02 February 2007

Get Your Ass to the Altar

It gives me a thrill to piss off right-wingers. I aspire to do it each and every day. I try to imagine what they look and act like when they read our leftist tracts. First, they get all red-faced and angry. Then they start thinking about all those liberals they despise--Dirty Hippies, feminists, the French, homosexuals, the Clintons, atheists, and all those flag-burning, unpatriotic Commies who won't allow them to list the Ten Commandments on the backs of cereal boxes. And then, you know what, I think they start crying just a bit--maybe a low whimper. They sob when they reflect upon how things used to be (although we all know things were never actually that way). And when I imagine all this, I smile--hoping I have contributed in some small way to their general unhappiness.

The right-wingers are all in a panic now concerning marriage and its possible demise as an institution. An article last week reported that fewer than 50% of women are now married. More and more of them are living on their own. The neanderthals really came out of their caves for this one. How could this be--if women are living alone, well, this could signify the rapture. What next?

If you have read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, you are familiar with konservative kolumnist Katherine Kersten. She was particularly livid about these marriage statistics. One of the most disturbing aspects of Kersten's response was that she focused on the evidence, the data used in the original New York Times article. Now read that last sentence again: konservative kolumnist Kersten questioning the validity of evidence. These are the same people who claimed, several years ago, to have found a link between abortion and breast cancer--even though no fucking evidence ever existed for that connection. But they never really cared about the evidence did they? These are people who still refuse to believe the 99.97% of all scientists who have said that global warming is a serious problem. Any yes, these people also believed Terri Schiavo was alive and kicking because Bill Frist saw some pink in her cheeks on a video recording. It's damned difficult to listen to arguments about weak evidence coming from people who want to take science out of our schools and replace it with intelligent design.

Shouldn't we all be happy that women no longer must depend on men. I see this as a positive development. Maybe women won't have to remain in abusive relationships any longer. Maybe women can select their own careers, raise children on their own, and make independent economic decisions. I haven't written anything yet that sounds like the rapture. Oh, but what about the poor men in this new world order--maybe they are no longer necessary. They don't appear to be needed economically......and maybe they are not even necessary for THAT anymore (must be 18 to see this link). Men are simply limp shells of what they used to be: providers, hunters, protectors, and breadwinners. Now they are just impotent NASCAR fans with low-paying jobs and little to contribute.

Seriously, here is where konservative kolumnist Kersten really misses the point. She and her fundamentalist brethren are always suggesting that single and poor women are better off economically when they are married. But is that because of marriage itself.....or is it because of the economic disadvantages that the American capitalist system has forced upon poor and single women? I think the latter. Why not a
higher minimum wage for some of these women in low-income jobs? How about guaranteed health insurance.....and child care.....more family leave benefits....and some education loans and job training? How about free contraception for teens and young women instead of lectures and hassles? Maybe some of these benefits would allow single women even more independence.

Oh, but then fewer of them would be rushing to the altar. Face it, konservative kolumnist Kersten and her ilk care little about poor women, single women, or women's issues in general. What they care about is forcing some abstract notion of family values upon the rest of society. But it's clear that their values are worn-out, pseudo-Victorian, fundamentalist snake oil. If Kersten and others wish to help single and/or poor women, they will start looking at unfair economic policies and the evils of unfettered capitalism. And they would quit attempting to foist their tired and hypocritical morals on the rest of us.

dew (and I thank L.P. for contributing ideas via our discussions)


L.P. said...

And speaking of science, research just published in the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Public Health demonstrates that 86% of the decline in teen pregnancies over the last 15 years is the result of increased contraceptive use, whil 14% is due to abstinence. The Society for Adolescent Medicine (not exactly a hotbed of radicalism) has declared "abstinence-only programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information and life." (2006) And yet the federal government continues to spend more than $218 million dollars a year on abstinence-only programs.
So you can sum up the right-wing position as "Wear your chastity belt until you get your ass to the altar."


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