There is something special about a mother and her love for her child.
We tend to reflect it in our laws — at least family law — and, largely, we still seem to carry it culturally. We know it innately, and it’s one reason why the “women’s health” rhetoric, of which we’ve heard so much lately, resonates to the point at which it drowns out any and all details of a given policy, controversy, or testimony.
But such purported respect for women and mothers can ring hollow.
Take, for instance, the Radio and TV Correspondents dinner. The announced host of the annual Washington-meets-Hollywood gala was “comedian” Louis C. K., brought in, we were told, to give the event “a bit of an edge.” He has now pulled out, but with that invitation, decency fell off a cliff.
I can’t relate in this column some of the obscene things this man has said about former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. While he contended that she would “Hitler up” Washington — this, about a woman who often wears a star of David to express her solidarity with the Israeli people — most of his venom is the product of a crude obsession with her most intimate body parts, and he talks about them graphically in relation to her youngest child, whom he dubs a “retard.” This has less to do with politics than with misogyny, unless politics itself has become nothing more than a sexual power play. (And if it has, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not the GOP that has led the way.)
The current White House mandate debate is not so much about birth control as it is about effectively shutting religious citizens and entities down when it comes to contraception, sterilization, and even abortion. The government is saying: Sure you can believe that crazy stuff, but you can’t practice it in the public square. We know what’s best, and so you will pay if you really want to act on that nonsense in 2012 — literally, pay with a penalty. In truth, our debate is not about birth control so much as about an existential threat to liberty as we have known it in America.
Meanwhile, Republicans are said to be waging a “war on women” by doing such supposedly radical things as proposing bills that would protect conscience rights (by restoring them to where they were the day President Obama was inaugurated, and as late as January of 2012) and offering women the opportunity to look at the ultrasounds that are already a routine part of the medical preparation for an abortion. It’s ironic, isn’t it? In both cases, the legislation is about protecting choices, and isn’t “choice” what “women’s health” “pro-women” “feminists” are all about? Or is it just one choice — treating pregnancy as a disease — that is really of value to them?
At some point, the “women’s health” shouting has got to stop so that the cries of women can be heard — cries that expose the immiserization of a generation and more, a generation that bought into the false promises of the pill as lifestyle revolution and was sold as “freedom” an unhealthy subservience to non-commitment, all in the name of professional success and independence.