Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guys, it's time to man up and do what's right

Guilty. I'm a guy. In fact I once told my Daughter a tale of my youth and fast cars. She looked at me, shook her head, and said, "Dad you are such a guy.".

Come here boys, we need to talk. I know some of you have parochial, pre nineteenth century views of women, their intelligence and their roles in civilized society. You are excused. I know I am not rhetorically skillful enough to influence your belief system. One can't dislodge those views with a 2x4 to the head. So, later. Pound down a PBR for me.

Ok. For the rest of you I have a call to arms.

I don't care about color, ideology, sexual orientation. I only care that you are a rational, caring human being.
There is something happening here in The United States that should outrage all of us.

I treat it as a given that we men can do stupid and do it exceptionally well. We all are guilty of some form of misogyny. Looking at her bust line rather than looking her in the eyes. Visual appraisal as she walks by. Stupid, sexist jokes and comments. No matter how evolved we think we are we all do it. I'm unsure if it's cultural or hardwired. Testosterone make us , on the whole, bigger, stronger and more aggressive.Perhaps that hormone colors our perception of women. Does it cause us to reduce women to simply objects of desire, something to dominate? This attitude crosses and is present in most cultures.

Or rather is it something passed from father to son like shade tree mechanics? I'll leave the nurture v. nature argument to the biologists and the social sciences. Lets talk about things we are able to change and influence.
William F. Buckley, the father of modern American Conservative thought,would be appalled, aghast and angry by what so-called Conservative ideology has morphed into. It is not Conservatism, it is a reactionary rejection of the modern world.

Buckley pushed the American Nazi Party, The John Birch Society and the KKK out of the Conservative movement in the fifties. He rightly recognized their ideas were counter to American ideals and UnAmerican to the core.Now the John Birch Society is one of the sponsors of CPAC, the annual Conservative Woodstock.

Buckley's school of thought enabled the rise of Senator Barry Goldwater(R-Ariz).While I disagree with most of his positions at least they were reasoned, thoughtful responses to the issues facing America. He was an intellectual counter weight to The Dixiecrats. The flip side of the coin that was Strom Thurmond. Goldwater was also prescient in his warnings about the influence of the religious right. He knew how the Senate and Federal Government worked. Compromise was not an obscenity or heresy.

Now we have the Tea Party, The Pauls (Ron and Rand), Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, Huckabee, Beck and Limbaugh driving the rhetoric and outlook of the rabid Right.

Guys, that was a small overview of the evolution to now. Thanks for being polite enough not to snore.

Emerging from the ashes of rationality we are seeing something unprecedented in American political thought.
A group of Citizens are being stripped of basic human and Civil rights under the banner of an affront to God and morality.That's right Women. Our wives, daughters and mothers are being made officially second class citizens.

Some seem to think it is only the Old Confederacy. Wrong. It is not a regional issue it is a widespread ideological issue.

Texas has received a ton of press recently and rightfully so. But, there is Ohio, Michigan,Wisconsin, Iowa, and Kansas going after women. What do they have in common? Not Southern States.

This reminds me of the Weather Underground and anti war movement in the sixties. Get that look off your face. See, the campus protests were seen as an elitist phenomenon of the East and West coasts. The home of the pointy headed intellectual and nattering nabobs of negativity. Thank you Vice President Agnew.So the left's idea was to rally the heartland. To show that opposition was National. They succeeded. In late April and early May of '70 as college campus' across the country exploded in protest.

The protest at Ohio State(Then the Nation's largest single campus University) was massive and violent. And there was Kent State. The support of the Vietnam war was shown to be a losing proposition.

The Right's strategy has been similar. As long as it's narrow view was confined to more culturally conservative regions it was dismissed as an blip on the political radar. In once moderate States like Ohio they were more committed, more organized and better funded than the Dems. We were caught with our pants down because we believed in the inherent sanity of the American voter. Well we were wrong. An underlying strain of intolerance was identified, nurtured and empowered by demagogues.

With State Legislatures now dominated by reactionary theocratic, anti science and anti history true believers we should have seen this coming. State after State have launched a massive attack on women disguised as protection and education. Women have been denigrated as too emotional and not rational enough to make basic reproductive and healthcare decisions. Many lament that the rise of women empowered to make reproductive decisions about their bodies and future is a primary reason for the decline of "Christian" American values. So, there's always a woman to blame?

I am going to use Ohio as an example since I live here and am more aware of the laws.

The State Legislature here, with a huge Majority in both Houses, shoved what may be the Nation's most restrictive Abortion laws into effect.

The waiting period was doubled. Doctors are required to perform a medically unneeded ultrasound, at the woman's expense. There is a mandated narrative describing the fetus, it's potential to be carried to full term and ability to feel pain(not a medical consensus). MD's are also required to tell a woman abortion increases the risk of Breast Cancer even though the American Cancer Society says there is NO correlation. A State mandated lie.

Ohio, knowing more than the AMA and scientists redefined pregnancy. It now starts at conception rather than the medically accepted implantation. This raises intended or maybe unintended consequences. Any form of birth control that prevents implantation is now a de facto abortion. So the pill, Plan B and IUD's will require the waiting period, ultrasound and lecture.

The idea here is since a woman uses abortion as a casual form of birth control she must be shown the consequences of her actions. If she can be shamed and humiliated all the better. She will learn. Thanks to Federal privacy laws protecting medical information this shaming and humiliation isn't public. Though listening to some of the rhetoric there may be a few who would like to publish names. Create modern day Hesters.

The Ohio laws are extensive. Google it. I get too upset.

The gist is, Guys, that women are too irrational,not intelligent, casually uncaring,people driven only by emotion and self.

Is this how we view women?  Remember these are sisters, mothers, daughters, Think of your family. Could you love someone so casually uncaring about life? Someone too stupid to make important health decisions as you trust them with raising your child? Are they genetically destined to be inferior? Can you possibly believe that?

I know a lot of women. Most of the smartest people I know are women. And sorry to say most of the dumbest people I know are men. Just saying.

So boys we have a choice. One that will profoundly affect the future.

Do we stand with women and say No? Enough is enough is enough. No farther? Or do we stand on the sidelines letting our silence condone the behavior? Doing that I fear will validate every negative stereotype concerning men.

It's time to show what we are made of. That we are quality partners in life and society. That we aren't Feudal Lord and Master wanna be's. That we value women for their contributions to our lives.

Do we stand with women, our daughters, wives, sisters and mothers? Or Not.
The time to choose is now, The time to act and show our true colors is now. We need to make them proud to have us.  Stand and say No. We will not tolerate this behavior. We stand united with women for a better future. A better America. A better life.

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