Wednesday, October 13


Read this, then share it with all your women friends. As Oprah Slaps Bush
With 30 states poised to smack down women's rights again, the one true savior emerges:

This was her fabulous, much-needed message: Take your rights for granted at your peril, ladies. Move, or else. Choose how you want the laws to treat and respect you and your body -- or someone else, someone who hasn't touched a vagina for 30 years and who thinks sex is only tolerable in the dark, fully clothed and with a respectable prostitute, will choose for you.
It's all about the Supreme Court, of course. Fact is, our next president will almost surely get to appoint a number of new high-court justices to replace those who will likely retire after enduring Bush's toxic first term. They hung in there, these few -- especially progressive stalwart Sandra Day O'Connor and moderate, pro-choice John Paul Stevens -- hoping to disallow the nation's highest judiciary from becoming overly stacked with homophobic self-righteous right-wing neocon wingnuts (hi, Justice Scalia!) who would have us revert -- morally, sexually, spiritually, misogynistically -- to 1953. Check that: 1853. Check that: 1353.
And if there's one famously disenfranchised and alienated and apathetic voting bloc that needs to get off its collective yoga butt and stand up and make itself known this election lest it lose an even larger chunk of its basic human rights than it even realizes, it's youngish women.

This is, after all, what so many women don't seem to know. That the Bush administration has already, in just a few short years, managed to roll back a truly astounding number of their basic rights, making it more difficult, for example, for doctors to perform abortions, or making it illegal for schools to discuss contraception or for hospitals to discuss pregnancy-termination options.

From demeaning and ineffectual abstinence-only programs to biased counseling to cutting all funding for international women's health organizations that provide care to poor women in third-world nations (hell, Bush hacked that one away in his first month in office), Dubya has done more than any president in the last 100 years to smack women upside their sexually empowered heads.

Oh and by the way, that suggestion currently being floated by some in the GOP that the Iraq war has become so nasty and desperate that we might very well need to reinstate the military draft? That draft includes young women. And oh yes, Bush has already upheld the ban on abortions for servicewomen stationed overseas, even if they were raped, even if they pay for it themselves. Feeling patriotic yet?

This has been the GOP's message to women since, well, forever: Be like Laura Bush -- submissive, matronly, heavily shellacked and ever flashing a disquieting mannequin grin, off in the corner reading stories to the kids and cutting lots of pretty ceremonial ribbons and keeping quiet about the Important Stuff and never having sex and always be standing just out of the spotlight, secondary and inferior and in the background. You know, right where you belong.
Here's the bottom line: 50 million eligible women didn't vote in 2000, and 22 million of them were single and nearly every one of them probably thought their vote doesn't matter and it isn't really worth it and who cares anyway because no matter who wins, everything's still pretty much run by rich powerful men anyway. Which is, you know, sort of true. But not quite.

Because as Oprah knows, there are powerful men who get it and who love women and who understand their issues and who have cool articulate daughters and opinionated self-defined multilingual firebrand wives (Hi, Theresa), and there are aww-shucks antichoice white guys with lifeless token wives who think your body is government property and you should just pipe down and keep your damn legs closed and go pray to an angry Republican God to forgive your plentiful vagina-induced sins.

Hey, it's your choice. But not for long.


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