What's With the New Backlash Against Women? (Part 1):
Evidence of resurgent sexism:
1. So Publishers Weekly puts out a list of the 10 "best" books of 2009, covering all genres. It contains not a single female author. Sure, it's all subjective as hell, but play the odds on that happening. Not damn likely. On the more extensive list of the 100 "best" books of the year, it looks like about a third are women. (Personal bias: Margaret Atwood's recent book kicks much ass, as does Barbara Ehrenreich's.)
2. The treatment of women in the House of Representatives, women who, it should be shameful to need to point out, are equals of their male counterparts, during the debate over the health care reform bill. As Democratic female members of Congress attempted to speak to how the bill would be beneficial to women, several male Republicans kept screaming objections over them. Remember: these are Republicans who had spoken without interruption about how Democrats were leading the nation down the path to socialist hellhole and want to kill old people. But if the ladies in the House wanna say somethin'? It's all "Man, Nancy Pelosi, can't you tell your bitches to shut the fuck up?" (See also the desire of Republicans for General McChrystal to put Pelosi "in her place." Apparently, that place is kicking their asses on health care reform.)
3. The seeming willingness of too many Democrats to acquiesce and acquiesce on abortion rights issues as long as Roe v. Wade is not overturned. The entire debate over the inclusion of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the health care reform bill, along with the previously less onerous Capp Amendment that was scorned by anti-choicers for being not punitive enough to women who might want or need an abortion, takes the Hyde Amendment as sacrosanct. That 1976 piece of vicious work and additional measures in the Reagan era have barred federal funds from being used for abortions. (It was just in 1993 that the measure was changed to allow exceptions for rape and incest.)
Almost the entire debate over abortion in the health reform bill was a defense of the Hyde Amendment. Democrats used to talk about overturning it completely because it's an unfair, government-imposed burden on poor women. But the anti-choice forces have so controlled the rhetoric that we are left with this sad moment, where in order to even pass a meager insurance bill, another assault on poor (and at least some middle class but, really, all) women occurred by preventing any abortion coverage in any insurance plan in a federal government insurance exchange.
Tell you what: let's up the fuckin' ante here. What is the number one cause of an unwanted pregnancy? Balls and the jizz contained therein. So how about an amendment that says if a woman gets pregnant and is forced to carry the baby to term no matter what, the dude who knocked her up has to get his nuts cut off. There's your trade-off, and men and women both get to have "consequences" for their actions. The result is more babies in the short term, but a whole lot less in the long term. There's details to be worked out. But castration's in the Bible somewhere, isn't it? Like "And, lo, God did tell Zebechaiah to chop the junk off the fornicator Jake"? If not, it should be. Just say it's a new translation.
4. Right now, in the political world, with Hillary Clinton hunkered down and doing her job mostly out of the public's eye and with Nancy Pelosi, this intensely accomplished woman, treated like a joke, the most visible women are fucking jokes. From absurd flash in the pan to downright dangerous:
a. Someone needs to tell Carrie Prejean that if Perez Hilton hadn't asked her about gay marriage at the Miss USA pageant, she'd be that forgotten bikini babe in a beauty contest, consigned to a communications degree and/or increasingly pathetic Maxim layouts. Since the revelation of her solo sex tape, her TV appearances hawking "her" book are either creepy or pathetic. For a dose of skeevy that almost makes you sympathize with Prejean, watch her interview on Hannity, where our host asks her to think about how she's going to feel when the video's made public. For pathetic, watch her get outraged on last night's Larry King [Is Not A]Live, when an old man tries to get her to talk about the very sex video she had talked about on every other show. How dare he.
But, hey, she's friends with Sarah Palin.
Who will be the start of Part 2, with appearances by Michele Bachmann. And some crazy ass conclusions.