I’ve been pretty quiet lately; I think a lot of it is due to me reading a lot of political blog posts and feeling really disheartened with what’s going on legally these days.
For instance, Kansas House legislators have approved a bill that legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians. This is so morally reprehensible to me that I am finding it difficult to come up with something coherent to say about it.
Pauls gave an example to explain why she backs the bill, saying an employer should be allowed to fire a “cross dresser.”
So… what, a woman who wears pants? Seriously. This person is in favor of someone losing their job because they might not dress according to society’s gender norms.
For example, an employer could fire someone if they discovered the employee was gay. Or a landlord could kick a renter out of their home. The religious exemption extends past places of business to universities, where students or instructors could opt out of a school’s anti-discrimination policy.
It is absolutely NOT an employer’s business who an employee is in love with. It just isn’t. You just know the companies that would perpetrate this injustice would likely not fire the married employee having an affair with the new secretary. Because even though it’s adultery, it is not THE GAY so it’s okay. I just… Ugh. People are people. Who they love is nobody’s business but the parties involved. Legalizing discrimination hurts everyone.
Then there’s that whole Sandra Fluke thing.
“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
Calling someone (ANYONE) a slut and a prostitute for requesting that heath insurance providers cover prescription medication is so, so far beyond the pale that I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage. What he said is in no way acceptable. (Plus, he didn’t even get her name right.)
His statement that she was “having so much sex” she couldn’t afford birth control and wants the government to pay for it is patently untrue – her testimony referred to a friend of hers who lost an ovary because despite needing contraception to treat her ovarian cysts, she couldn’t afford the medication. To continue on and say that, for requesting such a thing, she should be required to film her sexual activities for others’ enjoyment? I am nearly apoplectic.
“So the woman comes forth with this frankly hilarious claim that she’s having so much sex – and her buddies with her – that she can’t afford it,” Limbaugh continued. “And not one person says, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?”
Rush, this is not how the pill works. You take one pill a day, regardless how much (or how little!) sex you are planning to engage in that day. You do not take a pill before every sexual encounter. Frankly, it shocks me that a man (who, due to his widely publicized prescription for Viagra and his multiple marriages, is presumably having sex with women) would not understand the mechanics of taking contraceptive pills.
Also, why should she have to back off on the amount of sex she has? Slut-shaming is also not okay.
Then, there’s all hoopla about required ultrasounds (often transvaginal) as part of a prerequisite for abortions. One such bill was recently withdrawn in Idaho (and you can bet your britches I wrote to my congressman about it).
“[…] What I was hoping that it would accomplish is that it would give the mother one more opportunity to see the baby before she made that decision. … I think the more information they have, the less likely they are to have an abortion.”
-Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens (a co-sponsor of the bill)
It’s infuriating to me that the men coming up with these bills think that women are not capable of recognizing when having a baby would be a bad decision for them. I know women who have had abortions, and it was the best decision for them at that point in their lives. Women do not blithely get abortions, and I’m not sure why there’s such a strong misconception that they do.
This is a slightly more minor issue, but despite its (comparatively) high breastfeeding rates, Idaho is one of only four states that does not have a law protecting public breastfeeding, other than to say you can be exempt from jury duty because of it.
Surprisingly, for how awful the breastfeeding rates in Mississippi are, they have a pretty comprehensive set of breastfeeding laws:
Law allows a mother to breast-feed her child in any location she is otherwise authorized to be and excuses breast-feeding mothers from jury duty. Also prohibits discrimination towards breast-feeding mothers who use lawful break time to express milk.
I was shocked to discover this lack of protection for public breastfeeding in Idaho a couple of months ago and it’s been weighing on my mind ever since. Anybody have any ideas how I can get this ball rolling? Despite watching Schoolhouse Rock in my youth, I don’t have the faintest idea how to get a bill introduced.
All of this makes my heart hurt, and I can’t stop thinking about it.