Links in this episode:
On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing Susie Bright about sex, pornography, labor organizing and her new memoir. Also, Newt Gingrich’s book tour highlights Christian right hypocrisy, and Fox News is sexist. Really, really sexist.
American Family Voices has an ad supporting the Clean Air Act out that highlights how much damage pollution can wreak on the bodies of small children.
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Just thought I’d highlight another example of how the supposed “pro-life’ movement doesn’t care a whit about life or babies.
Man, there are some great moments in Christian conservatism on the more state and local level. Check this out:
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He also agreed that pre-marital sex should be punishable by the law. I wonder then, what he thinks of the man who is once again all over the TV set and newspapers proclaiming himself the spokesman for Christian America, Newt Gingrich. For instance, Gingrich went to the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio recently to promote his book “Rediscovering God in America”, and he declared that the country needs to return to its supposedly Christian roots. I’m skeptical that he’s really all about that, though, because back when the country felt a little freer to write religious dogma into law, adultery was a criminal offense in many, if not most states. And that might not be so good for Newt Gingrich, known serial adulterer.
This giant hypocrisy wouldn’t usually be a problem for Gingrich, since his life is mostly fund-raising and book selling, with no end game but making himself richer in sight. But right now, he’s decided to pretend he’s going to run for President to sell more books. The plus side is he gets on TV more doing this, therefore selling more books. The downside is that he has to tolerate people asking him harder questions, and the serial adultery thing is coming up. Gingrich went on the Christian Broadcasting Network to talk about his serial adultery.
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Gingrich was roundly mocked for trying to pass off his repeated adulteries by claiming that he was just working too hard to be a good person, but what I want to do is draw attention to how the interviewer called the situation “personal” and was all about forgiveness. Must be nice! Can women who need abortion get some of that respect and privacy, or will the continue to be shouted at by anti-choice protesters who treat them like Jezebels? What about gay kids? The Christian right opposes anti-bullying rules for fear that it would restrain the ability of straight kids to disrespect the personal business of gay kids. Why don’t gay teenagers in vulnerable situations get this kind of soft handling that Gingrich gets for cheating on one wife after another?
The embrace of Newt Gingrich by the religious right shows that same people who are wanting the harshest imaginable punishments for women, racial and sexual minorities, and basically everyone who isn’t them are just so damn forgiving of themselves. Back alley abortions for you, wealth and power for Gingrich. Joan Walsh and Chris Matthews were all over it.
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Of course, part of the reason that Gingrich’s adulteries are such a big deal is that one was going on while he was leading a witch hunt against President Clinton for the same behavior, except of course Clinton was able to hold his marriage together. Gingrich tried to explain this away in the dumbest possible way.
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In other words, because he’d been questioned before about his own adulteries, while he was committing adultery again he was allowed to persecute someone else for adultery because he had done it before and knew what the rules were, though it’s unclear that Gingrich actually followed the rules that he was technically using to punish someone. But does anyone really buy this? Gingrich runs around the country railing about “Christian values”, and always has. Everyone knew then---I remember!---that this was about adultery. At the end of the day, the reason to punish even those of us who have sex for fun but aren’t cheaters and liars like Gingrich, and to let Gingrich off the hook for cheating and lying is that Gingrich is a member of the tribe, and we’re not.
I think one of the weirdest parts of trying to struggle against anti-choicers who claim their war on women has nothing to do with sexism has got to be the amount of cognitive dissonance that must cause. I think that would be an easier stance to take if there wasn’t just a huge amount of sexism generally on the right, but that just isn’t the case. Let’s just look at the example of Fox News, the favored news channel of conservatives everywhere, and definitely the most outspoken of the three news channels against reproductive rights. The only debate on Fox is over how many reproductive rights to strip, but it’s assumed across the board women have too many.
But this far from the only way that Fox treats women like dirt. Gretchen Carlson recently basically admitted that the channel is happy, despite being a supposed news channel, to try to drive up ratings through objectification. Shark bites are really uncommon, for instance, but here is Carlson covering a story about shark bites and making this admission.
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Oh c’mon. Shark bites aren’t news stories. Or they aren’t nationwide news stories. Maybe local stories where the sharks are biting. I think her “joke” revealed more than was probably intended. Even though Fox is all about the anti-sex hysteria, they are also all about the T&A. Put the two together, and you have a nasty view of women as sex objects who should be punished if they actually do the deed. A reminder, Sean Hannity, whose salary is bigger because of all the bikinis, has this attitude towards women who actually have the sex that Fox is always selling.
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Of course, the punishments for women who actually have sex cannot simply be limited to forced childbirth in the world of Fox News. Walking around with a pregnant belly and letting people know that you are, gasp, a sexually active woman? That should result in the dramatic loss of rights, according to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. The entire report was an over-the-top hysterical take on women who supposedly come to the U.S. to have babies, and these women are described as being bubble-headed bimbos who think they’re entitled, oh my god, to be comfortable when they give birth as if they were rich Fox news anchors. Kelly even claims that they only want the U.S. passport because the color blue makes it a nice accessory. I’m not kidding. But this is what I really was blown away by:
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I suppose in order to keep a handful of babies of rich foreigners from being born here, we should have ultrasound machines at every airport, where women are checked for the presence of fetuses and the gestational age. Nothing sexist about that at all! Of course, even if they banned women two weeks away from delivery from traveling to the U.S., these right wingers would just claim they’re coming three weeks early, and really once you open this door ultrasound machines and pregnancy tests at the border are the only end game. Or just banning women altogether, or shutting our gates East Germany-style, since you could always get pregnant and then hang out until you give birth in country. Or maybe we could just chill out and stop creating fake problems in order to find new ways to harass women.
But if you want a recent example of the absolutely dehumanizing take that Fox News pundits take towards women, check out what Glenn Beck said on his radio show. Beck supported the Mubarak regime throughout the Egyptian protests, so he was crowing with joy to hear that there were sexual assaults disguised as virginity tests going on after Mubarak stepped down.
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Just a segment of this program to keep on hand whenever you’re told by some pious anti-choice conservative that it’s not about sexism for them.
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, everything is about gender for Rush Limbaugh edition. You may have heard that there are a couple of senior advisors on Obama’s foreign policy staff that are female, and they were pushing for the no-fly zone in Libya. Many people wanted to make this about gender, though it’s not, and Limbaugh was at the front of the pack.
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Nothing, not even war, will shake this man away from turning everything into his own issues with men and women and gender roles. Nothing.