Links in this episode:
On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be covering the right wing media frenzy over abortion, contraception, and any other tool women might use to have happy, healthy sex lives. Also, while Republicans are most of the supporters of anti-choice legislation, there’s some Democrats in the mix, too. Sarah Jaffe will be on to highlight who these men, and they are all men, are.
Kristen Schaal went on the Daily Show to explain how our taxes are paying for abortions in all sorts of ways, and what services should be cut to make sure that doesn’t happen.
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We laugh now, but just wait and see. If they get away with this Planned Parenthood defunding, it’s going to be open season.
Last week, I mostly played clips of various politicians talking about the efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood, though I did include a couple of clips of people talking about this on cable news. What I failed to capture, in that limited amount of time, is how much right wing media has been chewing over and obsessing over women’s uteruses and the need to control and punish women for being sexual. It’s been second only to denouncing unions in terms of an obsession. It’s truly overwhelming, the amount of misogyny and racism that’s been pouring out of the right since the Republicans took over the House. I’m not entirely sure why they’re so emboldened to be so hateful, but I thought I’d put together a clip collection, just so you know what we’re up against.
One of the most poignant speeches at the Planned Parenthood rally in New York City last Saturday was from Jasmine Burnett of Sister Song, where she protested racist billboards that say that the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb, which Jasmine decried as unacceptable, a racist attack on black women as women and as mothers. I feel I shouldn’t have to explain this, but I do, because right wingers are all of a sudden posing like they’re somehow advocates of anti-racism because they wish to force black women to give birth against their will. Limbaugh was humping that idea.
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There are many lies in there, starting with the lie that abortion clinics are strategically placed in black neighborhoods, when only 9% of them are. Then there’s this blather about how liberals “profit” from Planned Parenthood, which is, let’s say it again, a non-profit that no one profits from, by definition. That’s why they offer services so cheap. But the nastiest lie is implicit. Limbaugh is basically arguing that black women are stupid and selfish, and need to have their rights taken from them because they can’t make their own decisions about when to have kids.
Women and their needs are invisible on the right. Like check out Glenn Beck’s argument for why women should be forced to bear children conceived by rape.
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In other words, Beck argued that we should force rape victims to bear the children of rapists and go through that hell so that we don’t step on the right of rapists to reproduce. Which really calls into question his commitment to putting rapists in jail. If he supports the right of rapists to reproduce through rape, then why treat rape as a crime at all? If you say men can’t force sex on women, aren’t you just discriminating against rapists for being rapists? In all seriousness, even though Beck is a horrible person, I was surprised by how little he thought of rape victims as people with feelings, and instead views them strictly as mindless wombs. For the record, I’ve never heard a pro-choicer say we should force rape victims to abort, or that a baby conceived that way is less than a person. Our argument is that a trauma victim has a right to minimize her trauma.
And there’s a tendency to assume that children are simply Xerox copies of their fathers, or at least that pro-choicers think that, which strikes me as projection. Like this weirdness from Limbaugh.
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Limbaugh appears to think political affiliation is heritable. I hate to disappoint him, but I’m as liberal as they come and my folks are conservative. So it’s not. It’s also a lie that only liberals or Democrats get abortions. In reality, women of all backgrounds and beliefs get abortions. It’s also hard to measure abortion rates by geography, because a lot of women have to travel so far to get them.
After the interview, I’ll have more on this report on the right wing media’s full court press against reproductive rights.
I wasn’t completely in the right last segment when I said that right wing media is ignoring women and pretending that their needs and desires don’t exist at all. Once in a blue moon, that actually sentient women are involved in pregnancy is acknowledged on the right. And usually it’s for the sole purpose of calling sexually active women sluts and suggesting they should be punished with forced childbirth.
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Not that I want to discourage this kind of honesty, of course. It’s much nicer when anti-choicers just say what they’re really thinking, which is that women and men, of course, who touch penises are dirty people and they should be punished. I prefer honesty, because then we can have the actual debate, instead of get into this weird blather about potential babies and unfounded accusations that pro-choicers have some vendetta against the existence of babies. I particularly like how Hannity seems to think 100% of sex is teenagers groping in the back of cars, perhaps after sock hops. I fully expect him to launch into this diatribe any day.
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Unfortunately, the powerhouse pundit on Fox News, Glenn Beck, isn’t so honest. Instead, he’s choosing to go with absurdity, making claims that have not even the slightest relationship to real world evidence or rationality.
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Yep, he’s once again accusing Planned Parenthood of aiding sex trafficking. Of course, in reality, what happened is when a bunch of obvious actors pretending to be pimps came to Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood called the cops. So Beck is just lying here. But it’s also amusing to me that he thinks that other kinds of people are expected to really go out of their way to stop sex trafficking. If Beck and Lila Rose gave a crap about underage prostitutes, they would be doing things like fighting police who arrest underage prostitutes. Instead, they’re attacking an organization that actually called the authorities. Which makes it clear that they’re basically against organizations that report sex trafficking to the authorities, if those organizations have the nerve to believe that women deserve health care.
I wish I could say that Glenn Beck lying so blatantly that he’s actually calling up down was the worst thing that was said about reproductive rights during these past couple of weeks on Fox News. No, the worst is Bill O’Reilly, who was one of the people who painted a target on the back of Dr. George Tiller and then played innocent when someone actually murdered Dr. Tiller, dancing on the man’s grave.
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This was in the middle of a long segment where Dr. Tiller was accused of a bunch of stuff, where they never, ever mention, not even once, that Dr. Tiller was cleared of all these accusations in court. The entire segment was based on the premise that an anti-choice zealot like Phill Kline who makes unfounded accusations should have those accusations treated like the god’s honest truth no matter how little evidence he brings to bear. Considering Fox News and their attitude towards lying, this shouldn’t be a surprise, but lying about a man who is in the grave and can’t defend himself is a new low. That he’s in the grave because his murderer believed the lies you’re telling? I don’t even have the words for how disgraceful this is.
Putting these two segments together wasn’t fun for me. This is just the tip of the iceberg of lies and slander I’ve collected from the past couple of weeks. But it’s important to know what’s being said. The conservative movement takes this war on women very seriously, and they won’t stop until women’s basic human rights have been stripped away.
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, can you spot the logical error in this racist and homophobic nonsense edition? Here’s Mike Huckabee, reacting to the Obama administration’s decision not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.
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This sort of reductive thinking is an insult to black voters, who Huckabee paints as a single group of bigots who put their bigotry in front of other, more pressing concerns. Black voters are a diverse group, and even people who are personally homophobic, regardless of race, are not finding that to be number one issue in choosing who to support.