, and bring in ‘illegal aliens’ to rape your wife, empty your bank account and…ugh.
I wish I were kidding about that tactic but, no.
See Madge T. Greene and her trying to frame AOC as inciting violence when AOC calls for protests, etc. Madge Greene is a far right GOP troll. She has no other function that I can tell. AOC is on the left, and a target because she actually tries to do stuff and things once in a while. Sigh.
This tactic, of accusing the left of being violent if they push back even a little against anything, works. It works. Suddenly the media is laser focused on anything remotely left-ish…sigh. All the actual violence and horror of the far right, which is becoming more and more mainstream in America, gets treated with kid gloves and a knocked over garbage can from anyone perceived as The Left gets treated like a murder spree in a child’s hospital wing. It’s just…yeah. Sigh.
It’s worse to protest the racists than to be one is the message here. It’s worse to speak up and out against whatever injustice or actual coup is going on or murder than to be the ones being racist, storming the capital or kneeling on a man’s neck for nine minutes.
It’s always the left, in America, that gets painted as the ‘violent’ ones as the right actually shoot people in the goddamn face or beat them with sticks or run over them in cars or stab them on trains or attempt to interrupt a Gay Pride event in Idaho with a cartload of weapons designed to kill those they find objectionable.
Where are the cities the left allegedly burnt down again? Or the people killed? Or…?
A mile away. People wouldn’t vote for the ButHerEmails lady so now we’re facing a grim, savage future where it’s okay to gun down school kids cause guns are a God-given right but a woman wanting to control her own body is a life sentence offence. If now actual grounds for her execution by the ‘pro-life’ crowd. Yeah, that’s proposed, too. If a woman gets an abortion, is that a death penalty worth offense? That’s an actual debate point right now…uh huh.
I am hoping people get mad enough to fight this. I am hoping people show up at the ballot box this November, despite the voter restrictions, gerrymandering and voter intimidation that will take place. Planned voter intimidation by those who think trump won in 2020.
I also hear for calls to ‘burn it all down’. Um, by those who could not bothered to show up to vote because they were not inspired by the left’s candidate/s. Why do these same folks think they will be able to rebuild a destroyed society? Or be the ones to do that? No no. It will be McConnell and his ilk that show up to do that, cupcakes. They’ve worked so hard for the chance to strip America for parts and slap a coat of Jesus on her. What makes you think any of that shit brigade would stand down as you argue over what color to paint the meeting room?
Yeah, I have little hope and a lot of contempt and some actual tears today. Hello darkness, my old/new friend. America is a backwards, savage, murderous place full of timid, comfortable sorts on the left who don’t like to make waves too much, calm down, it’s not that bad…versus rapid hyenas ready to bite and bite and bite until the screaming stops. And then keep biting because it’s all they know how to do. Other than install judges, win elections no matter what and ignore any wrongdoing as long as they win. Ethics be damned, baby.
I have no answers here. None. Sorry. I’m just…mmm. When do we call time of death? Will there be some sort of national push against this SCOTUSshit? Will we all be singing patriotic songs as each minority group gets criminalized in some way, some form? How soon until America turns into Trumpland? Is there any real fight left in my country?
O it’s the month of snow, figgy pudding, evergreens and tense family gatherings. If one watches too much Hallmark schmaltz, one gets the notion one is really flucked in the noggin. Or cursed by Krampus to endure a black pit of despair and stress for what remains of the year.
Why are not my holidays filled with the actual Santa Claus, snow, skating rinks, hot chocolate, baking sugar cookies and sparkly holiday evening wear??? Why???
Oh yeah, cause real life, can’t skate, global warming and the local thrift store doesn’t seem to have much sparkly holiday wear.
So. Abortion is going away in America. Legal, safe, medically supervised abortion is going away in a lot of states when Roe V. Wade gets gutted or just tossed out by a handful of gleeful religious extremists, most of them men. One woman who’s replacing that glass ceiling as hard and fast and much as she can. Amy Coat Hanger Barrett, is, I believe, her actual legal name. This overturning of Roe has been in the works since it got put into law in the 70’s. The Moral Majority wed itself to Ronnie Raygun [or Ronald Reagan if you have to have the actual name of that fuckstick], and here we are. They worked, schemed, planned, got their people into high places to make this happen. And the left sat back and scrunched their faces a bit, but otherwise ignored all that as much and as hard as possible. And then acted all surprised when Roe V Wade is on the chopping block, is already chopped.
Hey, going backwards when women died at home from botched abortions seems to be the holy grail of the American GOP. With the issue of banning abortions decided by men, for men, with seemingly no input from the females it will impact the most. They’re not even a consideration here, seemingly. Religious fanatics seem to rule the roost in ‘merica and it’s fucking scary.
That the left can’t form a single cogent means to attack any of this is also scary and feels like it must be inevitable that America will try on that coat of fascism to see how it fits.
So yeah, am not feeling too hopeful right now. I admit it. As others have said, the Gross Old Perverts ain’t gonna stop at ending abortion rights. They want to roll back that clock to a time when only rich white Christian straight men had the only voices, the only power, the only presence on the work or political stage.
Which brings me to that scene in the first season of Handmaid’s Tale where Serena Joy, who campaigned so tirelessly for shoving women into roles of livestock and silent powerless nothings, gets bit with her own rhetoric. The same laws she saw applying to other women, also apply to her. Her face as she’s relegated to wife only, stripped of her public persona and her public work. That face of someone realizing too late she aimed the gun at herself, too.
Do the GOP ladies not realize they’re in for a rough road, as well? Do they really think none of this shit will affect them?
I’ll say it plainly. Women have power and control over their own bodies. Their bodies belong to them, not the church or the state or anyone or anything else. We do not legislate men’s bodies. We do not treat sperm as a state property that must be used no matter what is going on with the man who spewed it.
But hey, no health care, no paid leave, no maternity anything, and all those kids being born into a system stripped to the bone or just gone when it comes to helping out those in need. Social safety nets??!! That’s commie shit, after all. Just ask the GOP, they’ll gladly shout about that for days on end. Bootstrap it, babies, bootstrap it!
I smell a Dickens revival! I suspect the rage-filled poetry written during this time will rival some famous poet nobody reads. I suspect the left will send out emails demanding signatures to save blah dee blah and to chip in a few dollars so business can continue as…usual. Yeah.
Hey, December 2021. Can you send us some chuckles before the new year crushes us completely here in ‘merica? Thanks!
Or at least a pretty snowstorm and a big plate of nachos? And some of that fabled fighting spirit to combat this extremism crappola? Extra thanks!!
So. Game of Thrones. It spent eight seasons teasing us about women gaining power and wielding it as good as any dime store cowboy doing meth and saying cool things about life and love. Can you feel the sarcastic rage waves about to hit the quivering shores? Mmm.
Now lately, in GOT, in the last span of episodes, we get a sudden mad queen. Mad in the sense that Dany [Daenyrus Targaryon] has gone coo coo for coco puffs. Mad as a hatter. Cray cray. Loco in the head area. This is why we watched for eight fucking seasons? To watch Dany lose her marbles when everything she’s worked for doesn’t quite turn out as she wanted it to…? Um? The loss of two of her dragons didn’t really seem to slow her forward momentum down. She’s…uh. Women with power! THEY CAN’T HANDLE IT. That’s the message we’re left with? Really? Really???
Cersei, this bad ass ice cold plotter/schemer mastermind queen lady…sobbing and afraid and wanting hugs? From the man she’d sent Bronn to kill not two episodes earlier or so?? Uh? Who the fuck is writing this shit?? Why are you writing this shit? Is it to ruin a show so many fans loved, adored, followed no matter what and loved loved loved?? Because of the complex characters moving through complex storylines that amazed, delighted, horrified and entertained for EIGHT FUCKING SEASONS? Was the end game goal here to…?
We have the male characters standing around looking on in male wonder at the female characters acting…like women are expected to act when handed any sort of power or destiny that normally goes to some male. The women implode. They go crazy. They lose their shit. They can’t handle it. They…mmm. Hillary was too old. She was sick all the time. She’ll have melt downs in the Oval Office. [Because we gals are just so emotional]
Jon Snow [whatever legitimate male heir to everything Dany thought was hers but oh no, let’s bring in the boring bland guy who can swing a sword and most importantly, can swing a dick around. Why be coy now?] looks on and everyone starts to think, hey. Jon should be king because he’s stable and nice and has a penis. Penis-holders make the best rulers because they don’t have emotions or vaginas.
Am I being a wee bit silly or caustically bitter? Eh.
Let’s move on to the Offred portion of my actual feminist ranty rant, shall we?
Offred, in case you were wondering, is the main character in Margaret Atwood’s now infamous work called the…HANDMAID’S TALE. She is played by Elizabeth Moss, of Mad Men fame. Moss has now played two rather iconic feminist roles—that of Peggy who went from secretary of Don Draper, to Peggy Olson, ad writing wunderkind. Quite a giant arc for Peggy, if you’ve not seen Mad Men. [What are you waiting for?? Jon Hamm. 60’s sexism. Go and get it, tiger.]
The other iconic and rather timely role Moss plays is that of Offred. She is a handmaid, which means…she’s a breeder for her country. A forced breeding bit of livestock. She lives in the house of a commander and his omg horrorshow of a wife, where on Offred’s fertile days she gets to lay between the legs of the wife, who watches, ahem…as her own husband attempts to fertilize the handmaid with his holy seed. Those scenes are just about unwatchable. You’re watching a woman endure a state-sanctioned rape. Offred or Of-Fred, because the handmaid’s don’t have their own names…lays there holding hands with the wife as hubby gets it on down below in one of the more twisted parodies of…duty. A woman’s only duty is to bear a child or children. If she can’t do that, she works in the house or she indoctrinates the next wave of handmaids or she might even be ‘lucky’ enough to be a wife.
Some sort of disease attacked fertility rates. Hardly anyone was having babies. Or the babies died.
So! Why am I meandering in Handmaid’s Tale territory? Ah. Been paying attention lately? To some of the states in the US of A? Like Ohio? Or Georgia? Alabama? What’s that? Fetal heartbeat bills galore. None of them are constitutionally valid but…this is a giant frenzied push to get a case before, wait for it, the now-conservative heavy Supreme Court. With the very rabid pro-life nutfuck Brett Kavakunt on there now for life. Life. As long as he wishes to remain unless somehow he gets impeached and removed.
All because people couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton. Because. Um. We’d be at war now and her emails and she’s too emotional and yet she’s cold and mean and…um. Sigh. And the DNC. And she took corporate money. And. Sigh.
She actually knows what a tariff is. She can find Syria on a map. She’s overly qualified for POTUS but hey. She’d have probably broken a hip and died of the vapors a month after being elected. Cause, women. Weak! She’d have torched King’s Landing, er, DC.
Where was I? Abortions. Yep. Here we go. If you don’t like abortions? Don’t get one. There. Solved it. Done! Over! World peace, let’s do this!
Yeah, it really is that simple. Stop legislating women like we’re cattle. We’re not cows or horses or pigs or goats or sheep or…livestock like the Bible says or society says or…yeah. We’re humans. Complex, messy, contradictory, blah blah blah. Why does that even have to be said at all?? Why do women constantly have to defend their own fucking humanity and autonomy even in the supposed land of the free and the home of the brave? When does that fight get over and done with? Cause it’s exhausting.
My mother died of cancer-related causes. I took her to the emergency room because she was bleeding uncontrollably, soaking through towels. Menstrual blood. She had not had a period since her thirties. This was in her fifties. They had to perform a D and C to get it stopped. Now, under draconian anti-woman laws…they might have had to let her keep bleeding or face 99 years in prison.[ Oregon has no laws that go after abortion in any way. I think we’re the only state left that hasn’t tried to end or restrict abortion rights]
My mother, a nurse, brought up in an era where women didn’t talk about ‘that stuff’ had her life shortened considerably. She thought her period ending when she was thirty eight or so was normal. I thought she’d had a hysterectomy. Nope. She also had a stillbirth. She nearly died giving birth to me. My brother was a c-section. She had a rather troubling reproductive history yet…she, a nurse, didn’t monitor herself because. Because women are taught our parts are icky or our pain, bleeding, symptoms are to be ignored or endured. We’re not taken seriously about our women’s curses. The woman’s curse. One of the names applied. As if being female drew some actual magical condemnation down from heaven itself.
Read that link for curse of women if you want your hair curled and your eyebrows to fly off your face. This wasn’t written hundreds of years ago. Tell me again there’s no war on women. Go ahead. I fucking dare you.
It was discovered she had cancer. A year after that she was dead.
And it was me who had to make a decision about how much longer to keep her on life support.
This is why I am paying attention, lots of it, to this recent [since the 70’s until now, but recently it’s been ramped up to a billion zillion] anti-abortion craze sweeping my country. Because it’s dangerous. It’s going to get women killed. Not just desperate pregnant women seeking any means legal or illegal to not be pregnant any more but people in general cut off from low-cost clinics that screen for things like cancer or STI’s or diseases like HIV or Hep C or…mm. Because Planned Parenthood provides low-cost health care for reproductive needs, such as cancer screenings, pap smears, breast exams, neonatal care and testing, etc. Yes, PP helps pregnant women get the neonatal care they need that normally is priced far out of range of a lot of people. Such as the twenty week testing for problems or monitoring the health of the body around that growing baby. Such as high blood pressure. America’s maternal death rate is climbing. Going up.
American women in a lot of places will now or are already like Offred. No choices at all. They will have to rebel in ways that won’t get them jailed or killed outright. This is a democracy? This is a modern industrialized country? The laws are being made by men who have the vaguest knowledge, if any knowledge, of women’s bodies. None of them are OB/GYN sorts, that I know of. None of them seem to know what birth control is or the types available. Everything causes abortion seems to be their hot take. The new laws about to hit this summer seem to think women should not only not have abortions but have to pay out of pocket for any slight reproductive care or health concerns. Cutting off insurance coverage seems to make these law makers giddy as drunken rats.
Cutting off insurance coverage of things like ectopic pregnancy care. Some Ohio lawmaker said you can transplant that ectopic pregnancy baby to the woman’s womb and presto bango, another child saved from the horrors of the liberal gay agenda. Um, doctors and nurses weighed in with: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. As that is just not possible or feasible. Ectopic pregnancies threaten the life of the mother and if not taken care of, will kill her. So this Ohio idiot, who’s writing laws against abortion the same way you might write a shopping list, doesn’t seem to even understand what birth control is, either. I’m not smart enough, was his actual reply when asked about what was actually in his bill. Mm.
So, you experience an ectopic pregnancy in Ohio, you’re not only potentially facing an end of your life but possibly a bankruptcy when you can’t pay the medical bills. That’s if you can find a hospital that will give you the care you actually need. As many hospitals are owned by the Catholic church which is notoriously ‘let that bitch die’ about women and their lower half.
You might have to sell your house or go be a stripper to pay off medical expenses. Stripper or mom seems to be the only real careers left anymore for American women. So, hey, on ectopic pregnancies and other female ‘down there’ medical emergencies– two options, ladies in Ohio and lots of others places. Have that time bomb explode in your lower half and you bleed to death or face the ER with a handful of credit cards you hope still have some money on them.
Oh and also? Birth control is also being crowded out or banned or people [men mostly] make damn sure insurance companies will not cover it.
Yeah, there’s no fucking war on women?? LOL. Conservatives love women! Love em!
There’s also the exceptions for rape or incest thrown like an awful bone into these anti-women anti-reality bills. Women have to qualify to get the care they want. They have to already be traumatized and punished, have that advertised all over, face it again, again, again to…have any say in their own care. They have to arrive shamed and humiliated and battered. They have to have run a gauntlet to win the ‘abortion for you but not that slutty whore over there’, um, prize. And it’s not a given that because you were raped or were a victim of incest that you will win that abortion prize. You really have to have SUFFERED to win enough approval from a panel of strangers deciding your case. Police reports filed, perhaps. Trauma must be VISIBLE and tangible enough to warrant others to make this decision for you, my little cow, my darling ewe, my patient little mare.
Because small government. Or something something. Where the government won’t cover anything after-born children or families might need or can’t get access to otherwise…but will force a woman to carry her pregnancy no matter what. Unless she’s been a victim of some sort, then hey, ‘compassion’. However…
This is when my head actually explodes with how fucking cruel and predatory that is. Rape victims as young as eleven forced to bear offspring for the state so the state can make money selling that baby to affluent childless couples. All while saying this is God’s will and we love babies and…ugh. As potential adopters have to be well enough off to prove they can care for a child. And it doesn’t guarantee that child won’t be abused or neglected. The horror stories here are legion. Adoption isn’t the rainbow connection to Jesus himself or whatever the current thinking that way is. It’s a good thing, yes, but…fraught with things called humans. Who are notoriously faulty when it comes to raising children. Ever wonder why 100% of Western Lit deals with family issues?? Yeah.
It seems the women get left out of this entirely. Little girls, in some cases. An eleven year old is a little girl.
Everyone gets consulted and listened to except women. [ Or hey, medical professionals that deal with reproduction of humans in any way, from conception to birth] If the women, when there are women included in anti-abortion orgies, agree with the men about how no one should ever have an abortion, then hey, she still doesn’t seem to count in this fight at all. Notice that? I do.
Also notice that no one seems to ask actual doctors about any of this. Or nurses. Or midwives. Or anyone medically connected to reproductive care who actually knows what they’re talking about. We don’t hear these voices. We hear the liberals are letting mothers kill babies after they are born. They deliver the baby, then decide with the doctor whether it lives or dies.
No, really. That was amplified at Trump rallies. This is the latest pearl-clutch conservative vote Pavlovian bell go-getter. THEY ARE CHOPPING UP LIVE BABIES SO VOTE TO MAGA. I wish I was kidding about that. I wish. I wish that was part of some weird political comedy starring James Franco and Emma Thompson, coming to a theatre near you this summer. It’s…not.
Doctors and nurses stepped up, just went, nope. Nope, that is not happening. That’s a crime. That’s murder. We do everything we can, even if that baby is dying, to save its life or ensure the comfort of an infant before it passes.
Palliative care. That’s when a child is born with massive problems or is stillborn or in some way isn’t going to make it. That’s when parents might, yes, have to make that ghastly decision about life support and how much more to do or try. I’ve been there, with my own mother. I can imagine a tiny bit of what those parents are facing. It’s so gut-wrenchingly awful. I understand the need to keep the machines hooked up, I get that one. I understand the decision to stop the machines. I get why someone would say that’s enough, let it end. I get that, oh boy, do I get that one.
We need to stop, as a society, as a world, in treating women like they don’t own their own bodies. That women need to be policed and guarded against their own impulses. That women are no more than pets or livestock. Or disposable. That women are more than mad queens or always stuck in some emotional immaturity that never allows them to be…like men. That we are more than our fertility or lack thereof. How do we go about this resetting of truly ancient beliefs seemingly mired and engrained in the bedrock of civilization itself?
You write women characters that reflect that. You draw attention to laws that turn women into property of the state. You march. You talk. You get those pre-Roe V. Wade stories heard—even though the current crop of Jesus freaks don’t care if women die from illegal botched abortions; cruelty and punishment of women is the point of the pro-forced birther movement. Yeah, I fucking said it.
You keep pointing out this or that even when tired or laughed at. Or ridiculed. Or threatened with rape or death or both.
You give more credence to women’s voices in this particular issue than men who don’t even seem to know what girls are, let alone how their fiddly bits work or don’t work.
And you don’t turn the Mother of Dragons into Crazy Cat Lady on a Murder Bender. You don’t take Cersei Don’t Ever Cross Me Lannister and turn her into Weepy Emotional Typical Woman LOL. You don’t betray Sansa’s magnificent arc from spoiled child to actual leader with…ugh. Only Arya sorta survived the total sabotage of female characters on GOT?? Or will she be marrying on the last episode and…fuck me running.
I’ll draw all this to a close with hope. Offred fought back. She found ways to end her servitude. She discovered lights in her total darkness. This, too, shall pass…until the next time the perfect storm of authoritarian fuckery meets religious zealots who turn their ignorant eyes on the womenfolk around them. And the time after that. And after that! Aren’t we tired of being Under His Eye, my fellow humans?