I bet you never expected Republicans to be . . . the Spanish Inquisition!
If you've been reading the papers or watching the TV lately, you've probably seen mentions of the blowback against the Right-wing anti-sex-for-pleasure crowd created by this horrific, invasive, unnecessary bill in Virginia. In brief, the right-wing jerk-weeds who grabbed power in 2010 due to people actually believing that the Republican politicians cared about jobs, have been using their new-found power in Virginia (and lots of other places) not to create jobs, but to fight abortion, stomp on unions, and lots of other pet right-wing social projects.
The thing about Virginia is, the legislature was working on a bill to force women to get an ultrasound before an abortion. And because the only way to fulfill the requirements of the bill is to force a woman to have a probe stuck up her vagina, this is basically state-sponsored rape. (Yup, that's a harsh word to use, but what do you call it when a women is forced to have something stuck into her against her will? That's the word that fits.) The story went viral, and caused a huge amount of outrage.
Let me just say right out: anyone who denies that this bill is meant to shame women and make abortion more difficult is a liar, net. This is an unnecessary medical procedure that the state is forcing on women against their and their doctor's wishes. I find it hard to imagine anything more invasive or "big government." But then, the Republicans don't give a crap about their principles when guns, god, gays, and abortion are involved--any means fair and foul to advance their agenda. (It's the same with regard to "activist judges" too, by the way; they are fine with "activist judges" so long as those judges are making "activist" conservative decisions. But I digress.)
I've been thinking about this a lot, recently, and wondered why this time this issue evoked such a strong response, but hasn't previously. And I have a theory:
Recently, Republicans have been not only fighting against abortion rights, they've been fighting against contraception, too. And I think that this finally achieved a level of viral attention is that it became obvious, even to boneheaded guys like myself, that Republicans wanted to a) prevent you from having sex unless it was to make babies, and b) wanted to force you to have those babies whether you wanted them or not. No sex for fun anymore; you get your girlfriend knocked up, and you're a Parent, like it or not.
Now I'm seeing a lot of women "frame" this issue as a "women's health" issue, and honestly, I think that's a big mistake. A guy--even a relatively enlightened, Birkenstock and ear-ring wearing, UC Santa Cruz graduating, in-touch-with-his-feelings guy like me--hears "women's health", and tunes out. Not because we don't want our female partners to be healthy; of course we do! But under "women's health" comes a lengthy list of things that guys most assuredly don't want to think about--stirrups, and mammograms, and "pap smears" (whatever the hell they are), and Midol, and tampons, and "sanitary napkins", and maxi-pads, and all that other stuff that guys simply don't want to think about.
You may think I'm denigrating all the stuff that women have to deal with; I assure you I'm not. No. What I'm saying is, as much as those things and many more are part of the life of every woman, they are also in that category in a guy's head: "Stuff to not deal with". You can yell that that's not fair, and that guys should care, and insist on parity with all the stuff guys complain about ("Don't you get it; that thing hit me in the balls!"), and you'd be right. I'm not talking fair, here; I'm talking about a lizard brain reaction. "I have an OB appointment;" "I'll drive you and then wait outside and I absolutely don't want you to tell me anything other than, 'I'm okay'."
But that's why the recent anti-contraception push and the Virginia law actually seemed to make inroads on guys. "Wait a minute; you want me to become a dad every time I do the beast with two backs with my gf? Are you out of your mind?" And then they want to rape your gf if she has the temerity to get an abortion. Yeah, that penetrates your average guy's brain: the threat of forcing him to become a dad. That gets his attention.
So framing it as "women's health" is a loser, in my opinion. Frame it as "Republicans are against sex;" or "Republicans want to force you to become a Dad"; or "Republicans don't want you to get laid unless you want to be a Dad." All of those will make an impact (believe me!); but "women's health"? No; a guy will shunt it off into the "not my problem" pile, and that'll be that. Not fair. Not reasonable. But I really think it's true.
So join with me, please, when I tell all those Republicans out there: I like sex! I enjoy sex! And I don't want to make a baby every time I have sex with my partner! And by the way, if you try to rape my partner with that damn probe, I'll beat the crap out of you!
Say it loud and say it often: I like sex, and it's none of your business, Republicans!
I'm just sayin'.