Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sleeping Feminist, Awake!

Maybe we should call it Slut Shame 2012.

Or My Interest in Your Uterus Is Greater Than Your Interest in Your Uterus 2012.

Or Let's Forget That Half Our Voters Are Women Plus The Additional Men Who Are Happy To Have Birth Control 2012.

As if this couldn't get any stranger, Arizona is considering a bill to allow employers to intrude between a woman and her gynecologist and, what's worse, fire her if they don't like the medical decisions she is making in her private life.

Dear People Who Think This Is a Good Idea,

I can't decide if your goal is to shame women into refraining from premarital sex and then refraining from sex for the sake of sex with her spouse. Perhaps you think babies are so grand that no one should control the number that they have. Perhaps you really enjoy blaming parents for the cycle of poverty, violence, and underachievement their children find themselves in, without giving a woman the tools she needs to advance in society and, in the end, provide the children she already has with better opportunities.

Maybe you just really like hearing the details of your female employee's menstrual flow? How many tampons is she soaking an hour? Does she feel lightheaded? How many cysts are on her ovaries?

Inquiring employers want to know.

If you would like women to have more babies, here are some ideas that might have been successful:

  1. Paid maternity leave.
  2. Childcare subsidies. 
  3. Lower the cost of university education.
  4. Improve public schools.
  5. Move back to a midwifery model of birth for the vast majority of normal, healthy pregnancies.
  6. Improve access to adoption for the many couples who would love to have a child: gay families, older parents, etc.
Debbie Lesko, the Republican who introduced the legislation, said "government should not be telling...employers to do something that goes against their moral beliefs."

Oh, but Debbie, we do it all the time. What about that employer who doesn't think women should work outside the home? I am legally protected from his bias. He does not control my personal morals or behavior, even though he may pay my salary. I imagine the EEOC would have something to say about a woman dismissed for pursuing hormonal birth control.

Over 20 states have allegedly felt the threat of Shariah law so acutely that legislation was proposed to prohibit Shariah law from becoming state-accepted jurisprudence. The rest of us rolled our eyes at a solution in search of a problem. After all, religious beliefs don't trump civil law and liberties, do they?

Do they?

In the end, it would behoove you to accept that what happens in a woman's body is between her, her doctor or midwife, and her partner. You wouldn't like it if you employer requested a doctor's note about your viagra, would you?


A Voter, But Not a Broodmare

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