The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Womens’ Rights’ Category

Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

And now, it’s time for another episode of: As the Democrats Turn! So, so many questions…

  1. Who will Tulsi attack on behalf of Russia now? (Yes, she’s coming, of course. Such a drama queen!)
  2. Will Joe Biden offend women and/or POC?
  3. Will Yang continue to promise free money?
  4. Will Harris go back on the offensive?
  5. Will Warren sing a song about yellow children? (I wish I was kidding.)
  6. Will any of the others have a standout moment?
  7. And, most importantly: Will the moderators ask a single question about women’s rights? Cuz so far, nada mucho.

This is an open thread.

 

Do you remember this article from a couple of years back? It was big in the media for a few days. Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.

Having a child contributes some thirty times as much to warming the planet as the next closest action an individual can take: living without a car.

 

Climate change impact of having a child: each one adds 58.6 tons of CO2 equivalents per year. Using a car adds 2.4 tCO2e per year.

 

 

And yet, amidst all the discussion of air travel and bicycling and electric vehicles, there’s a ban on mentioning population control.

Another example I came across recently was in a very encouraging article about greening the Sahel in Africa.

… {Farmers had a] cheap, effective way to regreen the Sahel. They did so by using simple water harvesting techniques and protecting trees that emerged naturally on their farms.

Garrity recalls walking through farms in Niger, fields of grains like millet and sorghum stretching to the sun planted around trees, anywhere from a handful to 80 per acre. “In most cases, the trees are in random locations because they sprouted and the farmer protected them and let them grow,” he says. [Depending on species] [t]he trees can be cut for fuel… They can be pruned for livestock fodder. Their leaves and fruit are nutritious.

One tree, Faidherbia albida, goes dormant during the wet season when most trees grow. When the rains begin, the trees defoliate, dropping leaves that fertilize the soil. Because they have dropped their leaves, the trees do not shade crops during the growing season. Their value had long been recognized by farmers….

[But] “He laments that work is moving too slowly. With the Sahel’s population doubling in 20 years, Reij says regreening needs to be finished within 10 to 15 years.”

He makes it sound as if this doubling is a great force beyond human influence, like a solar storm or a meteor strike. It’s not. It’s merely human reproduction. We’re helpless only because the subject is so untouchable it can’t even be said out loud.

What’s up with that?

I think the answer lies in the two possible trajectories to control births.

One is coercive. China’s one child policy is perhaps the most famous recent example. Since women are the ones giving birth, you have to control women. You punish them if they have too many children. You enforce abortions on mothers. Or, if you’re a Nazi in the 1930s who wants lots of blond babies and no browner ones, you try to enforce a eugenics program on women. You sterilize gypsies or the disabled or Jews while giving “your” women the option to be incubators or nothing.

All those methods involve hideously totalitarian pre-emption of individual choice and body autonomy (like the supporters of forced pregnancy, but we’re more used to them so it doesn’t feel as outlandish). But on the bright side, they don’t require any changes to misogynist and patriarchal social systems.

The other trajectory is to give women control over their own reproduction. Wherever that is done, birth rates drop dramatically. They may not fall all the way to replacement levels, but they get much closer than any other method. Giving women control works, it works sustainably and long term.

But.

But it deprives society of its main tool to control all aspects of women’s lives. Your reliable producers of the next generation, your unpaid domestic servants and nannies and handholders and caregivers, gradually find other things to do with their lives. Members of the upper caste might have to do their own dishes. Your whole system falls apart.

And therein lies the rub. All our current problems are made much worse by overpopulation. Dealing with that requires treating women like human beings. Which gives the patriarchy the vapors.

So suddenly respect for medieval religions and medieval cultures make it impossible to promote birth control. They might be offended!

There’s not the same action-limiting respect when it comes to things that serve the caste system. Porn is all over the place even though the Pope disapproves. But breastfeeding is too avantgarde for the delicate sensibilities of men on Facebook. Nor is there ever equivalent concern that women object to being erased.

The discrepancy has a name. Sady Doyle wrote about it almost three years ago, Trump, Putin, Assange, and the politics of sexism. Supposedly all three are exponents of radically different systems, and yet they have a lizard brain-level understanding that they’re on the same side. Her focus is social and political effects, but the same allergy to anything kind or well-meaning is everywhere.

Recently, reactionaries have made The Misogyny of Climate Deniers obvious by their revolting comments against a 16 year old who’s done nothing except use the full weight of all the evidence to disagree with them.

The connection has to do with a sense of group identity under threat, … both by developing gender equality—Hultman pointed specifically to the shock some men felt at the #MeToo movement—and now climate activism’s challenge to their way of life, male reactionaries motivated by right-wing nationalism, anti-feminism, and climate denialism increasingly overlap, the three reactions feeding off of one another. … Climate change used to be a bipartisan concern, the first Bush senior presidency famously promising to tackle global warming. But as conservative male mockery of Thunberg and others shows, climate politics has quickly become the next big battle in the culture war—on a global scale.

Misogyny isn’t the only motivation of reactionaries. There’s greed and garden variety hatred in there, too, but misogyny is the core. It’s misogyny, not greed or racism or ordinary hatred, that makes men fear weakness more than anything. And fear of weakness is what ties together the worst of what they do.

They think strong man governments are a good idea. They like guns and “defence” — war, really, so long as somebody else dies in it. Peace is only tolerable “through strength.” The reactionaries are against anything that doesn’t shout big power. They like nukes because gigawatts! dangerous! The truth is that even building a new gigawatt nuke every two months from 2010 till 2050 would solve only a small part of climate change and energy needs. Meanwhile renewables could provide all our energy by 2050 for a fraction of the cost and without radioactive waste. But distributed power, whether that’s rooftop solar or real democracy, strikes reactionaries as la-la limp-wristed hippie crap. Likewise, restraint against environmental destruction is pathetic weakness in the face of hard choices.

And weakness is the worst thing you can show. They (“They”) come and take your man card away. It’s the only thing that gave you any standing and it’s gone.

That is a future so horrible it’s worth burning the world down to avoid it. It must never be spoken lest saying its name calls it forth.

Crossposted from Acid Test.

It looks like you won’t have a problem finding a place to get your feet on the street today…and after today.

#StopTheBans Actions

This Tuesday, May 21st at noon local time at statehouses, town squares, and courthouses across the nation–with other events throughout the week–we will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women.

Plan an action or RSVP to one near you now. We’ll send you more information on tips to make the most of your event.

As Our Girl Hillary said at the Women in the World Summit in 2012:

“We need to be as fearless as the women whose stories you have applauded, as committed as the dissidents and the activists you have heard from, as audacious as those who start movements for peace when all seems lost.”

This is an open thread.

Good afternoon Widdershins

 

I had a different post in mind for the weekend, but yeah, fuck that.  And no, it wasn’t going to be a GoT thing.

No, after this week it’s time to let your musical voices come out in anger!  Shout it out.

I’ll put up a few songs but I fully expect y’all to provide lots of them yourselves.

* * * *

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AND LAST:

* * * *

Open thread of course but hope you’ll add some of your own in the comments.

 

Tags: ,

“I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” Joe Biden, 1974

Compare and contrast, as they used to say on essay exams, with this:

Jennifer Wright.
You can’t take organs from a corpse without the deceased’s written permission, even if it will save lives. When you outlaw abortion, you’re allowing women less bodily autonomy than the dead.

Betty Bowers.
In Alabama is it is now more illegal to be a woman who aborts a child of rape than to be the man who raped her.

Chambliss, responding to the IVF argument from Smitherman, cites a part of the bill that says it applies to a pregnant woman. “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.” (But, but, but, now it’s not about the sacred egg+sperm? All that sacredness is only when there’s a woman to control?)

And then, this good idea:

Daniel Silvermint
We should pass a Woman’s Heartbeat law: if a woman has a heartbeat, you can’t tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever.

B.e.c.a.u.s.e. t.h.a.t. i.s. t.h.e. p.o.i.n.t.

If your heartbeat counts (or counted!), nobody can take parts of you, even to save someone else. No real human being can be forced to donate life support. If the fetus’s heartbeat counts for more than the woman’s providing life support, then she has to be a non-person.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Something really inspiring happened yesterday, Widdershins. It answered a question for me: Why did Cecile Richards, one of the most effective leaders Planned Parenthood has ever had, resign from the organization?

She had to partner with Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo to form an exciting new women’s organization, called SuperMajority!!! (Okay, the exclamation points are mine. I am just so excited!) Yes, anyone can join, regardless of gender. You just have to believe in the mission.

In an apparent reference to the #MeToo movement, the organization, which describes itself as multiracial and intergenerational, said that “in the past two years, we’ve seen what happens when women mobilize. But while “women are on the cusp of becoming the most powerful force in America,” Supermajority’s co-founders say that to “fundamentally transform this country” women must work together.

To help further that goal, the group’s leaders say their organization will provide on-the-ground training to help women advocates “get and stay informed on issues that affect their lives,” in addition to creating a “women’s agenda” that will put women’s issues first, “from economic equity and opportunity, to dignity and safety on the job, to keeping families and communities safe.”

While Supermajority’s aim is to push politicians to adopt a “women’s new deal,” as Richards told The Associated Press in a recent interview, the group is not expected to endorse individual candidates.

A “women’s new deal!” Oh, yes, PLEASE!!!

I remember way, way back in our PUMA days, when I suggested that a new Women’s Party should be formed. I wrote:

So let’s review. The Democrats make appropriate noises about women, but don’t follow through when push comes to shove. The Republicans are so backwards as to be laughable.

Isn’t it time we had our own Party, ladies?

I am tired of hearing that the interests of 51% of the population are not important enough to focus on. I am tired of hearing that we should shut up and vote Democrat because they are the lesser of two evils. I am tired of seeing *ssh0les like Obama get away with breaking his promise to pass FOCA first thing and sell out our reproductive rights to pass a bill the Supreme Court will most likely overturn. I am tired of seeing mindless monsters like Jesse Lee Peterson being given airtime by Defenders of the Hateful, Faux News. I am tired of the religiously insane trying to pass laws that will humiliate and kill our sisters.

It will f*cking kill me to vote D on Election Day, even though I won’t be voting for Obama at the top of the ticket. I am frankly weary of the crapulence of the PFKAD. I want a Party that represents women and puts our equality FIRST, that won’t be distracted by the latest shiny object. One Party, one goal: Pass the ERA! Fight for women’s equality in every aspect of our lives. That is what we women need now.

I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for women to wake up. Maybe women got too complacent with Obama at the helm, naively believing their rights would never be threatened again. Maybe we all “knew” that Hillary would win in 2016, so we thought we didn’t need to mobilize separately. But once the giant pile of orange slime slithered his way into the White House, maybe that was the catalyst we needed. The Resistance, MeToo, OnwardTogether…and now this amazing new organization!

After the horrors of the past few years, it seems unbelievable that anything good could come out of our long national nightmare. The latest attack on a temple in San Diego, killing one heroic woman and wounding others, is just one of the many hate crimes inspired by Der Drumpfenfuhrer and his Nazi minions. But maybe if we women (and all genders who support us!) do band together, we can finally turn this country in the direction it so desperately needs to go.

This is an open thread.

The talk about fetal personhood bills, and especially Lauren Kelley’s point about the activists turning a health issue into a criminal one, got me thinking. So much so that I actually wrote her some feedback, which now, I guess, I’m going to turn into an open letter of feedback. (There’s a whole series in the NYTimes, a newspaper I’m terminally annoyed with, so I have most of this secondhand from public twitter feeds.)

Pregnancy is a health issue if women are people.

But they really can’t be people to those pushing fetal personhood. If women were actual humans in their minds, the pro-fetus crowd would know that personhood does not mean a guaranteed right to erase women.

After all, if an adult man is about to die for lack of a kidney transplant, we don’t send tissue-typing trucks to roam the streets until a match is found for him and the required spare kidney is extracted. Yet it’s a parallel case. A person (everyone agrees an adult man is a person) will die unless he can use another person’s kidney. If you wanted an exactly parallel case, the healthy person would be drafted to dialyse his blood for nine months. We don’t do that either.

That’s for the simple reason that the counterparty really is a person in that example. In the case of pregnancy, it’s necessarily a woman which somehow makes everything different.

But it isn’t. The only thing that’s different is that plenty of people are not used to thinking of women as actual human beings. They’re brood mares first, humans, maybe, second.

The real assumptions behind all this are important because they determine the ground on which you argue. Remember the old Roe v Wade days and the anti-choicers calling themselves “pro-life”? The size of the joke on us is becoming clearer by the day. At the time too few wanted to hear that accepting bogus terminology ceded the high ground before we’d even begun to fight. Now here we are, pleading for our lives, not our rights.

We need to be as clear as we can about the real terms of the argument. This isn’t really about anyone’s health. If it was, we’d have had those tissue-typing vans driving around ever since organ transplantation was feasible. This isn’t even about whether fetuses are persons. It’s about whether women are persons.


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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
7 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

Ironic

Dems are coming for ya