Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, February 16, 2012

"What I want to know is: Where are the women?"


The above is not a photo of a 16th century inquisition.  This is 2012, and these men are going to engage in a discussion on WOMEN'S health, contraception, and family planning.

I'm not going to ask "What's wrong with this picture?" 

We know what's wrong.

I'm asking how can this be happening in 2012?

“What I want to know is: Where are the women?” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked the committee chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) before walking out. “I look at this panel and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”

More here.

From Politico:

"The image of men dominating the discussion about women’s health, say those on the left, may galvanize women voters in the way that the Senate Judiciary Committee's handling of sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas did in 1991.That incident is widely credited with the election of a large number of Democratic women the next year.
'I think it is an Anita Hill comparison,' said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who staged a walkout of Democratic women in protest of the chairman’s decision not to seat a minority female witness at the start of the hearing. 'I hope it will be just as galvanizing.' ”

More anti-woman legislation: 

This time from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which just passed a bill that REQUIRES a doctor to give a transvaginal ultrasound (that is legislating vaginal penetration by the state) before a woman receives a legal medical procedure, even when the doctor deems it is not necessary.  Democrats in the legislature tried to pass an amendment to the bill:

"An amendment by Del. David Englin, D-Alexandria, would have allowed medical professionals to determine whether images can be obtained without being penetrated by equipment used in the ultrasound."

The amendment failed.

Republican Governor McDonnell says he will sign the bill.

Got that? 

Virginia is poised to legislate forced penetration of a pregnant woman's vagina in order to obtain an image of the embryo or fetus and then the woman will be forced to view the image before she is able to receive a LEGAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE.

No exceptions under any circumstances whatsoever.

This monstrosity of a law forced on  the women of Virginia by the party that wants government out of its lives.

The GOP has lost its mind; and certainly women's votes.

Here are some of the comments on the website announcing the legislation:

"Wake up Virginia! Wake up America! Virginia is about to pass legislation that requires women to undergo an invasive search of her body in an effort to gain permission from Republican legislators for her to obtain a perfectly legal medical procedure from her doctor.

Now, if anyone wants to liken this law to that of the Nazi regime, go right ahead."
"Forcing women to be -penetrated vaginally? Isn't the equivalent of rape??"

"If rape is nonconsensual penetration, then what the government is mandating is rape of a pregnant women. Have we gone so far down that path that our most vulnerable citizens can be treated in such a criminal manner. I hope the courts are getting to overturn this montrous legislation."


"An affront to all women everywhere!"


From ThinkProgress:

"As Dahlia Lithwick explains, the effect of this bill would be to force most women to undergo a stunningly invasive procedure for no medical reason whatsoever. “Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”

In case Lithwick’s description doesn’t completely drive home what this means, here is a depiction of the procedure that women would be forced to endure under the Virginia bill:"

"Simply put, it is difficult to distinguish a law requiring women to be vaginally penetrated by a long metal object from state-sponsored rape. Worse, discussions among lawmakers leave little doubt that its supporters understood just what they were trying to write into law — they just didn’t care. As an unnamed lawmaker told a fellow Virginia delegate, a woman already consented to being “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant."(confirmed with Englin that this quote was accurate.)


Charlie Pierce writing in Esquire:  "Yes, and anyone who has had their earlobes pierced already has made the decision that, one day, the law would require them to have a tenpenny nail driven into their eye."


Stephen said...

Sometimes I feel like I pulled a Rip Van Winkle & just woke up in 1952.

Rational Nation USA said...

I guess some habits are hard to break. For some...

Infidel753 said...

This is not a photo of a 16th century inquisition.

Well, maybe not literally.

The image of men dominating the discussion about women’s health, say those on the left, may galvanize women voters.....

I would damn well hope so. I'm sick of these moribund old zombies pushing women -- and others -- around.

Stephen: Sometimes I feel like I pulled a Rip Van Winkle & just woke up in 1952.

In the case of some of Perry's and Bachmann's backers, that would be 1952 BC.

Three of those guys look like clergymen to me. I guess the sole good point of the hearing is that, while they were there, they couldn't be molesting anybody.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel, while you were leaving your comment, I was adding to this post.

The Commonwealth of Virginia, astonishingly, is poised to sign into law a bill that FORCES vaginal penetration of a pregnant women, even if the doctor deems it unecessary, for the purpose of securing an ultrasound image that she will be forced to look at before she can obtain a legal medical procedure.

It really is the 16th century.

Why did Virginia bother with the ultrasound. Why not go straight to burning the women at the stake?


Nice to see you back here.

Rational Nation USA, the GOP has gone insane.

Sue said...

Like you Shaw, I am livid!! That hearing today was proof the Republican party has lost it, and lost the votes of MILLIONS of American women..thank god...

Jolly Roger said...

Now now.... we all knows wimmins ain't good for nuthin' but having babies and baking pies. Why, contraception is SLAVERY! It's denying the wimmins half of their two callings!

Remember the "contraception is slavery" meme. I guarantee you will see it, somewhere, very soon.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, you said... "Rational Nation USA, the GOP has gone insane."

Finding it very hard to argue of late. I am finding it so frustrating pointing out the hypocrisy and lack of principles has consumed more of my time than I like. I mean shouldn't I be devoting my time to pointing out Obama's flaws?

But I figure unless his opposition party actually has something of real value to offer I suppose cleaning it up is the first step.

I guess I'll be voting Johnson and principal this time around.

Rational Nation USA said...


Anonymous said...

".....You can see the logic to their argument, nes(sic) pas?...."

What I can see is your French is as bad as your English.

Have the decency to proofread your word salads before you publish them.
I'll respect your subsequent ill-informed opinions if you take care in how they are presented.

Shaw Kenawe said...


That was not a quote from me. It was a quote from a facebook page covering the proposed Virginia bill.

This blog post is about government intrusion into women's health, not about your need to be pedantic.

Now please stop your Super Silliness.

You apparently don't know how to read, either.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"....You apparently don't know how to read, either....."

I can read writin' when it's written, but I can't read writin' when it's rotten.

You are indeed correct, I misread an obvious quotation as pixellations from you.

Anonymous said...

Infidel753 said,

".....I guess the sole good point of the hearing is that, while they were there, they couldn't be molesting anybody....."

Don't kid yourself! Those god-botherers can molest at a distance by proxy!
Yes! They're THAT good at it.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Either contribute to the discussion at hand, or I will continue to delete you.

This is not your blog. You have one of your own where you can preen and display more of your meager talents.

Thank you.

Shaw Kenawe said...


One out of your SIX comments on this thread was on topic.

As I stated I will continue to delete your comments unless you stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are wont to understand the American woman.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shaw Kenawe said...


This is my blog and I have the right to decide who will comment here and who will not.

You have become a nuisance, adding nothing to the discussion.

I will continue to delete you until you behave yourself.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw - I never approve of censorship, and I know you don't as well.

AltC is like a boil that keeps coming back. Therefore a strong antibiotic is required. :)

Infidel753 said...

There is no issue of "censorship" in deleting obnoxious comments from one's own blog. Free speech means I have the right to put a bumper sticker expressing my views on my car. It does not mean I have the right to put that same bumper sticker on your car, and if you choose not to let me do so, that is not "censorship".

Aquarians Love to Jabber is being not only boring but rude. You would not tolerate being spoken to like this by a guest in your home; well, a lady's blog is her castle.

Infidel753 said...

Back on topic with the additions to the post.

It seems that the Republican party has decided that one of its defining principles is a requirement that women have various objects, whether fetuses or medical implements or whatever, inside them against their will. Look at that Virginia law and the statements being made to defend it. This sounds like something Caligula would think up, not a political party in a modern country. It also shows the utter intellectual bankruptcy that libertarian thinking has come to in its American right-wing incarnation. This is a party whose teabag-addled devotees babble endlessly about "liberty", yet it proposes ever more disgusting transgressions against personal dignity and self-determination in the name of ancient religious taboos -- transgressions that even the bloodthirsty savages who wrote the Old Testament probably would never have tolerated.

Well, you don't have to be female to be outraged at things like this (though I'm sure it helps). The branch of American conservatism that can propose or defend such measures can no longer be treated as an honorable opponent to be debated with -- it is a monstrosity that must be utterly defeated.

Anonymous said...

I was forced to delete all but one of my comments on your February 13, 2012 post and the one comment above which made reference to them.
My over-litiginous publisher has reminded me that I no longer 'own' my own intellectual property - at least in this case.

The comment thread of February 13, 2012 is now the basis of an essay published behind a rather pricey Paywall with copyright now held by this rather 'Liberal' Publication which is controlled by a rather 'Conservative' publisher/owner.

You won't be famous though. You and your toadyingly sycophantic commenters have 'new' names in the piece - a legal precaution you understand.

My mining of your blog has been fruitful indeed.

Thank you.

Ave Atque Vale

Infidel753 said...

And with that forlorn and transparent attempt to re-assert superiority, Aquarians Love to Dribble takes (hopefully) her leave.

Her intrusion here put me in mind of a person walking into a crowded elevator, farting copiously, and then walking out again just before the doors close.

S.W. Anderson said...

Virginia Republicans might be doing the whole country a service by revealing what they and their party are all about: Pandering and authoritarian power and control.

From a spiritual standpoint what they're doing is an exercise in futility. The joke's on them, and the reason is simple. Christian morality — staying on the right side of God, if you will — only comes about when, and to the extent, people act on conscience to do what they sincerely believe is what God considers moral and right. If they do or refrain from doing things only because they were forced to, because they were compelled to, it either means nothing to God, or God realizes the person really wanted to do something else, so they're still on the wrong side of him.

Either Virginia's Republicans are ignorant of this or they're enjoying some authoritarian power wielding while pandering to religious zealots who are ignorant of it. Either way, what they're doing doesn't put Virginia Republicans on the right side of God.

The situation would be comical if it wasn't such an outrageous violation of women's basic human right to autonomy over their own body and health care decisions.

To add to the hypocrisy, you can be sure many of the same Republicans are screaming bloody murder over the insurance-buying mandate in the Affordable Care Act. "How dare the federal government require people to buy insurance? What a violation of individual rights!"

But hey, if it's a woman who's being made to undergo and pay for an unnecessary procedure, what the heck.

Bottom line: this all by itself should cause every voting-age woman in the nation who's not a half-baked religious zealot or right-wing extremist to register and vote for anyone but a Republican — now and from now on.

Shaw Kenawe said...

S.W. Anderson, well put. I have read that people who see nothing wrong in this outrageous legislation claim those who oppose it are hypocrites because the purpose is to dissuade a girl or woman from "killing her baby."

What these types never, never understand is that the government NEVER forces a woman to have an abortion, it is a girl's or woman's choice for whatever private reason between her and her doctor there is.

In the Virginia case (I believe this is also a law in Texas) it is the government forcing this unnecessary medical procedure on the girl or woman in question. It is the state forced penetration of a girl or woman.

In their zeal to make everyone believe as they do, these people see no wrong in this.

Religious zealots never do. They always believe they are doing "god's work" when they impose their values on others "for their own good."

Rational Nation USA said...

SWA and Shaw - Very well articulated and spot on. At least IMO

heubler said...

And if this fails to stop women from seeking abortions in Virginia, next, the ultra-sound will only be allowed to be performed by state-sanctioned clinics staffed by religious organizations, so they can deliver a lecture, while performing the operation.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised that the law didn't specify that the probes be administered by the delegates themselves. What a lost opportunity.

On another note, should there be companion legislation that men be subjected to a similar procedure before prostate surgery? I'm sure Santorum would agree that prostate cancer is a gift from God and removing the prostate puts us on a slippery slope. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Paul the Sax Guy said...

As I know and have know over the years many of the rabid anti-abortion proponents, I know damned well they think this is acceptable "if it prevents even one abortion."

Taken to its extreme, if it prevents even one abortion, let's just shoot 'em before they have sex... problem solved.

Yes... for the humor-impaired, that was heavily snarked.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The virulent anti-choice/anti-women peoople don't live in the real world.

For how many years have religionists been out there telling people not to have sex until married?

People still have sex and as a result there are unwanted pregnancies.

The morning after pill would eliminate the abortions these people are against, but they actually believe a divided cell is a "person."

They believe that a fertilized ovum is "ensouled" and is a "person" and has equal rights with the impregnated fully grown girl or woman.

Since we will never change these people's minds and they will not change pro-choicers' minds, the only way to deal with this issue is to leave government out of it and leave it between a girl/woman and her doctor.

The solution is not more intrusion into women's lives by the government.

The anti-choice, anti-women people don't understand that the government does NOT force anyone to have an abortion, but right now in Texas and Virginia, the government is forcing unneeded medical procedure on girls and women to punish them.

It is ghastly!

Peter John said...

If you believe a fertilized egg is a person then what is the problem in believing an unfertilized egg is a person or a sperm cell is a person. They all have the potential of becoming a human being. Although the idea of imprison all mature women and men for manslaughter for allowing the death of their unfertilized eggs or sperms might be a little tough to do. But it needs to be done since we can't just allow those unborn babies to die just like that.