Marriage Victories and Women’s Losses

Amanda celebrates the legalization of gay marriage in California, denounces the advancement of the “egg as a person” law, and interviews Jeff Sharlet about the secret fundamentalist power structures.


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Links in this episode:
Washington U. protests
Go gay marriage!
History lesson
"Judicial activism" is an empty phrase
Ellen Degeneres
Bashing the happy couple
The Family
Fox 31 on the Human Life Amendment
Most sexism on the campaign trail

This week on Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing Jeff Sharlet
about his frightening new work of investigative journalism called The
Family. Also, the aftermath of the gay
marriage decision in California, a loss for the right to use birth control in
Colorado, and more sexism against the first major female candidate for


Congrats to the students and faculty at Washington
University who stood up for common sense.


  • insert
    schlafly *


They’re absolutely in the right to do this. Schlafly has always railed against women’s
equality, and yet here she is taking an honorary degree. She should put her money where her mouth is
and refuse to take the degree on the grounds that these sort of things should
be reserved for men. She’s an odious
person who has spent much of her life agitating against women’s very right to
be safe in the own homes, and she defends men who beat and rape their wives,
saying that if women leave such men, they’re to blame for breaking up the




Go, gay marriage!


* insert gay marriage report *


In our little part of the world—the social activist
feminist sex positive part—the California court ruling for equal rights laws
was the big news of late. First of all,
let me say this to this to the thousands of couples who have been waiting for
this day to arrive.


  • insert
    champagne *
  • insert
    woo hoo *


I’m sure the wedding industry is gearing up to take full
profit advantage of this new onslaught of potential customers. California is a big state after all.


What I want to know is why people feel so compelled to be on
the wrong side of history on these sort of things. I mean, history has not looked well upon
those who supported segregation, bans on interracial marriage, or denying women
their rights. You know how these things
turn out when they get underway, and the progressives will win the moral
victory. Why not be on that train from
the beginning?


Here’s a clip from Gloria Allred explaining some of the
history of the lawsuits.


  • insert
    Gloria *



Naturally, the media went straight to the bigots and haters
to weigh in on the ban. Tony Perkins of
the Family Research Council was immediately ushered on Fox News to spew hate.


  • insert
    perkins *


Lies, all lies. The
legislature recognized same-sex marriage and the Governator vetoed it and said
that it should be left to the courts.
Judicial activism" is a meaningless phrase and always has been. Right wingers will pinch your rights however
they can, and this phony concern for process should be recognized as the
dishonest maneuvering that it is. It’s
like how opponents to civil rights suddenly got this enthusiasm for the letter
of the law during the era of nonviolent resistance.


  • insert
    perkins 2 *


I love how conservatives invoke images of forcing gay
marriage, right down to Perkins implying that someone’s going to be frog
marched down the aisle. I can assure you
that the ruling does not mean you have to marry someone of your own sex. I have relatives in California and in the
week and a half since the ruling, not a one has been assigned a spouse of the
same sex.


The anti-same sex marriage arguments are remarkably weak,
even by the low standards set by social conservatives, and I think people are
really beginning to see through them.
Perkins might win a little rope with his lies about judicial activism,
but everyone knows this is about gay marriage, period. And the injustice of it is beginning to be
really obvious.


One thing that’s going to help is how many beloved Hollywood
stars are now going to make it official, and show people that gay marriage,
even very famous gay marriage, won’t be the end of the world. The most famous announcement, of course, was
Ellen Degeneres’s. Grab some tissue,
this one’s a weeper.



  • insert
    ellen *


She and Portia di Rossi did not, after the announcement,
grow fangs or eat any children. I
suspect their very normal sweetness will make haters like Perkins seem that
much uglier. The audience went nuts,
which shows that a lot of people are already on board.


Of course, Greg Gutfeld on Fox News had an excuse to bash
the happy couple.


  • insert
    greg gutfeld *


Cute. He’s pretending this is about proclamations of love in
general, but if that were true, then he’d have had segments bashing straight
couples for getting married a long time ago.
A quick Google search demonstrated that Gutfeld has produced the
equivalent of a public bowel movement, because he’s married, and he described
his courtship of his wife in great detail in his book. So it was okay for him to make a big public
stink over his sexuality and relationship, but not okay for Ellen Degeneres?


Of course, he could just be jealous of her greater talent.




  • insert
    interview *




We give you the good news, and now for the bad. Anti-choice crazies in Colorado have managed
to get enough signatures for the Human Life Amendment to be put on the ballot
in Colorado. It’s an amendment aimed at
defining personhood as beginning at fertilization, and contrary to most reports,
this isn’t just an attack on abortion rights, but on the right to use


Fox 31 News covered it, and I have to say, what’s really
funny about the You Tube page I got this link from was the paranoid ranting in
the info section written by the guy who uploaded it. His main beef seems to be that they allowed
female reporters to cover the issue, suggesting that this is further evidence
that the media is anti-American. He’s
also angry that one reporter has given sympathetic coverage to what he
describes as "foreign invaders", that is undocumented workers.


He’s probably mad that the anti-choice nuts look stupid just
by having cameras put in their faces.


  • insert
    hla 1 *


One day, someone should infiltrate one of these protests and
convince them to sing this.


  • every
    sperm is sacred *


I bet you they’d do it.
You’d have to sell it with the right amount of piety, but if you could
work yourself up into a holy rolling fit while singing it, the word "sacred"
would be too alluring and the protesters would be all about it.


  • insert
    hla 2 *


It’s worse than that.
If the anti-choicers just wanted to ban abortion, they could define
personhood as beginning when a woman is pregnant. This is about defining it at a point prior to
pregnancy, and as such is not just an assault on abortion rights, but on the
right to use birth control. That’s why
anti-choicers lie and claim the birth control pill works by flushing fertilized
eggs. It actually works by preventing
ovulation, but if this bill passes, expect not just assault on abortion, but on
hormonal contraception.


As I’ve noted before, it’s also broad enough that
overzealous misogynists could take it as an assault on the right to menstruate
in peace, because in theory any random menstruation of a sexually active woman
could have a fertilized egg that didn’t implant.


Don’t think they wouldn’t go that far. Remember the crazy Romanian government, that
got really excitable about anti-choice legislation and had mandatory pregnancy
checks and other assaults on women’s rights.
And remember that our anti-choice nuts are even crazier than the ones in
communist Romania. At least in Romania
they had a real world reason for it—they wanted to create more workers for
the state. Anti-choice arguments in the
U.S. are based in magical thinking and therefore are not nearly as bound by


Meanwhile, I hope they at least throw a bone to non-pregnant
women who could have imaginary persons floating around inside, and let them use
the HOV lane on the theory that every woman, no matter how not pregnant, could
be driving for two.




Now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts. It looks like, barring any last minute
changes, that Hillary Clinton is not going to make it across the finish line to
be the Democratic nominee for President.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t continue to spank the whiners and
moaners on TV and radio who just can’t stand the idea of a woman running for
high office. Is this the 21st
century or the 1st century?


The most recent example of a man openly calling Clinton a
"bitch" on TV was Alex Castellanos on CNN.


  • insert
    white bitch *


One day I’ll crack the mystery of why no one seems to be
willing to understand that sexist slurs are, you know, sexist.



Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte