While my hiatus from the culture-at-large has been sort of charming, I have recently achieved a level of status at work that allows me to surf the internet and view the world outside the box office. Of course, I turned to links on The Contrarian for media coverage, found myself meandering through news sites, and found this story.
. . .which evokes in me a white-hot rage. However, it also makes me thankful that public forums — like blogs — exist, because Lila Rose is getting humongous quantities of money from right-wing groups to act as a mouthpiece for the so-called “Pro-Life” movement. As seen here, the attitudes and activism of people presuming to know the will of God inspire a neglect of women’s health issues, which in turn contribute to the deaths of women in the U.S. and worldwide.
Arguably, a woman’s reproductive health is the dominant heath issue of her life. Women, regardless of their level of sexual activity, are significantly impacted by the function or non-function of their reproductive organs. And the circumstances under which a woman engages in sexual activity, becomes pregnant, carries a child to term, births it and rears it, have significant cultural and economical impact — not just upon her but also upon her community. The same is true for a woman NOT engaging in those pursuits. What kind of first world culture do we have where half our population cannot expect basic levels of health and safety? Sadly, massive chunks of funding for preventative and emergency services for women can be slashed by a self-righteous 20 year-old shithead with a video camera.
The fact that ANYONE gives such credence to a 20 year-old woman’s political views is stunning, but American conservatives are desperate to make rock stars out of pretty women, exploiting their ignorance and hate, and selling their sexuality (which in their ideology is referred to as “chastity” and “family values.”) The fact that these culture warriors hope that an Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, or the aforementioned Lila Rose will inspire a new generation of women to political action is insulting.
The supposed goal of Rose’s sting operation was to expose Planned Parenthood employees’ non-compliance with statutory-rape mandatory reporting. And while she did discover some examples of this behavior, she perhaps not unwittingly creates it. After all, she is vying to cut funds of the very advocacy organizations that may assist a young women in the court systems and perhaps even foster care scenarios. Even if alleged “rape” was a consensual sexual act, we live in a culture that considers it perfectly reasonable for three women a day to die at the hands of their husbands and lovers. People who work in social services in the realm of women’s sexuality understand that women are rarely protected by the legal system. The dominant view is that unwanted pregnancy is a result of immoral and irresponsible acts by women (who also should not have access to birth control and disease prevention), while what her husband does to her body is a “family issue.”
My point is that women’s issues will always be in crisis as long as there are women campaigning against women. It is ignorance, and a lot of it comes from the insane rhetoric those like Rose espouse yet appallingly and apparently do not themselves comprehend. After all, how could an ideological movement called “Pro-Life” be so shockingly misnamed? Rose’s actions are simply anti-woman and anti-humanity, and to stand up against her and the shocking amounts of money she receives from her ersatz A&R department, anyone who knows a woman must be informed and speak out.
Feminism has not been a hotly debated topic in recent years, but clearly, women’s issues are still of vital importance. I want those of us who have a certain amount of facts and understanding to talk about this. We’re not all right-wing rocks stars, but we are a force. And we have to come out of that closet where feminism is a dirty word.
If you’re on the fence about the urgency of equality issues, consider some of the statistics in any of the subjects in the left column here.
Feminists are the REAL Pro-Lifers, dammit. So get the fuck out of my health clinic and get on the peace train.