A Word in Edgewise: Is It Something In The Water?

By E.B. Boatner April 5, 2012

Categories: Our Affairs, Politics

Have men declared open season on women? Has a misogynist John Cleese defected to the Republican Party? Are permits required, or is it a right-wing vectored virus?

Rush Limbaugh has received enough ink. But legions are springing up like sown dragon seeds. Chuck Winder (R–Boise), sponsor of an Idaho bill requiring mandatory pre-abortion ultrasounds, spoke up concerning rape victims.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this [bill]. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.”

Gary Trudeau must be reveling in dialogue descending directly from–if not heaven–the horse’s…mouth directly to his pen. Take Terry England, the Georgia state representative (R–Auburn). He recounted an anecdote concerning a salt of the earth, chicken-fighting aficionado who promised if “those folks” would stop killing babies, he’d give up his chickens. This was followed by England’s farm experiences delivering stillborn pigs and calves; “it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.”

No, I am not ridiculing his concern for animals. Forty years ago I had to drown a severely damaged newborn kitten–it pains me to this day. But women aren’t farm animals. And though England did not literally compare the two in his speech as the press implied (I watched the video twice), he is supporting HB 954, making it illegal (for a woman) to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks even if she is known to be carrying a stillborn fetus or one not expected to live to term.

What difference would England say is the quality of thought process–if any– between an oblivious, grazing cow, and a woman who for perhaps four months must wake up, endure the days, and lie awake at night knowing her infant is dead? Go to the playground with her two-year-old, and hear, “When’s it due? Is it a boy or a girl?”

Read James Tiptree Jr.’s “The Screwfly Solution”– men gone mad, joining religious sects, killing women, anticipating Angels arriving to a cleansed Earth. Tiptree’s (Alice Sheldon) 1977 black explanation can be no weirder than today’s.

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