”There is a religious war going on in this country,” former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan told the 1992 Republican convention in a primetime address. “It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself. For this war is for the soul of America.“
Have the times changed much since 1992 – or have they merely grown more intense?
Might there actually be full-blown, cultural civil wars underway today?
One might tend to think so, even though the vitriol is admittedly exacerbated in a Presidential election year.
If indeed the cultural civil wars are underway though, the so-called “War on Women” can certainly be regarded an incendiary flashpoint in the conflagration.
Of course, one side says there’s no such thing as a War on Women, or that it’s all a con game by liberals hoodwinking for votes. Some even go so far as to turn it upside down and declare it is actually the Democrats, not the Republicans, that are waging a War on Women. Out of curiosity, I’ve taken the time to peruse some of these arguments and have honestly been astounded yet fascinated by the twisted reasoning and fallacious logical trails they follow. Much like the climate change deniers, those denying a War on Women – or foisting it on someone or something else – are oblivious to scientific and/or demonstrable facts, and often use religion as their sole justification for their assertions.
Women deserve better.
In reality, it’s simple enough to take a look at what has actually been happening since the Tea Party movement thrust the GOP back into power in 2010. These Republicans promoted their mandate as reigning in government spending, while simultaneously promising jobs, jobs, jobs. In attempting to reduce spending, they nearly caused a government default; they provoked a national credit rating drop, and now have us rushing headlong in the direction of a fiscal cliff. And as far as the pledged jobs, jobs, jobs campaign is concerned, the GOP has actually led concerted efforts to obstruct and exploit, with little tangible being instituted employment-wise.
In spite of such smoke and mirrors, the Tea Party and GOP have been quite busy with other matters at the same time. There has been no hesitation when it comes to leading sorties, sallies, and all out assaults in the cultural civil wars on female autonomy and independent, individual choice when it comes to a woman’s own body.
Early on – and merely through March of 2011 – almost one thousand anti-abortion related bills were introduced across the country. A timeline by Emily’s List also vividly displays continuing Republican assaults on the autonomy of women’s choices through mid-July 2012. And all this was before dunderhead candidate for Senate Todd Akin made his infamous pronouncement about “legitimate rape” and magical qualities he believes the female body might retain. Of course the GOP’s strict anti-abortion platform carried the same cultural civil war message at the Republican convention. To tally things up when it comes to House Republicans, it’s calculated that there were fifty-five anti-woman votes since 2011. And as if to prove there is no letting up, in the last week or so the Missouri legislature chimed in on yet another attack on women’s health.
Women deserve better.
The question obviously arises: Why are the Tea Partiers, the GOP, and conservatives so obsessed with turning back the clock and denying free and independent choice for individual females, when it comes to their own bodies and decisions regarding their bodies?
The answer is simple. The GOP and their supporters at this flashpoint in the cultural civil wars admit, without hesitation or chagrin, they are driven by religion. What that generally refers to, of course, is the Judeo-Christian tradition that tells them what is morally right or wrong. Naturally, they aren’t cognizant enough to admit they simultaneously become moral bigots when attempting to inflict their beliefs and values on all, but rather they are quite willing to allow that it’s all about religious liberty when they don’t believe a woman has an open right to birth control, abortion, or contraception.
Justifying their religious restrictions that can consign a woman to death to save a fetus, or give zygotes “personhood” rights while stripping a woman of her rights, or a host of other misogynistic degradations, these social conservative-regressives claim their “Good Book” legitimizes the same on the basis of “Divine Inspiration” – whatever that is.
Divine inspiration or not, however, it is still written by man. Or, to be more specific – written by men. Paternalistic and domineering men that sought, and still seek, to suppress and subjugate women. These were and are men that believe women morally incompetent and incapable of ordering their own world, and of taking charge of their own reproductive choices. And the only remedy, of course, is that they must be managed and controlled by fathers, husbands, and sons.
But really, what type of men write these paternalistic Bibles and who are their ilk today that follow in the stead of dominance, control, and suppression?
Even though their mindset teaches them to believe the opposite, they are in truth the weakest and most unmanly of men. First and foremost, they are bullies; anxious and fearful in their hearts, and insecure in their own skins. What they don’t understand becomes a threat to them and their inner powerlessness. They lack the depth to breathe the free air of a soul’s independence and interdependence; as a result, they strike out from their baseness to dominate, control, and suppress what is beyond their ken.
Never are they awestruck, nor are they capable of delighting in the mysteries of the feminine, for they fear their capabilities in dealing with it. In so far over their heads, these archaic cretins have no viable options open when it comes to what confounds them. Thus, the only recourse is to viciously attack outwards in order to dominate and control. Justification for such contemptible actions is accomplished with ease, however, for the belief in the rectitude of such injustice is validated by virtue of their patriarchal religious teachings that have always strong-armed and subjugated the “weaker” sex, with “fatherly concern”. And if that power and control and suppression nowadays manifests itself in involuntary transvaginal probes (read: induced rape), or in suggestions that women should carry stillborn fetuses to full term because cows and pigs do, well, so be it.
Simply put, these truly weak and most unmanly of men are anxious and unnerved by all things feminine. And there is nothing worse to this primitive mind than the woman who is autonomous, independent of their control and exploitation. What they fear most, in their heart of hearts, is metaphorically becoming a word of their own creation, a cuckold, a man who has lost his power and control over a woman – or collectively, women – who have claimed their independence. In fact, it fills them with dread. In such a situation, the only recourse for such primitives of the soul is to redouble their efforts with more bullying, more oppression, and more bills and legislation against women and women’s health rights.
Women deserve better.
Fortunately, many women today are very much aware of this world and are demanding their rightful autonomy and independence. In a modern age where technology has provided birth control and safe family planning, no longer must they be perpetually constrained to being barefoot and pregnant – and under the suppressive thumb of those truly weak and most unmanly “men”.
Women deserve better – than to be at the flashpoint of the cultural civil wars being waged by mutton-headed bullies that are shored up by the oppressive patriarchy of the religious. Yes, women deserve better. And what would happen if the worst fears of these domineering male brutes and misogynistic power mongers came to pass – as it someday inevitably will?
Indeed, what is in the offing when a more egalitarian interaction between the sexes becomes the norm?
A collective shift of consciousness from what is prevalent today would be unavoidable. Just as LGBT rights are becoming more acceptable to the general society with each passing year, so too when the repressive male bullies are cuckolded, when women and men of integrity and honesty fully spurn the religious moral bigots, it is likely interpersonal relationships will necessarily evolve toward an authentic partnership, instead of a “war of the sexes”.
At the heart of such a consciousness shift is obviously a progressive maturation of power relations between people. The need to wield power over others is a sign of developmental immaturity: for the greater one’s own emotional advancement, the less need there is to stifle, control, and suppress others. When not hobbled by the weakness of male-dominant exploitation and subjugation, women and the species as a whole can only benefit.
Back in 1992, Pat Robertson might well have been quite prescient in what he said about religious and cultural wars – although not necessarily in the way he might have imagined the outcome or longed for. What we may have here, in 2012 and beyond, is not merely a war for the soul of America, but a battle to set a new course into the future – for both women and men of this planet.
It is past time for the charlatan male bullies and brutes and religious moral bigots to be unmasked and seen for just how despicable they are – when they seek to enslave and suppress the feminine.
Women deserve better.