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Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in Law, Politics, Women | 11 comments

Conservatives’ Women Troubles

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Conservatives’ Women Troubles
By Tina Dupuy

Grab your smelling salts and brace yourself—I’m going to talk about sex. Not graphically, the children don’t need to leave the room or anything. But I’m going to talk about the idea of sex as an underlying basis for policy.

In the wake of the truly misguided Hobby Lobby decision, which endowed a legal entity with the right to discriminate against working women of child-bearing age via a newly discovered corporate religious freedom, I was reminded that puritanical America is alive and on Twitter. What I found on my mentions feed were a lot of people (some women, mostly men) who felt like they wanted to offer the following advice: an aspirin between your knees is a great birth control…and affordable.

Translation: These Hobby Lobby women shouldn’t need birth control because they shouldn’t be having sex.

Some tried to sound more fiscally conservative and say, “I don’t care what they do as long as I don’t have to pay for it.”

Translation: They shouldn’t be having sex.

Women and their liberal brethren are upset because a billionaire employer gets to dictate which medications their female workers have to pay for out of pocket. But to the Right, it’s a rarely missed opportunity to re-litigate the 20th Century’s gradual acceptance of women first as voters, then as unregulated private citizens (Roe v. Wade), and then as equal participants in recreational sex. Not just being sexy; not as sexual objects; an not just as whore or virginal mother constructs, but as actual women being free to partake in their natural ability to desire and enjoy intercourse (and not be an outcast).

Some have pointed out (myself included) that if you are truly against abortion, you should be FOR what counters the need for abortion—reliable, cheap and widely available birth control. This assumes (wrongly) the pro-life movement is really about “life.” When it comes to children, their concern stops at birth and when it comes to women, their finger wagging starts at sex.

A few years ago for a story, I went undercover at a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), a fake clinic offering no health care services and misleading medical advice. Their guidebook, called the Pearson Manual, declares they’re battling Satan, and to them Satan is a “girl who wants to kill her baby” and therefore she doesn’t deserve real information. Because she’s Satan. The only way to not get pregnant, they said, was to not have sex. One of the pamphlets read, “True love protects 100 percent of the time.” Which is far from being medically sound. CPCs are billed as solely anti-abortion; they’re firstly anti-fornication.

It’s a little fun to watch Republicans try to be more libertarian. It’s not a great fit. Republicans like liberty when it’s something they agree with, like oil and gas company subsidies. Not so much for things they don’t agree with, like women having sex without consequences. It’s an actual fear. Conservative Christians fear women having sex freely will erode society. It’s somehow going to hurt the country if our womenfolk act like men in regards to their libido. To them, female sexuality is a matter of national security! Conservatives are against equal rights for women. Women are different, they argue, and they need to be protected. They’re pro-woman, sure, as long as said woman is not sexually liberated (i.e. a slut).

And that is what is going on in the minds of some of the jurists at the Supreme Court. Case in point: in the 2011 decision Snyder v. Phelps, which hinged on Fred Phelps’, of “God Hates Fags” fame, First Amendment right to picket funerals of dead marines, the court ruled 8-1 in Phelps’ favor. Justice Alito wrote the dissent: “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.” He continued, “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims like petitioner.”

And in last week’s McCullen v. Coakley the “buffer zone” law at abortion clinics—establishments that have been repeatedly bombed, shot and otherwise terrorized by “protestors” —how did Alito vote when it came to “vicious verbal assault” on loose women? Alito thinks that’s protected speech. The decision was unanimously in favor of the harassers.

The coinage of The War on Women denotes planning on the part of the right wing. It suggests some kind of coordination and agenda. I don’t think that’s what we have here. I think what we’re seeing is a visceral knee-jerk—a deeply rationalize prejudice against female sexuality.

It’s not a war—it’s just warped.

© Copyright 2014, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Tina Dupuy is a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist, investigative journalist, award-winning writer, stand-up comic, on-air commentator and wedge issue fan. Tina can be reached at [email protected]

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  • Bob Munck

    The spike in Robert’s hair in the cartoon absolutely made my day; the article was just frosting, albeit really good frosting.

    I’m guessing that the Founders assumed that the Supreme Court would exhibit wisdom every now and again. Those poor, deluded fools.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Oh mercy! I agree fully and feel just like those that would use rape for power issues the power-mongers are using the suppressed Puritanical nature of U.S. citizens to get what they want all to often.

    A segment referring to the “He Man Women Haters Club” on REO Speedwagon’s Tough Guys

  • PJBFan

    To be fair, not all of us on the social right-wing are a) anti-contraception, or b) believe that such laws should be limited to women.

    In all fairness, I support the restoration of anti-fornication and anti-adultery laws, and believe that punishment should be very severe in those cases. I believe, however, that such punishment should apply equally to men and to women. Men and women should be paying harsh fines, and facing real prison time for fornication and adultery, I believe. That is also why I promote same-sex marriage, and am vehemently opposed to no-fault divorce. I want a return to when families were the fundamental unit of society, because society worked then. I also believe that rapists should be facing capital punishment for their crimes.

    I am not anti-woman. and I strongly support actually ensconcing the ERA in the Constitution, to ensure that women are equally men. I am just very old-fashioned, and believe, in part from experience, that a couple should be married first before engaging in amorous activities such as coitus.

  • ordinarysparrow

    PJBFan… very true… not all right wingers are against contraceptives….

    Contraceptive use in America….


    • There are 62 million U.S. women in their childbearing years (15–44). [1] About 43 million of them (70%) are at risk of unintended pregnancy—that is, they are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method correctly and consistently.[2]

    • Couples who do not use any method of contraception have an approximately 85% chance of experiencing a pregnancy over the course of a year.[3]

    • The typical U.S. woman wants only two children. To achieve this goal, she must use contraceptives for roughly three decades.[4]

    • More than 99% of women aged 15–44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.[5]

    • Some 62% of all women of reproductive age are currently using a contraceptive method.[2]

  • PJBFan

    I look at it this way…if there is going to be fornication, then contraception should be not only used, but mandatory.

  • I have another link for you, ordianrysparrow: because it’s not just a war on women.

    You may remember Peter Garrett?

    ‘The Oil’ (Midnight Oil) hit it hard in the 70s and 80s.

    I saw the big bald man front row in the ’84. One of the best shows/messages I have ever seen.

    Never, don’t, not stop fighting for what is right.

  • Correction the 6′ 7″ Australian, bald singer, Peter Garrett, “who was a one-man furnace, radiating passion, wit and a bit of righteous indignation, always covered in sweat and dancing like a dervish with a cramp” was circa ’88. It sometimes is a blur …

  • ordinarysparrow

    Thanks KP… Midnight Oil followed several of the videos from your link, can see how that would of been a most interesting concert…I really hope we are all still around and vital in ten years from now, so much of the old is giving way to that which is yet to reveal… May it be good for you, may it be good for all…

  • Peace, chiefbirdy.

  • SteveK

    Peter Garrett, more than first meets the eye… Former Midnight Oil front man turned politician and Cabinet Minister.

  • Yeah, the big bald guy has been serving.

    Best concert I have ever seen.

    Problem is , I can’t vote for him. So I work in my community.

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