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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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 *
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.