Designated Driver of North America

Right-Wing War on Women: Next Target, Single Mothers

Don Pridemore hates single women

If your husband abuses you, it's your fault. Smugly self-satisfied Don Pridemore says so.

There is no doubt that the American right wing hates women — women with education, women who vote, women who have sex, women who won’t stay with men who abuse them — oh, you name the woman, the right wing hates her. Except, of course, the obedient little right-wing ladies who do everything their superior male masters tell them, and who spout the ideology like good little puppets.

The latest target on the right wing’s “let’s wipe out all women’s independence” agenda? Single moms: Wisconsin GOP Legislators Go After Single Mothers.

Katha Pollitt describes a proposed bill in that formerly progressive and enlightened state:

…it directs the state to prepare educational materials that blame “nonmarital parenthood” for child abuse and neglect and “emphasize the role of fathers in the primary prevention” of same. Don’t be fooled by that gender-neutral abstraction “parenthood.” This bill is clearly aimed at shaming and blaming single mothers. “Fathers” after all prevent harm to children, so logically the only parents left to cause it are… yes, those unmentionable women who have the babies without a wedding ring to show for it.

Funny how these right-wing clowns all seem to think that every woman’s child is produced by immaculate conception. There is never, ever a man involved in actually creating the child, or if he’s around, he is never, ever to “blame” for the child’s existence or anything that happens to the youngster. And however nasty he is if he’s there — any problems with the child are the mother’s fault.

Always. By definition. Mother=everything that is wrong with a child, every and any time. When these nasties talk about venerating motherhood — they are lying. Every and any time.

And what happens to battered women, who would otherwise decide to leave the abusive man (why, there he is!) and become a single mother to, you know, possibly save her life and the life of the children? Leaving that abusive man was the wrong choice, say the authors of the bill:

Pridemore goes farther. Women lucky enough to have landed a husband should stay with them, even if those men are violent. What should battered wives do? Love their husbands more! “If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” Pridemore advises. Because nothing says “prevention of child abuse and neglect” like wife beating.

Because after all — to HELL with the woman actually surviving and having the right to choose and all that stuff that rightfully belongs only to men! Any woman who tries to claim equal citizenship, survival, and human choice is a bad, bad woman.

And the right wing hates her. Every single one of her.


March 27, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Every Right-Wing Lawmaker Should Hear This

Lauren Zuniga, To the Oklahoma Lawmakers: a poem

“If you want to write your Bible on my organs, then you’d better be there when I am down on my knees, pleading for relief from your morality”

And lest we miss ONE WORD of this, here is the transcript of the poem, from the Life V 2.0 blog: Activism in spoken word

To the Oklahoma law makers who will force all women to receive an ultrasound prior to an abortion.

Why don’t you print out the ultrasound pictures in pastel frames.
Make me take them home and hang them on my wall as a souvenir of the night that is branded like red coals to flesh on my memory.
The night when his hand pressed so hard against my shoulder blade I felt more intimacy with asphalt.
Why don’t ya knit the baby a sweater?
Make me take it out and smell it on the anniversary of this day for the rest of my life to remind me that I chose to be a murderer
instead of bringing a child into a world where we kill people in the name of freedom, but imprison people in the name of life.
You could pass laws for that too, you know?
It’s bad enough that I can still see his handprints on my thighs.
But now I can see your probing eyes scraping across my cervix, tattooing my womb with shame.
Why don’t you send me a card every Mother’s Day to remind me of how wretched I am? Sign it, ‘Your friends at the state capital making sure you know we actually do something all day with your tax dollars. “
Look, I know it can get boring, between the porker’s association breakfasts and the oil and gas industry lunch.
And I know you need something to do, between screwing up our election system and passing off your racism as an immigration bill.
But I need a little more from you than a piece of paper.
I mean, if you really want to show me that you believe in faith, family, and freedom, then why don’t you come along for the ride.
I could’ve used you that night.
After the football game.
Him finally showing me attention
Me grasping for acceptance
Tell me I’m special
So when he hands me the next drink, I don’t look to the bottom of it for approval.
Tell me to scream louder
So someone might find us
Wrap me in a blanket when he’s done
Take me home.
My body a tapped keg
My heart the grimey gym floor after the pep rally
Give me the words to say to my parents when I come out of the bathroom with a plus sign on the stick
And he won’t even talk to me
The school hallway is a canyon
Silence echoes in my skull
And I don’t even know what to do.
Tell me what to do.
Sit with me at the clinic
The ticker plucking away at my innocence
Give me the revelation
That the blip on the screen
Is actually a baby.
Take me home when I change my mind.
Take me to the doctor every month
Hold my hand in the delivery room
I will name him after you, if you will help me do my homework
When he’s crying in the next room.
Give me food stamps,
Pay my gas bills,
Put him in an afterschool program
Where he learns he can sell my pain pills
Have mercy on him when he goes to court
Give me strength when they sentence him
If you want to play God, Mr. and Mrs. Lawmakers,
If you want to write your Bible on my organs
Then you better be there
When I am down on my knees
pleading for relief
from your morality


March 23, 2012 Posted by | * Theocracy, * War against women | , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: One Doctor Speaks, and WHERE ARE THE REST??

If doctors don't speak, we WILL blame them

At least one doctor is speaking loudly and clearly about all these state-sanctioned rape laws that right-wing Republicans are happily creating in their War on Women. Good for him.

An anonymous physician posted on John Scalzi’s widely read blog on Tuesday: Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds

He has no compunction whatsoever about calling this rape. At least he understands the definition of rape, even if male Republican legislators do not. (Except I think they do. I think these men are deeply aroused at the thought of universal raping of women they disapprove of.) Anyway, this is what he says:

I do not feel that it is reactionary or even inaccurate to describe an unwanted, non-indicated transvaginal ultrasound as “rape”. If I insert ANY object into ANY orifice without informed consent, it is rape. And coercion of any kind negates consent, informed or otherwise.

Doctor? Thank you.

And he counsels fellow doctors on all sorts of means of enacting civil disobedience.

It is our responsibility, as always, to protect our patients from things that would harm them. Therefore, as physicians, it is our duty to refuse to perform a medical procedure that is not medically indicated. Any medical procedure. Whatever the pseudo-justification.

Amen and amen! And he has no illusions whatsoever about the role of doctors in the minds of the nasty Republicans who are devising this state-sanctioned rape:

Fellow physicians, once again we are being used as tools to screw people over. This time, it’s the politicians who want to use us to implement their morally reprehensible legislation. They want to use our ultrasound machines to invade women’s bodies, and they want our hands to be at the controls. Coerced and invaded women, you have a problem with that? Blame us evil doctors. We are such deliciously silent scapegoats.

Yep. That’s it exactly. The right-wingers always use someone else to do their dirty work (and take the blame) whenever they can manipulate things that way.

This doctor then describes several ways that doctors can engage in this civil disobedience. It’s a good list. And I hope thousands and thousands of responsible doctors follow it — you know, until we can throw these Republican Rapists out of office once and for all.

So. One very good, thinking doctor with a conscience has spoken aloud. That’s great.

Now, where are the rest of you, and when are YOU going to fight back against this state-enforced rape and their use of you as the scapegoats??

Because, doctors, all of you who haven’t made a peep since this started? If you don’t disobey these laws or even speak against them — we women WILL blame you. And we’ll be right to do so.


March 22, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , | 2 Comments

Right-Wing War on Woman: Lest We Think Canada’s Wingnuts Aren’t Also Trying To Criminalize Women’s Choice

Yep, that’s right. Canada can’t get smug about the absolute insanity being perpetrated against women in the United States. We’ve got our own anti-woman crowd up here too — and by golly, now they’ve got a parliamentary majority.

What that means is that they have more seats in parliament than the total of seats for all other parties combined. And what that means is that they can do. anything. they. want.

Anything. And nobody can vote them down and defeat them on a “non-confidence motion” to force an election where we can turf them for good. That was the beauty of keeping them in a minority government for the past few years: if they became truly atrocious, the other parties could combine votes against them and force an election.

But not now. So what are they doing?

One of their crowd, MP Stephen Woodworth from Kitchener, Ontario, has introduced Motion M-312, bent on analyzing the definition of a “human being” in subsection 223(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code, which says this:

“A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother,whether or not (a) it has breathed; (b) it has an independent circulation; or (c) the navel string is severed.”

This motion is clearly aimed at alloting “personhood” to an unborn fetus. This crowd has tried the same thing before, and been defeated. But I guess they’re encouraged by the rabid rage of their heroes and anti-woman brethren to the south, and now that nobody can stop them from doing anything they want — they’re trying again.

Joyce Arthur, of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), has explained wonderfully how this motion and its hoped-for outcome violates women’s rights, in this article, Counter Arguments Against Motion M-312: “Women Can’t Be Trusted”.

The ARCC has also provided a sample letter to oppose Motion M-312, for women to use as a basis for their own letter-writing campaigns.

So we’ve got our own battles to fight too, to retain our independence and personal sovereignty against the onslaughts of these right-wing men and their Stockholm Syndromed women.


March 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: States Encourage Doctors to LIE to Stop Women’s Abortion Choices

Those well-studied, fact-filled state legislators in Kansas and New Hampshire have now either passed or are about to pass bills that force doctors to lie to women wanting abortions. These doctors, against all the medical information they have, are still obviously not as well-informed as the right-wing, non-medical, professional politicians about how women’s bodies react to various procedures.

Therefore doctors will be forced to lie to women and tell them the untruth that abortion increases their risk of breast cancer.

See this article by Eric Zorn, in the Chicago Tribune: The undisputed nerve of anti-abortion state legislators

Zorn lists medical organization after medical organization that describes studies showing no extra risk of breast cancer for women who’ve had abortions than there is for women who have not. But those non-medical right-wing professional politicians still know better than medical researchers, I guess.

Or they gnash their teeth at the thought that women are independent and can actually choose both when to have sex and when to be parents. And — worst crime of all, which the right-wing male Republican professional politicians absolutely cannot abide — they are not under the control of men.

This resentment has been festering for a long, long time, and right-wing men have finally found a way (they think) to get those damn uppity women back under male control.

One of the methods is by coercing doctors to go against all their knowledge — and lie.


March 21, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

War on Women: Arizona Hatred Legislator Wants to Throw out Patient Confidentiality

Terri Proud

Sure, let's savage doctor-patient confidentiality for our anti-woman politics!

Note this article in the Huffington Post:

Abortion Bill: Arizona GOP Legislator Says Women Should Witness Abortions

It reports that in an email from right-wing Arizona Republican Terri Proud, she says this:

“Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a “surgical procedure”. If it’s not a life it shouldn’t matter, if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care, and don’t we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else.

No, chickie, we do not “demand it everywhere else.” Everywhere else, we respect a patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality.

But these right-wingnut clowns, as was evidenced in my previous post, are eager to throw out and literally savage the medical profession and all doctors. And now, clearly, they want to invade the bastion of privacy between patients and doctors — all to attack women and make political points.

And you know why Ms. Proud (a woman! shame on her!) likes this idea. If such a bill were to pass, they’d get to punish and humiliate TWO independent woman at once! They would try to shame and inflict mental torment on the woman who wants an abortion, and inflict utter humiliation and public display on the woman already having one. Bonus!

There is no end to the right-wing hatred of women. And to see a woman helping these idiot men attack other women is the real shame.

Shame on you, Terri Proud!

March 21, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Medical Community Speaks Up — FINALLY

How many months has it been, again, that the neo-Con Republicans and their ilk have been attacking women right and left, with opposition to contraception (a battle that women won forty years ago, for gods’ sake) and unnecessary, invasive medical procedures meant to do nothing except try to shame women and punish them for having sex?

Well, finally the medical establishment is starting to make itself heard.

Medical community: Oppose the mandatory ultrasound bills

In helping to delay the Pennsylvania mandatory ultrasound bill, the medical community there made some important points:

  1. Ramming this bill down women’s throats — pardon me, up their vaginas — would jeopardize physician-patient confidentiality.
  2. It would also be medically irresponsible to insist on gratuitous ultrasounds when no medical purpose whatsoever would be served by them.

Which demonstrates what we all know — that the women’s actual health is not the goal of these male Republicans. Bills like this are right-wing men’s attempts to bully and try to make these women feel ashamed, both for having sex and for not wanting to be mothers.

That’s a given. But what I want to know is this: where have these doctors been all this time? Sure, it’s nice that a few of them are finally opening their mouths. But are the people who took the Hippocratic Oath themselves so frightened of these male Republicans, so afraid of losing their jobs or good salaries, that they will silently jeopardize their female patients’ health rather than open their mouths?

This had better be the first salvo in a battle of responsible doctors against ignorant male Republicans. Or we’ll know that the American medical community, too, is more about power and money than about health. The state of the American “health” system already suggests that. I’d like the doctors in the U.S. not to confirm it.


March 19, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Doonesbury “abortion strip,” Day Six

Sorry, I didn’t realize the strip would go on Saturday too, even though I should have remembered that.

So without further ado, Doonesbury “abortion strip,” Day Six.

“The Republican party is hoping you get caught in a shame spiral, and change your mind.”

March 19, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Beautifully Thorough Attack on Anti-Woman Republican Legislators

I hardly have a word to add to this piece on the Huffington Post, by Soraya Chemaly: 10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts.

Just a few gems:

Just because you cannot get pregnant does not mean I cannot think clearly, ethically, morally, rationally about my body, human life or the consequences of my actions. Just because you cannot get pregnant does not mean that I do not have rights when I am pregnant. I have responsibility but am powerless. You have power but are irresponsible with my rights.

Or how about this:

I gestate humans, you do not. I know how it feels to be pregnant. You do not. I know what happens to a fetus in a womb. You do not. I have carried three fetuses to term. You have not. What I experience when I am pregnant is not empathy. It is permeability. The fetus is me. And the state is you, apparently. But, no matter what you say or do I have fundamental human rights. What makes you think that you, who cannot have this fully human experience, can tell me anything about gestation or how I experience it? Especially when you compare my existence and experience to that of brutish animals.

Or this:

Property, control, sex, reproduction, morality, defining what is human. Sounds a lot like issues surrounding slavery 170 years ago. It is no surprise that of the 16 states that never repealed their anti-miscegenation laws, but rather had them overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967 more than half have introduced personhood bills. Like anti-miscegentation laws, anti-choice laws and bills that humiliate women, that treat them like beasts, that violate their bodily autonomy, are based on ignorance, entitlement and arrogance. These laws are not about “personhood” but “humanity.” That women of color are massively, disproportionately affected by these assaults on their bodies and rights should also come as no surprise – their rights and their bodies have always been the most vulnerable assault.

This is about keeping women’s wombs public and in other people’s control — the exact opposite of private and in their own control.


I salute and thank Soraya Chemaly with all my heart. This is one of the most well-reasoned attacks on the War Against Women that I’ve read so far.

March 17, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Doonesbury “abortion strip,” Day Five

Doonesbury “abortion strip,” Day Five.

“Shall I describe its hopes and dreams?”

“If it wants to be the next Rick Perry, I’ve made up my mind.”

Thank you for this, Garry Trudeau!


March 16, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment