Archive for the ‘Feminism and Politics’ Category

I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I just wanted to write a quick post to talk – briefly – about the apparent Republican horror at the fact that the Democrats in Congress and President Obama will not assist them in whitewashing their incredible callousness toward children with cancer.

As if they actually cared about children with cancer.

Harry Reid was caught off guard yesterday, and he has an obligation to be better prepared than he was. Because when he was asked by reporter Dana Bash – and the media is frankly complicit in this whole thing with their false equivalency and their willingness to accept the GOP narrative without questioning it – if it wouldn’t be worth restoring funding in order to help “one child with cancer,” his answer was terrible.

What he should have said is this: “Ms. Bash, we want to help all children with cancer.”

This fight started over the ACA – a law that will enable parents of children with cancer to get insurance to pay for medical treatment for their children with cancer. The Republicans are so hell-bent on defeating President Obama, that they want to ensure that those parents, of those children with cancer, can’t get that insurance. That insurance companies could deny them coverage, because, frankly, covering cancer kids is really expensive. And, it’s also a pre-existing condition. Once that child has been diagnosed with cancer, there is no ability to obtain private insurance to cover the costs of treatment. That’s one of the things that the ACA offers. Repealing the ACA means repealing that very popular provision.

In addition, in the past three years, since 2010, the Republicans have voted to gut the funding for the NIH – the National Institutes of Health – on more than one occasion, most recently in early 2013, when the sequestration itself cut funding to the NIH by 1.7 billion dollars. This decreases the amount of funding available to do clinical trials to, you guessed it, research cures for cancer. The funding that they are trying to replace – in a deeply cynical effort to pretend like they give a shit about sick children – is what is left of the funding that they decimated during the sequester. They are cavalier about the value of government until it makes them look like dicks.

In addition, let me just say this in response to the people who claim that private industry can do a better job innovating new treatments than the federal government. It is true that private industry does an excellent job innovating for treatments to things like erectile dysfunction, which is a widespread problem that affects older men, including older men with a lot of money. Cancer research for cancers found primarily in children, is not likely to result in incredibly lucrative new therapies. We are fortunate that cancer in children is rare. What this means is that there is simply not a large market for most cancer therapies that are designed to benefit children. We need the government to fund this kind of research. The private sector simply cannot make the kinds of profit from this type of research that allows them to attract investors.

So, yeah, Harry Reid, get some prep before you go on camera to take questions. And, yeah, reporters, pull your heads out of your asses. It would be great if – along side of your story about how the Republicans are pretending to care about kids with cancer – you would actually report what they are doing, instead of what they are saying.


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This post is not about books. I am a pro-choice, feminist woman. I will be talking about sex, and pregnancy, and incredibly dickish Republican politicians, and other things related to my incandescent fury at the ongoing Republican roll-back of constitutionally protected abortion and other reproductive rights in the Red States. If you don’t care what I think, this would be a good time to stop reading. If you’ve had your head under a rock and have missed the fact that the Republican party is engaged in an all-out war on women’s reproductive rights at the individual state level, this would be a good time to pull your head out.

Tomorrow’s post will be about Anne of Avonlea. The one after that will be about Middlemarch.

I don’t do this political thing very often. But when I do, it tends to be long, and ragey. Sorry.

So, what do John Kasich, Rick Perry, Terry Branstad, and Sam Brownback all have in common? They are all middle-aged, male Republican governors of states where the Republican controlled legislatures have passed, or are in the process of passing, sweeping new laws rolling back abortion rights.

John Kasich of Ohio just signed a budget that somehow – although how it has any thing to do with the state’s budget, I do not know – made abortion illegal after 20 weeks, created regulations which require abortion clinics to do something that it then makes it illegal for them to do, requiring rape crisis centers who receive public funding to never tell rape victims that they could abort a pregnancy that results from a sexual assault, and which requires that women who seek a legal abortion to undergo and pay for an ultrasound that they neither need nor want.

And look, here he is signing the budget, surrounded by a group of extremely supportive women, also known as “uterus-bearing constituents” or “speech-capable reproductive devices” who are totally in agreement with him on his plans to gut abortion rights and interfere with women’s health care. Oh, wait, those aren’t women, are they? It’s a bunch of old guys who can’t get pregnant at all. Is there a woman anywhere in that room? Anywhere? No. Apparently in Ohio, signing laws that impact women’s health care doesn’t need to involve those individuals who might actually have an interest in women’s health care. Not even so they can act as witness when you dismantle their rights.

Look, ma, no girls!

Look, ma, no speech-capable reproductive devices. I mean, girls!

In Texas, Rick Perry, whom the inimitable Molly Ivins used to call Governor Goodhair, has called a second special legislative session, to the tune of approximately $800,000.00 to pass the very same anti-abortion legislation that failed the first time around when it was filibustered by the sneaker-wearing woman heard round the world, Democratic Senator Wendy Davis.

Heroically discusses the pitfalls of the bill into the 11th hour. Literally.

Senator Davis heroically discusses the pitfalls of the bill into the 11th hour. Literally. And in pink sneakers.

Texas is big, and proud, and apparently Governor Perry doesn’t want to be left behind his fellow Republican governors in their rampage to see how much control over their State’s uteruses, natural resources which are unfortunately embedded inside of actual female human beings, they can personally exert. Although, he’s got a ways to go to catch up with Iowa’s Governor, Terry Branstad. I’ll get to that a minute.

Because the Texas bill wouldn’t just make abortion harder to get, it would make contraception less available for poor women. And God knows, as does the Republican leadership, that poor women should not be having sex. They simply aren’t wealthy enough to engage in that little pleasure of life. It’s not enough that the Republicans have already handed over most of America’s wealth to the wealthy through their regressive tax policies, and their “privatize profits/socialize losses” crony capitalism economics. Now they want to make sure that the rich people – especially middle-aged, rich, male people like them – get all of the sex, one of the few remaining pleasures available for free to the poor, as well as to the rich.

Let it be known henceforth that non-procreative, just-for-fun sex is a perk of being a middle-aged politician – like South Carolina’s formerly-married-Republican-governor-turned-Republican-senator and Appalachian trail explorer, Mark Sanford. Anyway, I digress. Back to Governor Perry – the man just wants to be Commander-in-Chief, and, after all, he has great hair, an obviously necessary qualification for the American presidency.

Great hair. Empty Suit.

Great hair. Vacant expression. Our 45th President? Fingers crossed!

Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas, in April, signed new and sweeping restrictions on abortion rights in Kansas. Restrictions that require doctors to actually lie to women and tell them that abortion causes breast cancer (it does not). Do they think we are stupid? Seriously, ladies, they do. Republican politicians think women are stupid.

Perhaps it’s time that we stopped being stupid and voting for them. Maybe?

Kansas women just say no to Governor Brownback.

Kansas women just say no to Governor Brownback.

Governor Brownback just says no to Kansas women.

Governor Brownback just says no to Kansas women.

But, let’s move on to Iowa. Because, in Iowa – and this one may actually win the prize for most breathtakingly arrogant exercise of individual authority over a uterus belonging to someone else – Governor Terry Branstad is now personally responsible for deciding whether poor women can receive a Medicaid funded abortion. He really is a hands-on governor! And the people that he has his hands on? Iowans: poor and female.

Are you a victim of incest, and your abuser, I mean your father, is refusing to pay for your abortion (or, possibly, is in jail where he belongs) so you need Medicaid to pay for it? Who decides if you qualify, or if you’ll be the only seventh-grader in your class giving birth to your sister-slash-daughter at some point in the not-all-that-terribly-distant future but definitely prior to starting eighth grade? Ask Governor Branstad. Before he decides on your request, he wants to know more about this “D-minus” in American History.

Were you forcibly raped at gun point, and you’re on Medicaid, and the rapist impregnated you? Do you want an abortion so you aren’t required to cede control of your body for the next nine months, and control of your life for the next, well, forever, to the rapist? Ask Governor Branstad. Don’t forget to say the magic words! And the magic words are: legitimate rape!

Are you carrying a fetus that is so tragically and devastatingly deformed that carrying the pregnancy to term will result in the birth of a baby who will die within hours or days? Do you, and your husband, your doctor, and everyone personally relevant to the question know that it is in your best interest, and the interest of your family, and your living children, and your future, to have an abortion? If you are wealthy, you don’t need to ask Governor Branstad for his permission. But you’re not – you are poor, and on Medicaid, and therefore, the guy with the mustache and glasses depicted below – he gets to decide. Not you. Not your husband. Not your doctor. You are all irrelevant. Ask Governor Branstad. No medical degree, no problem. Governor Branstad knows what’s best for you!

He does plan to be “thoughtful” about it, though, so you can take comfort in that. He also hopes to reduce the number of abortions funded by Medicaid every year. Which of my examples doesn’t get her abortion approved so that Governor Branstadt can make his constituents think he’s a good, god-fearing-upstanding-Christian man? Anyone want to guess that the answer is: all of the above, along with, possibly, a nice greeting card about making lemonade from lemons when he denies your request.

Not a doctor? No problem! He still gets to make health care decisions on behalf of certain Iowa women.

He’s not a doctor. He just plays one at his desk in the Governor’s mansion, making health care decisions on behalf of certain Iowa women.

And there are other states as well. North Carolina, where legislation requiring health teachers to lie to their students about the long-term effects of abortion has been proposed. “Long-term effects” that don’t actually exist, that are unsupported by scientific evidence, and that are not consistent with what actual doctors – not just the Republican legislators who impersonate them at their desks in Capitol buildings everywhere – say is the truth. North Dakota, where abortion has been banned past six weeks of pregnancy. Alabama, which just passed a law that would shut down the last remaining abortion clinic.

Wait, what, you say? I thought that I was told that the Republicans favored “small government.” That they were all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Jobs are job one. Government needs to stay out people’s lives! Government has no business in health care! Isn’t that what the media told us that the Republicans believe? Certainly when it comes to health reform, the mantra was “keep your Government hands off my health care.” I didn’t realize that the subtitle was “unless your hands contain an ultrasound probe, and I am a woman of child-bearing age.”

Who knew that the new Republican mantra was: “a government small enough to drown in a bathtub, but big enough to probe every possibly pregnant uterus in every Republican controlled state in America.”

Is ownership of one of these now a prerequisite for high Republican office?

You can buy your own at Wal-Mart. It's where any self-respecting Republican politician buys his tools to oppress women.

You can buy your own at Wal-Mart. It’s where all of the cool Republican politicians go for their tools to force their state’s uterus-bearing constituents into involuntary pregnant servitude.

I mean, last August, just before the election, the Dayton Daily News in Ohio (yes, that Ohio. The one that just shoved a bunch of abortion restrictions into their budget) swore up and down that the Republicans were focused on jobs.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich told Ohio reporters in Tampa that social issues are important, but improving the economy and creating jobs is the focus of this election.

“The social issues are important but the overriding moral issue in America today is job creation,” Kasich said. “That’s what makes families healthier. This election is going to be won or lost on the basis of who is going to improve the fortunes of Ohio families and American families.”

Apparently, in Ohio, and pretty much everywhere else that the government is controlled by Republicans, that’s nothing more than lies to keep women in their place. We know they aren’t afraid to lie to us, because they do it every day.

They lie about wanting to reduce the number of abortions, while simultaneously restricting, or even ending, access to contraception. They lie about being concerned about women’s health, while they force doctors lie to their women patients. They mandate that doctors perform unnecessary and invasive procedures – sometimes involving vaginal penetration – and lie to us, saying that the procedures are for our own good, even when there is absolutely no medical reason for them. And then, in the ultimate example of adding insult to injury, they make us pay our doctors to lie to us, and to perform those procedures that if they were committed by anyone other than our doctors would constitute criminal sexual assault.

I would like to say that I believe that people – men and women both – won’t stand for it. That the small and vocal minority who believe that rape victims should be forced to carry their rapist’s child to term will not prevail. That the small and vicious minority who think that the forced penetration of women who want to avail themselves of their constitutionally protected right to abortion is an appropriate means of deterrence will ultimately be voted out of public office. That those who believe that men and fetuses have an absolute right to life, while women have only a qualified right to life, subject to the current condition of their reproductive organs, will be roundly and firmly rejected.

And, if the current activity in Texas is an indicator, maybe there is hope.

Everything is bigger in Texas. Especially protests.

Everything is bigger in Texas. Even the protests.

But I have no confidence in any of this, because the voters have shown again, and again, and again, that they will fall for the bullshit. That they will swallow Republican lies about small government, and all of the rest of it for all time, unendingly, as they return Republicans to power, so they can, in fits and starts, sometimes with great leaps forward, like during this long, hot summer of 2013, work tirelessly to deny and dismantle and erode and encumber and hamper and hinder and obstruct and rescind and revoke and restrain the rights of women and their access to reproductive health care, contraception, and abortion.

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I just want to say hello to everyone who has found, and who will find, my post on fetal personhood. So far, that post has received hits from over ten thousand readers from 67 countries, spanning 6 continents, including, by way of example, Sweden, India, the United Republic of Tanzania, Iceland, Bangladesh, Austria, and Zambia. Not surprisingly, most of these views – in excess of 9500 of them at this point – are from U.S. readers.

Over 100 people have also commented on that post, most of them with words of encouragement for me and for other readers. My heart has been variously warmed and broken. More than one woman who was the victim of a rape has commented to say “thank you” to me for speaking on their behalf. I’ve been admonished for using profanity, and advised that my reasoning lacks a logical foundation.

I did stop posting opposition comments several days ago, although I broke my rule for the guy who represents the most extreme anti-abortion view, and who is perfectly comfortable with the idea of prosecuting rape victims for the termination of a pregnancy forcibly imposed upon a woman by a rapist. I suppose I should give him credit for being honest about his view that a sentence of life in prison for both doctor and woman is a perfectly reasonable societal response to a private medical procedure that terminates a pregnancy. He did not specify what sentence a man who facilitates the woman in getting the abortion would receive, but I think it is fair to say that he is probably fine with that individual also receiving a life sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. The rapist, on the other hand, would presumably receive a sentence that is far less severe.

To summarize the content of the remainder of the comments that I didn’t approve is pretty easy. They nearly universally point out that it is their belief that life begins at conception. I have been told, twice, that they “knew” a woman who was raped and who didn’t have an abortion and that she was happy with that decision. I don’t quibble with this – she was lucky enough to have a choice and I would never take it upon myself to tell a woman who chooses not to have an abortion that her decision was wrong. I’ve been told that this their opposition to abortion has nothing to do with “punishing” a woman for being sexually active.

I acknowledge that I used that phrase intentionally, and that it was meant to be a bit inflammatory. However, I have heard far too many anti-abortion politicians and activists say things like “if she didn’t want to have a baby, she should’ve kept her legs closed” to take very seriously the position that opposition to abortion has nothing to do with female chastity and/or sexuality. Perhaps on an individual basis, those commenters are telling the truth. But when the same people who seek to outlaw all abortions also seeks to impose “abstinence only” education on the educational system, in spite of the fact that it is proven to be ineffective at reducing the rate of teen pregnancies, and also seek to inhibit the ability of insurance companies to voluntarily cover contraception for women – poor, middle class, affluent and otherwise – because their bosses are morally opposed to it, I simply cannot take that position seriously.

After I wrote the post, we had yet another Republican Congressional hopeful, from the State of Washington, make yet another offensive statement about rape victims. It seems that there is an unlimited number of such candidates who are prepared to marginalize and minimize the impact of the crime of rape on rape victims by referring to it as “the rape thing” and contending, shockingly, that “crime has consequences.” While I agree that crime should have consequences, it is my position that those consequences should be visited upon the criminal not the victim. Preferably in the form of long-term incarceration. I would note that never, in my career, or in my life, have I heard someone refer to a serious and violent physical assault as “that assault thing” or an armed robbery as “that stealing thing” in the context of dismissing the impact upon the person who has been assaulted or robbed.

In any event, to everyone else who finds their way here, welcome.

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I apologize in advance, because this post has nothing to do with books, classics or otherwise.

But I’ve been watching a lot of Republican candidates for federal office saying a lot of stuff about pregnancy and rape, and pregnancies resulting from rape, over the last several weeks, and I am simply unable to keep my mouth shut any longer. Because as all of my friends know, I’ve been prosecuting rape, child abuse and homicide for over a decade and a half, and this is a subject that I happen to know quite a lot about. And I am deeply disturbed by the personhood movement, by the idea that there should be specified exceptions to a blanket criminalization of abortion, and by the fact that the group of mostly men propounding this policy seem to have absolutely no FREAKING idea what they are actually trying to do here. Since I think that my perspective as a prosecutor might be relevant, I intend to provide it. Read on if you want to hear it. Skip this if you don’t.

First off, I want to talk about an abortion ban that leaves exceptions in place only for instances of rape, incest or life of the mother. The first thing that I want to say about this policy is this: this is a pro-choice position. The proponents can call it whatever the hell they want, but the bottom line is that this position is pro-choice. A person who takes this position is acknowledging that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy. What we are actually quibbling about here is who gets to decide when the woman’s reason is good enough. With the classic pro-choice position, the person who gets to decide if the woman’s reason is good enough is the woman. Herself. The rape/incest exception people – their position is that they get to decide if someone else’s (i.e., some other woman’s) reason is good enough. I am pro-her-choice. They are pro-their-choice.

In addition, however, to the extraordinary presumption and paternalism inherent in the position that you – whoever you are – should have more control than the pregnant woman over her reproductive future, is the absolutely, unequivocally impossible enforcement situation that this policy would create. So, we criminalize abortion but leave in place exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. As a policy matter, what does this mean?

Well, it involves me. That is pretty much a certainty, because I am a prosecutor and I prosecute people accused of crimes. So if we find ourselves in a situation where women who get abortions that don’t fall under one of those exceptions have committed a crime, then I’m going to be the one making the decisions about what happens next. That’s my job. And I have to say, I am more than a little bit uncomfortable about being legally mandated to prosecute other women because they have terminated a pregnancy when it is a bunch of non-pregnant people – many of whom are men who can’t even become pregnant – who don’t think her reason was “good enough” to be “legal”.

But, please, enlighten me. How do I decide if prosecution is warranted? And, by the way, how does a woman who qualifies for one of these exceptions go about availing herself of the exception? Are we going to take the pregnant woman’s word for it that she was raped (somehow I suspect that the answer to this question will be “no”)? Is there going to be a form that she has to fill out? Will she be placed under oath? Will there be post-abortion investigations by the police to ensure that she was truthful when she said that she was raped? If we aren’t going to just take her word for it, what will be the mechanism for fact finding we will use?

Will there be some sort of hearing, in a public courtroom, before a judge, where a woman is required to prove that she was raped? How much humiliation will we require the woman to endure during this hearing? Will her attire at the time of the “rape” be relevant? How about her reputation for chastity? Will Rule 412 apply? Will she be subject to cross-examination? Will she have the right to counsel, court appointed if she cannot afford to her own lawyer? Who will represent the interests of the state/fetus? Will it be someone like me, with a similar job title? What will the burden of proof be for the hearing? How will we expedite the hearing so that the abortion can occur within the appropriate time frame, given that there is a window of opportunity that cannot be missed? Will there be an appeal process? Has ANYONE who wants to criminalize abortion while leaving open some exceptions spent even seven seconds considering any of these questions?

But wait, there’s more! What about statutory sex crimes involving children? What if the “woman” is really a child of 11, and the perpetrator is a 35-year-old predator who met her on the internet, groomed her, and then had sex with her? Is it still a rape, even though he didn’t use force to compel compliance? Who gets to decide if the child victim should be permitted to have an abortion? If you are her parent, do you seriously think that some pro-life, conservative Christian judge should be empowered to tell you what is in the best interest of your eleven-year-old, 75 pound, emotionally-ravaged baby girl’s health and welfare? How about some jackass who just happens to be the duly elected Senator from Indiana, but who has absolutely no credentials related to mental health or pediatrics or child development? Where does that guy get the authority to tell you that this pregnancy is what God intended, and that therefore you are going to spend the next eighteen years raising the child of the man who raped your fifth grader while he spends the next quarter century enjoying three hots and a cot courtesy of the taxpayers and the Department of Corrections? And what if your daughter dies in childbirth? Will you be expected to take solace in the fact that, according to the likes of Richard Mourdock, this was all a part of God’s great plan for your family?

Oh, and, what if the rapist denies that it was a rape (rapists do this, sometimes. This may come as a shock. I am sorry to destroy your illusions)? What if I – the prosecutor – determine that there is insufficient evidence to charge the defendant with the crime of rape. Criminal charges require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a really high burden. What if I believe it happened, but I don’t think that I can prove it. Does that mean the woman wasn’t raped for purposes of the rape/incest exception?

This is what happens when we start second-guessing reproductive health decisions being made by pregnant girls and women. We wade into a thicket where, suddenly, lawyers and judges and police officers are making decisions that we are so incredibly ill-equipped to make. Where people like me end up telling pregnant women, “hey, what happened to you wasn’t horrifying enough for ME to allow YOU to terminate this pregnancy. Sorry. But remember, this is all part of God’s plan for you.”

And then, to take it one step further (and I apologize, because I know this is really long and if you haven’t stopped reading by now, you undoubtedly really want to) what happens if there really is a law that declares a cluster of cells moments after the joining of the egg and the sperm a person? What does that mean?

Well, what it potentially means under the law of my state is this: any person who intentionally causes the death of a person under the age of 14 years has committed the crime of aggravated murder. A person is defined as a human being who has been born alive. But if the federal government changes that definition, then well, does that make abortion a potential death penalty offense?

So, personhood for a cluster of cells means that abortion could equal aggravated murder. Really, do Republicans want us prosecuting girls and women for the aggravated homicide of their zygotes? Is that the plan here? Do they actually want to impose the death penalty, or will life in prison be sufficient to satisfy their pathological need to punish women for the crime of being sexually active? Of course, if the woman is guilty, so is the man who facilitates her in procuring an abortion – boys, if you take your girlfriend to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, we’re going to imprison you both for murder. It’s called a “conspiracy.” In case you were wondering.

But if that isn’t their goal, if they would say “of course we don’t want that,” well, then, I have to ask, “what the hell do you want?” Because if you actually believe that a zygote is a person, then how can you demand anything less than justice for the murder victim? Acceptance of less than full accountability means that the zygote has less meaningful protection for its personhood than other persons. And if you can accept this, then it must mean that you don’t actually think it is a person, because we don’t have degrees of personhood in this country. If it is a person, then it absolutely must enjoy the same rights and protections of every other person. So, if you aren’t actually prepared to deal with the consequences that flow from granting it those rights and protections, then you cannot justify calling it a person. Words have power and meaning, and if even you don’t really think it is a person, then what the fuck are we all having this discussion for?

These positions are based upon a certain religious perspective. I have one of those, too. In my world, God is never present at the scene of a rape. And, unless you’ve been raped, you cannot understand what it is like to be raped, and you should shut your effing pie hole about it. You do not tell a pregnant victim to make lemonade out of lemons. Having a daughter who is an unwed mother is not like having a daughter who was raped, nor is it like being a woman who was raped. There is no biological imperative that prevents a woman who was raped from becoming pregnant. And your belief in your God has absolutely nothing to do with my, or anyone else’s, decisions about reproductive health or family size or status.

And all of this chatter and talk is offensive, it is demeaning, it is patronizing, and it is unconscionable. As someone who has worked with rape victims – including some who were pregnant, some who were children, and some who were pregnant children – for over a decade, I would strongly suggest that you all think a little harder about what you really want here and about what you are really proposing. And then, when you’re done with this thinking process that you should have engaged in BEFORE you started shooting your mouths off, please do me the courtesy of leaving me (and the critically important work that I, and people just like me, do every day to advance the causes of justice and public safety in our communities) the HELL out of your overweening compulsion to control the lives and pregnancies of a bunch of girls and women you have never met and will never meet.

And one more thing. Stop with the pandering bullshit about “small government.” Because no person who seeks to require government officials to be involved in litigation over the fertility of the uteruses of all of the women who reside in their jurisdictions can credibly claim to be a proponent of small government.

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for a brief, and probably profane, political rant.

As most of you know, there is an election occurring in my home country of The United States of America that is a mere 20 days away. The two candidates met for their second debate last night. And the takeaway meme is thus:

Binders Full Of Women.

Yes, I know. It’s hilarious. There is an excellent tumblr blog that really encapsulates the abject stupidity of this remark. I wonder if, upon the words escaping his lip, Mr. Romney had a moment of horror where he realized, “oh, god, this is it. Those are the words people will remember.”

But, as hysterically funny as they are, let’s probe a bit deeper about what he said IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION THAT ASKED ABOUT HIS APPROACH TO INSTITUTIONALIZED DISPARITIES IN WAGES BASED UPON GENDER IN 2012 AMERICA.

Here’s his whole answer:

“And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

Wait. Let us now cut to film of a man – maybe Steve Irwin (oh, no, he’s dead, gotta find someone else) – dressed in safari gear and wearing a pith helmet:

“We’re out here tonight in search of that rare and elusive creature known as “Female Candidate Qualified for a Cabinet Level Post in the Romney Administration.” We’ll call her “QualiCan”. Now the female QualiCan (Genus Qualificanus, Species Levelus Cabinetae) is a gentle creature, not easily found in QualiCan’s natural habitat, the boardrooms, courtrooms, and corner offices of the private sector.

Perhaps, however, if we are very quiet, we can entice her into showing herself. Shhhhhhh”

Ummm, yeah, how patronizing is that? Really, Mitt, you had to go on a full-scale search for “qualified female candidates.” What, Massachusetts is suddenly Baghdad and all the smart women are in purdah?

In America, women have been nearly half of the graduating classes of medical and law schools for more than two decades. Maybe, just maybe, you couldn’t find any qualified women candidates because your all-male review staff weren’t looking for them – or maybe because they just didn’t want to work for you.

And then, then, he doubles down on his insult to having qualified, accomplished women working for him with this:

“Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”

He continued, saying that his chief of staff couldn’t work late because she had to be home “making dinner” and “being with them when they get home from school.”

Romney said, “Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.”

So, let me get this straight, Mr. Romney. Your answer to a question THAT ASKED ABOUT YOUR APPROACH TO INSTITUTIONALIZED DISPARITIES IN WAGES BASED UPON GENDER IN 2012 AMERICA is to tell American women that you’re going to have them home in time to cook dinner for their families? Are there any other household chores you want to put on the list for me to do when I get home from work? Laundry, maybe?

What. The. Hell. No, seriously, what the hell?

First of all, you pompous prick, I guess it’s good that we know what you really think. Women in the workplace need to get the hell out of it so they can get home early enough to do their second full time job, and it is just fine to pay them less while they are there.

And second of all, don’t even get me started on contraception, abortion, women’s healthcare and your stated desire to give a cluster of cells in my uterus exactly the same personhood that I enjoy.

I can’t imagine why any American woman would vote for this clown. Period.

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