What fresh hell is this?

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives is the title of an article written by Mimi Swartz in this month’s issue of Texas Monthly. I assure you, the article is worth your time if you have a pulse. It is gripping. So gripping, in fact, that while I was reading it, one of pages came completely out in my hand. I’m quite certain this wasn’t due to inferior glue.

Texas women, like all women, garnered influence over the years the best ways they knew how in order to improve the lives of women and secure the rights we enjoy today. Women have endured hardship at the hand of thieves, threats and toxic attitudes, the mildest of which,  a comment that Judge Sarah Hughes’s colleagues “oughta slap her face and send her back to the kitchen.” For an educated, confident, accomplished woman, comments like that don’t need to be dignified with a response. Even now, women of character and resolve face the same attitudes.

The politics isn’t what interests me about this article. There are clever people who can find ways of managing the politics. No, what interests me is the arrogance, manipulating, and ignorant to the point of embarrassing, way in which men assume that they know best how to make decisions for women. For instance, the 2003 Woman’s Right to Know Act that required doctors give deceptive and outright false information to pregnant women.

The signing of a bill that requires women to undergo a procedure these legislators cannot articulate much less comprehend is beyond absurd. It is reprehensible. Their rhetoric, the kind best left to a holier-than-thou televangelist just before he gets caught with his pants down, about morality, emotional trauma, and saving lives is certainly not to improve women’s health care. Hypocrites, too squeamish to even hear female anatomy discussed in the forum where decisions affecting women’s health care are being made, claim they want to make sure a woman knows what she is doing when she makes a personal choice about her own body. If I could speak directly to the arrogant, ignorant man who believes a woman’s ability to think and reason is “nonsense,” I would ask him, why such blatant manipulation is necessary to prevent her from making a choice that affects her life, her economics, her body. This man admits that arguments against his position “make no sense to him.” It seems to me, he’s the one who doesn’t possess an ability to think and reason.

How shameful to us all that after enduring oppression, cruelty, abuse, neglect and poverty women have no leader who will stand against this self-righteous intrusion of our privacy by those bottling snake oil in government buildings, labels in one hand, penis in the other. My question is this, “Where are the women?”

Texas Monthly is on a news stand or here http://www.texasmonthly.com/2012-08-01/index.php

7 thoughts on “What fresh hell is this?

  1. I am glad that I live in a country where basic healthcare is considered a human right. And at least the debate around abortion was settled decades ago. There are still a few people who have religious objections, but they are generally viewed as the lunatic fringe. An abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor and possibly her husband or boyfriend or parents. Everyone else can just mind their own business. I had an abortion in my early twenties and it was hard enough. If I had, had to put up with all the other – how do I put this politely – bullshit, not sure how I would have coped.

    We have a lot of political and social problems where I live, but at least this isn’t part of the mix. Good luck with your fight. As women, we have the right to expect that our lives and bodies can be just that – ours!

    1. Couldn’t agree more, private matters should stay private. I don’t know where we lost sight of that. Maybe the in your face 24/7-ness of our culture has somehow caused us to lose sight of the fact that privacy is important. Who knows? It seems odd to me that we have privacy laws and yet we tend not acknowledge privacy as a society. I appreciate your comment and respect your point of view. I’m not really part of the fight, as far as I’m concerned, the fight has been fought already. I do however feel compelled to share information that I think is relevant, on lots of topics really, but in particular to shed light on things I find absurd. Peace~~

  2. You know I love you, Stephanie. But this is one time where we will have to agree to disagree. I understand that on rare occasions, there may exist extenuating circumstances when an abortion may be necessary, such as in the case of rape or to save the mother’s life. But I believe that all too often abortion has become yet another means of birth control, and the unborn child just collateral damage. The requirement to have an ultrasound or sonogram prior to having an abortion is a much needed means of providing a voice to these most innocent of victims. For a woman to have a sonogram, even a vaginal sonogram, is a minor inconvenience as compared to what the child is about to endure. Perhaps the sonogram could be a vehicle in encouraging women to take more responsibility in preventing pregnancy in the first place.

    1. Jill, I love you too. Your point of view is valuable and respected. I would defend you against any one who sought to deprive you of the right to your belief.

  3. Indeed women have hit a “climax of government intrusion” into our personal reproductive rights. As if reproduction should even be a right. It is a basic human choice that should not be controlled by laws.

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