Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Call Me Radical but What's Your Theory?

Well, my own Indiana Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock, caused quite a stir with his "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something that God intends to happen" judgment, concluding that therefore, there should be no abortion exception for rape victims. There was a flurry of media attention, mainly because Mitt Romney had endorsed Mourdock only the day before and declined to rescind that endorsement.

It was much the same as the firestorm that followed Todd Akin's declaration that women couldn't get pregnant if they were "legitimately" raped. There was much huffing and puffing and faux disapproval on the part of his peers but after enough time had passed for the controversy to simmer down, they slipped him safely back into the conventional Republican fold.

And why not? Many us may gasp at Akin and Mourdock's extreme positions but conservative Republicans don't, because these are actually the mainstream beliefs of the right-wing of the party (and, face it, there isn't any other wing left in the GOP).

Their own vice-presidential candidate echoes the same dogma, for God's sake. A baby is a baby from the second an egg is fertilized and rape is just another form of conception.

Right next door to Indiana, Illinois House member, Joe Walsh stated unequivocally that " with modern technology and science, you can't find one instance" where abortion is necessary to protect a woman's life or health, which, to use Joe Biden's word, is so much self-serving malarkey.

In state after state, Republican candidates have taken the no exceptions stance. Not just one or a few but dozens.

Mitt Romney, the presidential nominee himself has said he'd be happy to sign a Personhood Amendment which would ban all abortions. He has said he'd name Supreme Court justices like Samuel Alito. Good-bye, Roe v. Wade.

What is missing in all of this? I would argue that it is any compassion or empathy whatsoever for the baby-producing machines known as mothers. Put a living, breathing woman next to a petri dish containing a fertilized egg and every bit of Republican concern flows toward that petri dish. The female who carries it is just a side issue. Her own anguish, her trauma, her emotional fragility in the aftermath of rape or incest are nothing compared to that all-important egg. "Sorry, lady," the mostly male Republicans tell her, "suck it up, you're just a carrier and that's the only intrinsic value you have."

Why is that, I wonder? What about this issue makes Republican men so much more preoccupied  with a zygote than an actual person? It's not as if they carry their love for eggs beyond birth. Once they've asserted their will to ensure a baby is born, they lose interest. Food stamps to feed them? Schools to educate them? HUD to house them? School lunches? Medical care? Head Start? Nah, it's every child for himself once he or she comes crying into the cold light of day. And Mom loses even what bit of worth she had as an incubator. Now, she's just a contemptible part of the 47 percent, a user who want to take from the Mitt Romneys and Richard Mourdocks and Todd Akins of the world.

What twisted logic they use, condemning her for not wanting to take responsibility for her life when they won't take responsibility for the new life they insisted she be responsible for bringing into this world in the first place!

Here is my unscientific, totally biased theory: I think conservative Republican men are obsessively attached to their own macho maleness. The woman is a passive receptacle; it is their courageous little sperm that goes boldly into a strange land to plant its flag and stake its claim. As long as that fetus is still inside the woman, it is "them", still exercising their right of dominance over the colonized territory. Once a baby is born, it becomes an individual person. It now becomes the primary property of the mother and Dad loses interest.

We know there are African-American men in the ghetto who exhibit this same behavior. Their sense of pride stems from impregnating as many girls as they can, then walking away from the resulting children. Their ego is invested in the impregnation itself, not the end result. Republican men have this same "Baby Daddy" syndrome which manifests itself in a somewhat different way being that they have the power and clout to shield their sperm from attack by way of government policy.

Even men who don't participate in the fertilization process still maintain that sense of possessiveness toward male occupation....the males who rule the Catholic Church, for instance. My former church has always considered women third-class citizens, of less importance than 1) men and 2) fetuses. And there's not much difference that I can see between the Catholics and the Mormons in this respect.

These men, of course, see God as totally male Himself and as such, they judge him by their own personal moral yardstick. The Richard Mourdocks see no problem with letting God off the hook for the rape itself , (of which he would naturally never, ever ever, approve!) while still giving him full credit for the pregnancy.  Talk about holding two conflicting beliefs before breakfast!

I sort of understand the self-centered place that men are coming from. I haven't yet been able to get a grip on why women go along with it.