Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You Seem To Be Having Problems With This Notion...

So let me help.

I got along really well with most of my professors back in college, and my teachers in HS for that matter. Despite being ADHD, I was also gifted, making me every teacher's dream come true (so long as you could keep up with me. It wasn't uncommon for me to come into a class the day after the first day and know just as much about the subject as the professor did, and in some cases, more - for instance, I knew Malta existed, and I wrote a final paper on the nation of Malta. My history professor had never even heard of the country, despite the important role it played in the Middle Ages). But the people I got along with really well were my female professors; I would talk with them after class. Anyway, I remember seeing a while back a button that one of my professors wore - it was black with white text and read: "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people too."

Theocrats have a very difficult time with this concept. "People", to them, is "fertilized soil" into which one plants a garden of children. You, as a woman, are nothing more than an incubator with legs, to make more babies in the name of the LAWD JAYSUS.

For instance, the Duggar family, who has 20 kids.

Or, rather, they're expecting number 20. They have 19 before that.

Which, for just about everyone, is 16.5 too fucking many.

They're part of a movement called "Quiverfull". See, the name says it all - your children mean nothing to God other than arrows that he can throw at the secular society. So it's the job of the family to produce children by the metric fuckton (that's a scientific term, mind you), so the Good Lawd has something starve when the planet can't support them anymore. This movement is really fucking warped. I mean, holy shit, I've never seen the patriarchy reassert it's dominance (with the exception of the harassment female bloggers and commenters get. Seriously; that shit's fucked up. Just like the assholes posting it) like this.

These people don't need to be cheered. They need to have their heads examined. How on earth can you love 20 kids? Give each of them your undivided attention, care for them, and show them all that you love them or take care of them without state help? I'm all for giving state help to people who need it, and I'm not about to judge those because it's not my place to say who needs it and who doesn't. But there comes a point when you wonder if these people are trying to make anything more than a bunch of breeders for themselves.

And that's the thing. This creepy movement espouses that women are nothing but - they're breeders. They're vaginas with the sole purpose of spitting out a new child every twelve months or so. There's no responsiblity here, there's no leeway given to the impact you're having on society. Fire and forget - spit 'em out and let God sort 'em.

And it's not their choice. None of this is their choice.

That's the point of this. I've heard one to many theocrats argue that liberals attack women for wanting to be stay at home moms, or wanting to have children, or wanting to be feminine, or whateverthefuckelse they're trying to impose on women. Whenever someone criticizes something like the Quiverfull movement, the immediate response is to criticize the criticizer as being "anti-choice."

Mr. Normal: "Oh, but see, there's more proof that you liberals and feminists are anti-women! You're against their choice to stay at home and be good, Biblical homemakers! You want to force them into the work force, and take them away from their families!"

Mr. Normal up there is bolded because that's the projection.

I've pretty much been raised by women. I value those who impacted my life and tolerated me like they did and still do, and how they helped shape me. I value it by showing my respect towards them as people, and realizing that just because they're women doesn't mean that's all they are, or all they'll ever be, and that being women has no impact on their capabilities or facilities.

I've pointed out before the Right-wingers like to hid behind women so they can lob misogynist comments. It helps them feel justified to have a woman agreeing with their twisted notion of how this whole socio-gender thing works, without realizing that the only reason the woman agrees with them is because she was raised to agree with them, and that's all she knows. Or if it's not, because her misogyny is so internalized, it's very difficult reaching her. Take for instance any female commenter on the Right with the possible exception of Ann Coulter, whom I view as the ultimate troll: the amount of internalized misogyny inside of each of those women is not funny. They actively work against their own best interests, because they were taught to, from birth, by all the important people in their life. Now that they're older, they carry on the tradition.

Quiverfull is an example of that. These women are not choosing to live that life. They got railroaded into it, they were blackmailed, emotionally coerced, or simply straight up fucking lied to, and told that this was what a "proper woman" does. Never mind the whole notion of a "proper woman" is 32 Baskin Robin's flavors of fucked up. The Right likes to paint this like it was a "choice," when really, it was anything but. Can you really consider walking down the only path you've ever been exposed to in your entire life a "choice," especially when you've been told from birth that all the other paths are wrong? It's no choice. It never was.

At the risk of Godwinning myself (pfft. Like that's ever stopped me before), this reminds me of the famous medal that the Nazis gave out to the (Aryan) woman who turned out the most kids, in an effort to expedite the production of the master race. Mothers who had the most Nazi children would receive a medal from the state. In fact, this whole idea that women live for the goal of having children and pleasing the husband is very Fascist; I posted on Fascism and the romanticism behind it a while back. Fascism is male oriented, male dominated, and seeks to silence women because they're an attack on the very structure of Fascism (male fantasy run wild. Certain male fantasy, I should say - it's not my fantasy, but I'm every bit the woman I am the man, and am proud to consider myself such. It's not my gay friend's fantasy by any stretch; people like him are usually on the receiving end of that fantasy, and it's not fantasy in any kind of good way, because they likewise defy the whole "male dominance" meme Fascist shits, and it's not the fantasy of a lot of men out there). Quiverfull, while not explicitly linked to the Nazis and not about to carry out a genocide (AFAIK), is still very Fascist in it's orientation. Theofascist, I believe is the word.

But anyway, back on topic; the Right seems confused on what "Choice" means.

For instance, look at how many of them are out there kvetching right now about how they got their asses handed to them, on a crummy-ass platter, with a side of shit-sandwich, last night. Apparently, Planned Parenthood was out en masse, in Mississippi, and that's why that vile and wretched "personhood" amendment lost. That's right. The people on the political Right apparently believe Planned Parenthood has political power in Mississippi. There's no way that this bill would loose without some kind of grand conspiracy behind it - because, you know, there's no way there are decent human beings in Mississippi who care about women. It wasn't the choice of the people.

We can take this back to 2008, and Obama's election. That wasn't the choice of the people either. People would never choose something the those on the Right don't believe in.

Therefore, women would never make the choice to work outside of the home, or want to live lives as independent individuals, without some outside forcing forcing them into it. That outside force is feminism (dun-dun-DUN).

Of course, those of us outside of the hermetically sealed bubble of warped reality that the Right lives in can see it for just the opposite; the women who do things that the right considers "normal" are usually forced into it, because it's all they know and all they've ever known. They got the blinders slapped onto their face, and by the time they're old enough to see it, they're resentful and mean. I mean, I've known some tough old ladies who don't take no shit in my life, but seriously - these right-wing women can be downright cruel. And because of the way the patriarchy works, all that cruelty is aimed squarely at the younger generation of women, who dare think that they can get out of the mold and take their blinders off. Atwood, in her novel The Handmaid's Tale, explored this; the women with the cattle prods were by far more efficient and cruel than any of the men in that in enforcing the vicious, anti-woman social order.

Oh, yeah, and the Right hides behind these old women too, and uses them to justify it's existing system.

It's one thing to consciously be able to make the choice to be a homemaker and a mother, knowing there are other choices out there for you. You want to, that's awesome. It's an important job that needs more respect and acknowledge; homemakers get a lot of flak from society, probably about as much as anyone else who does something good for society. That's your choice. And I respect that. It's a dignified one.

To choose to be a parent and have a job? That's a choice, too, and it's another honorable one. I recall reading a quote by Phyllis Assfly about how she'd tell her daughter that "you can't be a brain surgeon and mother at the same time". I'm pretty sure she's wrong, not only because she's not a brain surgeon, but because being a mother means you have to take on a bunch of roles. Brain surgeon is probably somewhere on that list. Given how damage prone kids are, I'd be shocked if it wasn't. It'll be tough, yea, and society could go a long-ass way to making it a lot easier on women who want what they view as the best of both worlds - a family and independence - but to step into this realm is making a choice.

And if you don't want kids at all, and you get fulfillment out of you career? You know what? Kudos to you. Again, your choice. I know a lot of women who are like that. I get frustrated at those stupid romantic comedies who portray the woman as being this big shot career woman who needs a man in her life to fulfill it, or is so overwhelmed with her career that she misses the small things and needs a magical guy to come along and show her the "proper way" is with a husband. That's garbage. If you don't want it, you don't take it. If you don't want kids, you don't have to have children. It works for men - why not women, too?

This is choice. This is what choice looks like - any one of those three or more, to those of you playing at home.

But to be forced into the role, because you don't know any other alternative, of if you do, you were taught from birth that everything else was wrong before you got the chance to explore them yourself? No, that's not a choice. It never was. It never will be.

Republicans, Right-wingers, and others have difficulty understanding how this works. You make a choice in your life after weighing all of the options. It's something you have conscious control over, because, hello, it's your life. Whether you're male or female, whether you're boy or girl, whether you're any of those or somewhere in between. The Right doesn't like giving people control over anything, especially their own lives.

This is one of the reasons they have a problem with what "consent" and "choice" look like. You need someone to tell you what to do. I'd have more respect for them if they just fucking admitted that; you don't need choice, you need someone telling you what to do with your life, male or female (because rigid gender roles have no room in this black-and-white views). I'd still call them wrong and immature, but at least there'd be a modicum of respect. But they don't. In their continuing Orwellian war on "language," "choice" means "having the blinders slapped on your head and being forced down the only path you know or were ever given the opportunity to explore", while "forced" means "being allowed the opportunity to explore different paths and understand things from a different perspective."

It's a right mighty fucked up world that they live in.

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