Brazillian Waxes, Condom Lies, And Quiverfull


Kathryn Joyce expounds on her new book about extreme patriarchy. Plus: the pope hates on condoms, and what Brazilian waxes have in common with reproductive rights.

 

 

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Links in this episode:

Quiverfull

The problem with personhood laws

Pope claims condoms make HIV worse

Condoms do work

Nancy Goldstein responds

Brazilian waxes in New Jersey

O’Reilly calls feminist journalist "evil"

O’Reilly bashes rape/murder victim

On this episode of Reality Check, I’ll be talking about the pope hating on condoms, what Brazilian waxes have to do with reproductive rights, and Kathryn Joyce will be on to talk about her new book "Quiverfull".  

The National Advocates for Pregnant Women have taken on fighting the personhood amendment movement.  The personhood amendment movement is about defining a fertilized egg, then a zygote, then an embryo, and then a fetus as persons with rights that are greater than those of actual pregnant women.  

  • napw *

Yes, in theory these bills define the fertilized egg as equal to actual women, but in practice, these laws treat women as subhuman receptacles  As the video demonstrates, over and over again the life of the fetus is considered way more important than that of the woman’s, because power-mad government officials are just looking for any excuse to lord their power over some helpless woman.

***************

Oh Pope, how is the world gonna quit you?  The latest popely emission is the suggestion that condoms somehow cause AIDS. Quote: "You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem." End quote.

Too bad his emissions have no basis in truth. Here’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of NIAID.

  • pope 1 *

This is, I suppose, the crux of the debate for most people.  Anti-choicers claim that if you yanked all the condoms and other forms of contraception from people, these diseases would disappear because people would change their sexual behavior drastically.  There’s no reason to believe this, because human beings are sexual creatures.  And let’s face it, women in male-dominated societies don’t often have the option of abstinence. It’s not just married women, but also women subject to male authority in other circumstances, and let’s not forget prostitutes.

What is most frustrating to me when the Pope says stuff like this is how obvious it is that he’s emitting this nonsense from the bubble he lives in, where he’s protected from engaging with the real world.  On the ground clergy who have experience with this issue are often not as blinded by ideological opposition to contraception, opposition that is based in hostility towards women’s rights.

  • pope 2 *

Nancy Goldstein addressed the issue in an opinion piece for NPR.  I called her up so she could talk about her main points.  

* pope 3 *

***************

Insert interview

***************
Most of the time, it’s hard to get the mainstream media to treat legislators who are obsessed with controlling what women do with our lady parts as the perverts and control freaks they are.  When it comes to attempts to ban abortion, restrict contraception, and keep women ignorant of our options, we’re supposed to take the people who push this stuff as serious people who are working from a deep sense of morality.  But I found one exception to this rule.

  • brazilian waxes 1 *

Paternalistic legislators are interfering with a man’s god-given right to have a porn trope replicated in his bedroom?

  • jaws *
  • brazilian waxes 2 *

Wait, they just let the people who are being targeted by this legislation offer a perfectly reasonable defense of themselves? The way the legislation is being targeted parallels the reproductive rights wars exactly, except that in this case the legislators are at least reacting to something that actually happened.  Anti-choicers often write legislation to attack imaginary problems they see occurring in women’s health clinics and pharmacies.  They claim, usually without a shred of evidence, that women are being forced to abort, that women are suffering health effects from abortion that they aren’t warned about, that women who are on the pill are being exploited by men.  And the solution, of course, is to ban abortion and the pill in order to protect women from this exploitation.

But of course, they’re just saying that, and the real source of horror is the belief that women who use the pill or get abortions are dirty, terrible sluts who need to be punished and controlled.  I suspect the same thing is going on with this Brazilian wax stuff—legislators are targeting this one specific procedure that has these pornographic overtones because they’re afraid of female sexuality, and they’re looking for any excuse to control it.  The legislators’ motivations are super-consistent here, but the media coverage couldn’t be more different.

It’s not just that they let the waxers defend themselves.

  • brazilian waxes 3 *

I wish the abortion wars would get this sort of responsible coverage.  Rarely, if ever, do I see journalists do stories about anti-choice legislation that fetishizes abortion as especially dangerous where they point out the medical facts in such a straightforward manner.  Can you imagine a similar story covering a targeted regulation of abortion providers, otherwise known as a TRAP law?  These are laws like ultrasound requirements or mandating that doctors lie to patients and tell them that abortion causes breast cancer.  Can you imagine a journalist doing a story like this, where they say straightforwardly that since abortion is a medical procedure, it has risks, but that it’s actually one of the simplest, lowest risk procedures you can get done, and that it’s much safer than childbirth?  I can’t.  

And then they did something you almost never see in coverage about reproductive rights.  They asked the women whose rights are being restricted what they think.

  • brazilian waxes 4 *

There’s a diversity of opinions amongst women on this subject, just like on reproductive rights.  Some women are just as blasé about using contraception or having an abortion as these women are about getting waxed.  Some women, on the other hand, have mixed feelings or are even strongly anti-waxing.  But the perspectives we get in mainstream media from ordinary women on these two similar issues couldn’t be more different.

At the end of the day, a ban on Brazilian waxes feels too much like an assault on male entitlement, even if the legislators were writing it as a slut-punishment thing.  It’s much easier, apparently, for people to treat assaults on male sexual desire as obvious encroachments on basic rights.  The legislators decided against the ban, because they were made such a laughingstock.  If only we could make anti-choice legislators same kind of laughstock.

**************

And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, O’Reilly is a real sleaze edition.  I already posted on this issue of how O’Reilly’s producers stalked and ambushed journalist Amanda Terkel, because she pointed out that O’Reilly blamed a rape victim for her own assault.  O’Reilly did a segment where he called Terkel evil for this.  

  • oreilly 1 *

That so-called propaganda?  Was just posting an audio of O’Reilly saying this.

  • oreilly 2 *

Yeah, real sympathetic to a victim of crime.  Calling her moronic, calling her "that", as if she was just an object someone picked up at the side of the road, dwelling over her measurements and what she was wearing.  Real sympathetic, O’Reilly.

 

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • invalid-0

    You must not have understood what the pope meant with his statement about condom use. He was not suggesting that condoms don’t prevent an infection. He was saying handing out condoms do not stop the epidemic spread of HIV, because it does not. Did you not bother to read his entire quote or any studies on condom use in africa? Or do you just not care? People need unbiased information to make choices. Do you want these people in africa to suffer? Handing out condoms makes them think that sleeping around is ok, limits their inhibitions, and ultimatly leads to increased transmission of hiv/aids. How is this humane or helpful to these people? They need compassion and dignity. Making condoms available is perfectly fine, touting it as a ‘cure’ for the aids epidemic traps these people in a never ending cycle of infection and death.

    Even the gay community recognizes this!

    http://www.queerty.com/the-pope-says-condoms-dont-fight-aids-could-he-be-right-20090330/

    I understand that you don’t want the unborn to have rights, but you are again misleading. No one wants to give unborn greater rights than the mother, people want them to have EQUAL rights. No one persons rights should supercede the rights of another. Ever. And abortion does just that, it gives the woman the right to end the life of another for any reason, or no reason. And again you show your lack of education or ability to research when you say things like ‘these laws treat women as subhuman receptacles’ or ‘They claim, usually without a shred of evidence, that women are being forced to abort, that women are suffering health effects from abortion that they aren’t warned about’

    Without a shred of evidence? Again, do you not read legitimate studies? Do you care about women and women’s health at all, or are you just dead set on promoting abortion without any regard to women?

    Signed,

    Neither right nor left, just informed.

  • invalid-0

    You must not have understood what the pope meant with his statement about condom use. He was not suggesting that condoms don’t prevent an infection. He was saying handing out condoms do not stop the epidemic spread of HIV, because it does not.

    No, he said that handing out condoms worsens it. Are you saying that basically everyone in the medical and AIDS-activist communities—and mainstream society in general—misunderstood the Pope?

    Handing out condoms makes them think that sleeping around is ok, limits their inhibitions, and ultimatly leads to increased transmission of hiv/aids.

    In your fantasy world, perhaps. In the real world, anti-AIDS organizations have to battle not only a very difficult virus, but also misinformation like the above.

    Making condoms available is perfectly fine, touting it as a ‘cure’ for the aids epidemic traps these people in a never ending cycle of infection and death.

    Who, in the real world, is touting condoms as a “cure” for the AIDS epidemic?

    Without a shred of evidence? Again, do you not read legitimate studies?

    Please cite these so-called “legitimate studies” that show “that women are being forced to abort, that women are suffering health effects from abortion that they aren’t warned about.”

    Do you care about women and women’s health at all, or are you just dead set on promoting abortion without any regard to women?

    You’re the one who wants to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. (Do you beat your girlfriend to show her how much you love her, too?)

  • invalid-0

    How exactly do EQUAL rights look when one “person” cannot exist except inside another person, thereby and by eventually needing to come out of there severely impacting said person, and cannot not desire anything, but quite probably will at some time in the future develop feelings by sharing those of its host? How is the government to judge how much the fetus will in an even later future, years after birth, desire to have shared bodies with a woman against her declared will? Only fanatic pro-lifers always know what is best for strangers, born or unborn.

  • amanda-marcotte

    He said that condom distribution made the epidemic worse.  He’s trying to discourage people from having safer sex, which will in turn, if they believe him, get many of them killed.  So much for "pro-life".  Just anti-sex.

  • invalid-0

    Why does the government have the right to treat a class of people as non-human with no rights? I think your physical location (womb) and size (small) should not have a bearing on your ‘status’ as human. Why do pro choice people insist that pro-lifers don’t care about women? It is only the pro life community that enacts legislation to keep women SAFE during an abortion!

    I would not bother to cite sources since it matters very little if it is true or not. For instance, if I were to say that the law requiring children to inform their parents to get an abortion was a way to keep young girls from being preyed upon by pedophiles and prevent them from doing something they don’t understand and could potentially hurt them physically and emotionally, you would say ‘NOT TRUE, give me facts’. I would, which would be pointless because I know you would simply say something along the lines of ‘doesn’t matter, it’s still a women’s (childs) choice’ blah blah. Maybe not you personally, but I’ve read and heard it from plenty of pro-choicers. I think giving you the statistics on rape leading to forced abortions would have no impact on your belief.

    The ONLY argument is whether or not the unborn are human beings. If you don’t believe that then there is NOTHING to argue about, they are disposable and worthless, and abortion is simply a medical procedure. If you are wrong, then we are killing people because they are small and dependent on their mothers.

    “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

    Anonymous # 2, did you just refer to a woman as a ‘host’? It is people like you who reduce pregnancy to nothing more than a ‘subhuman receptacle’ drivel. Yes, you are nothing more than an oven to be abused by a man if that is how you view pregnancy.

    You can accuse us of being misogynist, but you are a misanthropist. Proof from your queen:

    “Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying
    … demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism …
    [Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the
    world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of
    others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead
    weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the
    stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world,
    it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant … We are paying
    for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing,
    unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born
    at all.”
    — Margaret Sanger. The Pivot of Civilization , 1922. Chapter on “The
    Cruelty of Charity,” pages 116, 122, and 189. Swarthmore College Library
    edition.
    “Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most
    adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and
    social problems.
    “I think you must agree … that the campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims
    of eugenics … Birth control propaganda is thus the entering wedge for the
    eugenic educator ….the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feebleminded,
    the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be
    held up for emulation.
    “On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and
    discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.”
    — Margaret Sanger. “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.”
    Birth Control Review , October 1921, page 5.

    Anonymous # 1, the pope is an intelligent man, (although that should not be the only consideration since Sanger was supposedly an intelligent person, and look at the filth that came out of her mouth), so you must use put your smart hat on to understand what he was actually saying. I agree it was misleading, but only to someone who dwells the superficial. Despite the concerted effort to provide condoms to Africa, HIV has spread. The pope never said that condoms should not be used, or that they should discontinue providing them, did he? He was looking at the big picture, and teaching people the dignity and value of another human being should supercede our ‘animal’ instincts to rub our genitals together. He puts a very high value on the sexual relationship, if you read any catholic teaching on sexuality, you would know that. The African people don’t stop having random sex when they have AIDS, and condoms give them a false sense of security and reduce their inhibition towards unprotected sex. Obviously, the pope is not so stupid he thinks that a person using a condom won’t transmit HIV, well, unless it breaks, in which case, condom use did increase the transmission of HIV. I’m sure we both want to help these people; we just have a fundamental difference in how to solve it. I get the feeling you think we want them to die, but you must remember, we are against eugenics, not for it.

    The pro choice community will end itself through abortion and the problem will resolve itself naturally.

    • emma

      Anonymous, why are you so obsessed with what goes on in my uterus? It’s a little bit creepy.

       

      I love the way you won’t cite any evidence. I’m going to take that to mean you don’t have any.

    • amanda-marcotte

      If sex bugs you out because animals do it, then what do you think about eating?  Animals do that, too, you know. 

       

      You know what animals don’t do?  Use contraception so they can have sex for pleasure.  If you don’t want to be like an animal, you should consider that option.

  • invalid-0

    It doesn’t matter whether the fetus is a human being or not. It really, really doesn’t. The only thing that matters with regards to abortion is the location of the fetus. Because if it is inside my uterus and I don’t want it there, then out it comes. The fact that it will die is just an unfortunate side effect caused by the lack of technology to keep it alive outside my uterus.

    But, just like it is against the law and unethical to compel one person to use their body to keep another born person alive, whether the first person wants their body used for that purpose or not, it is unethical and should be illegal to force a woman to use her body to gestate a fetus that she doesn’t want there. And no saying that consenting to sex means consent to pregnancy, because it doesn’t at all (and this doesn’t even get into the instances of rape). Consenting to sex is consenting to sex and nothing else.

  • invalid-0

    Unethical to use your body to keep another person alive? You apparently don’t even understand basic biology. It is sad you have bought into the lie that sex is meaningless, life is meaningless, and only your selfish needs matter. You have no compassion. Does your reasoning extend to other persons? Or just your own child? I suppose you like forced euthanasia and other forms killing unwanted human beings. Maybe you should start your own little concentration camp.

    • amanda-marcotte

      No one is saying that you have to get an abortion if you don’t want one.  Please don’t!  It’s your choice.  You are completely free to have as many children as your uterus can hold, and I won’t say a word.  (I suspect you don’t have a uterus, but just in case.) 

       

      What’s unethical is forcing other people to bear children to mollify your own freaked-out disgust with sexuality.

    • invalid-0

      Basically, what Amanda said. It is unethical to force someone to use their body to keep someone else alive. If you want to use your body for that purpose, then go right ahead, but you can’t force someone else to do so.

      I think you’re the one who either fails at basic reading comprehension, or are just being dishonest here.