At Violet Socks’ place, there is an incredible discussion going on regarding why mainstream feminists trashed Sarah Palin so viciously, and even made up lies about her to justify their hatred. There are about 300 comments in response. I highly recommend that you read it if you have the time.
Make no mistake, soon-to-be-ex-Governor Palin can easily be legitimately criticized on the issues. As a liberal, I don’t agree with her on much. But the amount of manufactured outrages that were passed around, from Trig’s parentage (still going on, at least in Andrew Sullivan’s diseased mind) to the rape kit smear to the banning books smear, all passed on by feminists…it is utterly baffling to Dr. Socks. Why all the hatred and vitriol for this woman? Why couldn’t they just tell the truth about her and have done with it?
Although there was no doubt some elitism involved (her accent! her lack of Ivy leage education! that hair!), to me, the answer is clear, and comes down to one word: Pro-Life.
It is an unfortunate reality that people in the pro-life movement have been the source of a great deal of pain for American women in the past few decades. They are the ones who develop smear campaigns to label us pro-abortion (we are not; no one is!) instead of pro-choice; and of course, there is a whole “abortion is murder” meme that has been extremely successful, even to the point that people in the pro-choice community believe it.
But the name-calling is not the worst of it; not by a long shot.
For those of us who are firmly in the pro-choice camp – that is, who believe that the woman’s choice reigns supreme when it comes to her own body – the election of Barack Obama was quite a blow. We were paying attention to the way he claimed women should consult a committee (of men, of course) before she made her choice about her own reproductive status. We noticed that he did not pick a new HHS secretary for quite some time after his inauguration, which meant that Bush’s “conscience rule” has been in effect since the end of last year – and although the 30-day comment period expires today, the right-wing fundiegelicals seem to be the only ones commenting. They are screaming to the high heavens that Obama should not roll back the rule because they feel otherwise they will be “discriminated against.”
I have news for the meme-meisters of the evangelical movement. The government telling my doctor or pharmacist that they don’t have to inform me of all of my options regarding my own body, or that they have the right to deny me health care or birth control is discriminatory TOWARDS ME. This “conscience rule” keeps women in the dark, and prevents them from getting medical procedures and prescriptions that they paid for. To meddle in the lives of women and their loved ones to this degree is an inexcusable use of government power.
Besides, in order to prove discrimination, wouldn’t these “Christian” doctors have to prove some kind of harm was caused by rolling back the rule? Believe me, they do not want to play this game. The harm endured by a woman who is forced to bear her rapist’s baby, or bear any unwanted child, is lifelong. The “harm” endured by a doctor or pharmacist who is “forced” to do his or her job, the job for which he or she is paid, is simply non-existent; and here’s why.
I have said it before many times: Republicans are really, really fantastic at framing. They take an issue, and put it in such a way that if you try to disagree, you put yourself into a verbal noose that can’t be untied. One example is the phrase ,”I support the troops!” That is an essentially innocuous statement, but when KKKarl Rove gets a hold of it, it becomes, “I support the war in Iraq, and George W. Bush, and if you don’t, then why do you hate America?”
I had an interesting exchange with my online frenemy, “Republican in Seattle,” on my recent post “On Consciences, and Rules.” (I swear we’ll do karaoke someday, Republican!) Her tactics were most interesting. She tried to redefine the words “pro-choice” as meaning, “pro-EVERYONE’s choice.” This was her logic: If you’re REALLY pro-choice, you’ll support the choice of the pharmacist to deny a woman emergency contraception or birth control based on conscience.
Uh-uh. That’s not what “pro-choice” means. “Pro-choice” means pro – the woman’s choice. It means the woman’s choice is the most important when it comes to reproductive issues. How could it not be – it’s her life, her body, and her baby (or not).
The idea that my pro-choice position means I have to give a pharmacist power over my body is classic Republican doublethink. I expected her next to tell me that “some animals are more equal than others,” or that “we have always been at war with East Asia.”
But you see what she did there? If you’re not paying attention, these types of word games could really sway you into thinking that “pro-choice” means…well, its exact opposite.