Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ain't I a Woman

Err, uh, yes. I am.

Admittedly I infrequently tackle issues of importance to woman. I have my reasons for this, maybe I'll post on them later. But there are somethings concerning women's rights that just gets to me.

Let me put a few things out there (or, skip foward to * and read this):

1 - I hardly believe there's some "ambition gap" between the sexes. Income gap? Sure. Domestic responsibilities gap? You betcha! But "ambition gap?" Please. As the saying goes, "Every woman needs a wife." That includes me.

2 - I know "W" was supposed to stand for "Women for Bush," but right now, "W" pretty much stands for, "Why?" or perhaps even, "What?!" This recent administration has been bad for women. Court appointees. Reproductive rights. Equal pay. Healthcare. Family leave. War. Any issue of which women have some special concern has been given the enemy combatant treatment. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that McCain would be to women's rights what Bush has been to America's civil rights. Similarly, there's not doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will do as much if not more for women than he will for people of color.

3 - I used to be anti-abortion, even through Women Studies 050 - Intro to Women's Studies. I felt abortion was something women did after having been stupid. Then I took Black Women's History and learned about slavewomen's infanticide. Lord knows I would not have been mad had my slavemother killed me. And sometimes, it wasn't infanticed, but the shear dearth of resources that led to an infants death. Even though slaveholders didn't like their money being manipulated by the free-choice of property, they certainly couldn't prove that a baby died because his/her mother killed him/her. That made me think of society's impact on women's decision to have abortions.

Plus, there was the fact that I used to respond to the issue with this: Don't step in mud and expect me to clean it up. It finally dawned on my at some point that a woman's decision to have an abortion had nothing to do with me at all.

4 - Hillary Clinton is not champion or symbol of women's rights. Her campaign was basically about a woman's right to act like a man. And although that argument does have merit, it's just not an argument I find compelling enough to draw any passion. It's much like the actual fact that racial equality is more or less black people's rights to act white. Doesn't exactly do it for me.

That said.

*Now, the Bush administration is trying to pass off some cruddy reasoning as "conscience" for basically restricting a woman's access to contraceptives in an emergency situation, rape for example. Read up on it. A woman who's been raped has a right to contraceptives, and it's not for anyone to make the decision for her. Should she end up pregnant against her will, it amounts to being raped all over again.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis