Feminist-Wannabes: How The GOP And The Tea Party Want To Hijack Your Reproductive Rights
Sarah Palin and her “Republican Mean Girls” have started a potentially infectious movement against reproductive justice – and they must be stopped. The newfound cronies of Palin’s Mama Grizzly movement--Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle--all have one thing in common: they want to completely eliminate reproductive rights, starting with overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in 1973.
In one of her infamous campaign trail commentaries, Angle said that even 13 or 15-year-old girls who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest should turn “a lemon situation into lemonade," rather than consider a possible abortion.
You have got to be kidding me.
Angle’s horrifically insensitive statement demonstrates a total lack of compassion for the personal trauma rape victims are forced to suffer through their entire lives. Comparing the situation of being forced to cope with an unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape as similar to “making lemons into lemonade” is utterly ludicrous.
The Republican National Coalition For Life PAC supports candidates who are “pro-life without discrimination” and do not "justify abortion for babies who are conceived through rape or incest, have a handicap, or a genetic defect.”
In plain language, the majority of Tea Party candidates backed by the RNCL would deny the right to an abortion even to a 13-year-old girl who had been raped by her father. Even when that girl’s entire life, health and future options are at stake. This stance cannot possibly be viewed as pro-woman or even as innately pro-life. Any zero tolerance anti-abortion policy that risks the physical and psychological wellbeing of young women can at best be viewed as pro-zygote.
Here in California, we are forced to imagine a possible future with a similar candidate, Carly Fiorina. Although she does not seem quite as nutty as Palin or Angle, she does not support any policies in line with an egalitarian, pro-woman perspective. Fiorina has also received numerous endorsements for her anti-abortion views. Is Fiorina really the kind of politician we want representing California's women? Senator Barbara Boxer may be past her prime, but at least we know she's on our side.
To make matters worse, Palin and the so-called “Republican Mean Girls” have hijacked our favorite F-word: Feminism. While I am sure that there are many women in the GOP who consider themselves more progressive and pro-equality, these gals are neither.
In the words of New York Times columnist Gail Collins, “...if feminism simply means supporting equal rights and equal opportunities for women, I don’t see how a feminist can be opposed to government programs that provide poor working mothers with quality child care.”
While some may give in to the idea of “conservative feminism” and nod their heads along with Christine O’Donnell’s purity sermons and calls for abstinence-only education--don’t let yourselves be fooled. The women of the Tea Party are impersonators; wolves in feminists’ clothing.
Regardless of what pundits are saying about the F-word, any anti-choice policies inherently contradict the basic definition of feminism. Feminism is a basic principle that simply calls for gender equality, egalitarian policies and socioeconomic freedoms for both women and men. From Susan B. Anthony to Bikini Kill, feminism is rooted in liberal progressive ideologies—ideologies that don’t play well with conservatives.
To quote famous playwright Eve Ensler, everything about the Palin pedagogy “…is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.”
If you are wealthy, white, Protestant, heterosexual and supposedly abstinent—then congratulations: the Mama Grizzlies, Tea Partiers and the Palin-wannabes of the world have got your back.
But if these candidates win Tuesday night, the rest of us may be left out in the cold without basic reproductive freedoms. So ladies, defend your right to choose. Defend your sexuality and defend your uterus. If all else fails, make sure to stock up on condoms and birth control while you still can.
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