It’s The Women, Stupid…redux

May 20, 2010 | By | 9 Replies More

I have from time to time made the point that the entire debate over abortion and birth control and almost the whole edifice of what we call Fundamentalism in the world, in whatever religion, is all essentially over controlling women.

Here is an article which has one of the most bizarre takes on the entire issue I’ve ever seen.  The central premise is early on stated in 0ne sentence that defines all of this nonsense, in whatever creed you care to name.

Image by yuri_arurs at (with permission)

Image by yuri_arurs at (with permission)

“Sexual relationships, while enacted privately, are public property.”

The twists in logic, never mind rationality, are among the most byzantine I’ve ever encountered.  What is more, the writer doesn’t seem to understand that this “philosophy” reduces children to little more than marks on a scorecard.  The exhibition of marital health and fidelity is all that is important.  The attempt to limit family size and indulge private acts privately for private purposes is reduced to an attempt to deceive the community, pure and simple.

But ultimately, as in all other instances of this kind of obscene interference with the personal, it is the women who bear the costs, the burdens, and the responsibility.

I suppose the next step would be to devise a kind of tracking bracelet for the penis and vagina so someone somewhere can determine when either is being used and where.

I have no answer for this kind of inanity (or insanity).  The fact that this makes sense to some people disturbs me no end, because it means that some people cannot see past the end of their own prurience.  Yes, I said prurience, because to come up with this kind of thing, rather than demonstrating a balanced healthy appreciation for sex, shows an obsession with it that can only be described as prurient.


Category: Culture, Good and Evil, Health, hypocrisy, ignorance, Meaning of Life, Noteworthy, Psychology Cognition, Religion, Reproductive Rights, Sex

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

Comments (9)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    As long as men wish to dominate women, there will be such trash as written by the cited author. Get over your womb envy, guys!

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Meanwhile, in California, where they only use real birth control education for their students, teen pregnancies are falling:

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    "Pharmacists in four states are allowed to deny women emergency contraception, even to rape victims, if doing so violates their own religious attitudes. Such laws impose one person's particular religion on another person, denying a perfectly legitimate medical service."

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I have long suspected that the major reason social conservatives hold their prejudices is out of fear and projection.

    They project their mindset on all others, and as such, are terrified of giving up dominance because they believe the people they held dominion over will become vindictive. It is also possible they fear those they consider to be inferior may actually be superior to them.

    From this point of view, if they stop trying to keep everyone down, they fear they will become the oppressed.

  5. A friend of mine worked on a museum presentation several years ago that concerned (partly) the impact of whites on American Indians. One of the things she discovered concerning Lewis and Clark was that for most of the far western tribes they had made no impact at all. Just a couple of white guys coming through like tourists. There were more important events to concern the indians that year, so most didn't even bother to record their passing.

    The conservatives involved with funding etc were livid over this. They didn't mind trotting out all the negative stuff about white impact on native Americans. what they couldn't stand was the idea of being ignored. They couldn't stand the idea that in some milieus they would be insignificant.

    I'd add this to Niklaus's observations. If you oppress someone, the one thing that person cannot do is ignore you.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    From the Sydney Morning Herald:

    "The two houses of the Oklahoma state legislature last month enacted two anti-abortion bills, overriding the veto of the state governor. The new laws compel every woman seeking an abortion to undergo a vaginal ultrasound (I kid you not) accompanied by a full verbal description of the foetus, with the viewing screen turned towards her. There are no exceptions. Not even for women who are pregnant as a result of rape, incest or who must abort because their foetus is seriously compromised, or because continuing the pregnancy threatens their own life and health."

  7. Grady Hampton says:

    Regarding N.P.s comment of May 26:

    It seems interesting to me that you would say social conservatives "project their mindset on all others" immediately after having done just that in your opening sentence. And while "terrified" may be too strong a word, you are right about the fear of giving up dominance over others. That, however, is the story of history. The history of all cultures (or political parties, castes, races, religions or any other way we wish to group ourselves together) has always been about one group striving to maintain dominance. If we didn't believe we were superior (enlightened, more fair, more just, smarter -use whatever term here makes us feel good about ourselves) then we wouldn't try to be the dominant group. Or we'd move to some other group identity if possible. While I admire the determination of the liberals/progressives in their persuit of societal change, I just happen to disagree with them. If the conservatives have their way then the progressives will feel oppressed because their ideas won't be the dominant ones in society. Likewise if the progressives win the day then the conservatives will be sore because then they will be the ones living under the influence of a group to which they don't belong. Again though, that's the history of humanity- the history of all peoples at all times. Human nature demands that. Sure, it would be nice if we could all just hold hands and sing "We Are the World" everytime we disagree, but reality isn't like that. If you find a way to change human nature so that we can, please let me know. According to my wife there's a few of my own attributes that are less than perfect (though I can't imagine what she's referring to.)

  8. Grady,

    What you describe is true. And any look at history supports the conclusion that we as a species have always been like this.

    However—and I'm not suggesting that you're doing this, but—I have heard exactly that argument many, many times in defense of Doing Nothing. Since it is the way we are and have always been, it is, by inference, pointless to strive to change it. Which, if true, we would still have open slave markets, children laboring in coal mines, the franchise limited only to those with substantial property who also happen to possess a penis…

    I quibble with one aspect of your lucid summation of human history: this is not a game of one-upmanship. If the reactionaries who seek to put the genie of women's equality back in the bottle have their way, it won't result in mere bragging rights over progressives, it will result in human beings being stripped of rights they now possess (though not universally) and a regression of thought concerning the dignity of individuals. The real world impact of letting the social theocrats win is to roll back actual progress and return us to a time when the potential of half or more of the human race was pissed away because those dominating women didn't, couldn't, wouldn't believe women are people.

    I would say normally "people just like them" but in this case that would be a mischaracterization.

  9. NIklaus Pfirsig says:


    I think you misunderstood what I meant by "project their mindset".

    In psychological terminology, projection is the assumption that someone thinks like you do in some way. When I mention mindset, I refer to a collection of ideas about how the social environment is perceived to function.

    I use the term "social conservative" to differentiate from "fiscal conservative"

    as my observation is that the two concepts are distinct but sometimes overlapping. To me, a social conservative is a person that professes beliefs including adherence to the politically right wing ideology.

    Having defined these terms, I will state that I know many people that I consider social conservatives. In fact, most of the people I went to school with are social conservatives, some more so than others.

    One thing I find interesting is that many who are most vociferous about morality and religion seem also to believe in this idea that everyone is aggressively ambitious, they seem to think as you, that everything is a competition, and it is winner take all and they want to be the winners. Some of them are quite capable of suspending their sense of morality as needed to protect their views and to force those views on others

    And many of them, in trying to convince me that I should think as they do, that all those on "the other side" want to dominate them, take away their religion, their guns, their rights, while they feel justified to force their religion on me, take away my rights, tell me what i can or can't do in my own house.

    This is the projection of their mindset, the assumption that the dog-eat-dog philosophy, the do unto others before they can do unto you way of thinking is practiced by all who oppose them.

    I don't assume that any social conservative thinks like me. I happen to be a centrist, I see any extreme as inherently bad. Extremism is anti-diverse and it is through diversity that we maintain adaptability.

    historically, political viewpoints may make the revolution, the politics become the cause to rally to war, but when the dust settles, ambition trumps politics, to an ambitious politician, partisan policy is simply a means to an end, and many politicians over the years have changed parties to get elected.

    There are, to be sure, many progressive/liberals who project their mindset on others, but most of them seem to assume that people are willing to make a serious effort to understand the issues of the day and not simply accept what they are told. For most progressives, the ideal is not one of dominance and submission, but of mutual cooperation.

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