Maybe the rest of the world has forgotten that we are still in the throes of a deep economic recession-depression. I haven’t.
There is a growing number of homeless people in my community, parked on the side of the street, lumbering down sidestreets with their carts and rucksacks. Up until 5 years ago the “homeless” used to be young, disenfranchised Euro-trash who descended on our state during the winter months. Now it is the lost middle-aged person or child rummaging the trash. Every day I see a new street resident, one who doesn’t look like they’ve been homeless long, but clearly without good hygiene, clothing or a safe place to stay.
Yet, the U.S. Congress and my state’s Legislature seem hell-bent on worrying themselves over abortion laws and birth control regulation. This is not a new political volley, but one that seems so damn out of touch with what is really needed in our country. Rather than address the economic needs of the people, policy-makers are trying out divisive politicking tactics.
It is no secret here that I do not agree with lawmakers who want to limit a woman’s right to choose an abortion as a medically viable and legal option to control her reproductive – and therefore whole life – destiny. I can understand the misguided attempts to sanctify human-like qualities of the pre-born, but the real lives of unwanted children versus the policies sprung from such idealism make it far from an acceptable notion that women should not be afforded reproductive freedom.
Reading about lawmakers who target the Girl Scouts and other secular girl-positive groups as being, “a radical organization that promotes abortions and homosexuality” makes me want to gag. Most Girl Scouts are young, prepubescent girls, so I cannot help but be weirded out by a grown man – a legislator, no less – who connects the mission of the organization to build, “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” to any kind of sexuality. That is a pedophilia kinda gross. And this week, Rush Limbaugh (whom I would normally ignore as the freaking drug-addled lunatic that he is) began a really ugly screed against Sandra Fluke the Georgetown law student who testified about the need for birth control that goes beyond just preventing pregnancy. The nasty commentary included typical Limbaugh name-calling tactics; but these seemed a little too heavy-handed, even for Rush. He called her a, “slut” and a “prostitute” and when the uproar about his childishness was at a fever pitch Rush delivered his real message to the American public, “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
But that’s the point of these attacks against women and girls, isn’t it? To start girls out right from childhood, in having us believe that we are second-class, sexualized citizens; and that to engage in courageous, confidence, and character building activities is to break down the social morass of an idealized past where women subjugated themselves to men. These attacks are absolutely connected to the growing number of women in managerial/supervision positions of employment after graduating from college in record numbers past their male counterparts in a time of great economic instability in the U.S. and around the world.
What I really cannot understand is why this lawmaker and his similarly inclined buddies are not the least bit worried about the real economic problems of the day and wrapped up in what the Girl Scouts are doing with all those profits from Thin Mints sales or how women come to terms with the very difficult decisions of family building.
And if you’re not as outraged as I am about this nonsense,
Or, at the very least, go buy some damn Girl Scout cookies.