On Misogyny

(Warning: I do swear [once] in this post.)

As I’m sure you know, there has been a shitstorm lately regarding certain comments made by certain members of my country’s Congress. I have no desire to repeat that filth here, but I am too angry and heartsick not to say exactly what I think here and now. Most of this is taken from a comment I wrote on Facebook earlier today.

Todd Akin, and every other victim-blaming, personhood-bill-sponsoring rape apologist out there (including Paul Ryan) demonstrates time and again that though they may sentimentalize “the unborn”, they fundamentally have no respect for the autonomy, dignity, and humanity of anyone who has actually been born–especially if they have been born female. It makes me angry as hell that in this day and age, questions I thought we had already answered are being brought up again and again in the name of “debate”, that someone has the audacity to suggest that their “religious freedom” is somehow being compromised by my doing something with my body that they think is icky, and that a fundamental unwillingness to accept scientific fact as such allows willful ignorance and magical thinking to dictate policy that has a real, qualitative impact on how I can live my life. This is misogyny: a fundamental hatred of women, a systematic campaign to roll back our hard-won rights because the notion of our dignity, our very humanity is somehow offensive to them. To which I say: screw you, Todd Akin and Paul Ryan and Steve King. They are disgusting, hateful, wicked men who must continually be fought, and held to account, because anyone who repeatedly tries to downgrade the quality of life for 50% of the country is not a good person, or a moral person, or someone who ought to hold public office.

Sadly, of course, these are not fringe opinions. These people have not insignificant public support, and that is what tempts me past pure anger into despair. This isn’t a few nutjobs nattering away in the back of the class. People I know hold these sorts of opinions. People I’m related to. And it is frustrating and disheartening to realize that they might not realize just what is so reprehensible about it, that it is, in fact misogyny. Not religious conviction, or a moral stand. It is misogyny. So how do you even fight that? How do you get the strength to fight not only in the public sphere, but within your own circle? Because honestly, I don’t know.

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