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In my Social Activism class, my professor posted this video, and it’s so fabulous, I have to share it with all of you.
Introducing FotoShop by Adobe`. Dramatic results on wrinkles, cellulite, & all sorts of other flaws real women aren’t allowed to have. Enjoy!
On Thursday, January 9, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice met to gather information on bill H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The problem with this subcommittee? It is yet another all-male panel set to determine policy that affects women. Another problem with this bill is that it isn’t just about taxpayer funded abortion but also abortions provided via private insurance — insurance the woman pays for via her premiums.
If you recall the all-male birth control panel that propelled Sandra Fluke to unwanted fame and started the infamous slut-shaming by GOP windbag Rush Limbaugh, this new subcommittee is yet another misogynist attempt to harm women and violate our natural rights to body autonomy and self-determination. These men have no idea what it is like to be a poor woman, a woman with a pre-existing health condition, a woman who is scared, or a woman who simply cannot afford to have a child.
This latest all-male subcommittee heard from three witnesses, only two of whom were female. These women were Susan Wood, Associate Professor of Health Policy and of Environmental & Occupational Health in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, and Helen Alvare, a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. The third witness was a man, Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yes, a religious figurehead getting a say in secular, governmental matters that do not affect him as a religious person OR as a man.
Wood had this to say in her testimony:
The Bill Would Ban Abortion Coverage for Virtually All Women in this Country, Including Those in the Private Insurance Market.
Those who oppose abortion have tried and failed to make it illegal, so instead they have worked to make it almost impossible to obtain. Indeed, some object even to insurance coverage of contraception, the most effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion. One of the ways they have accomplished this goal of limiting access to abortion is to make it unaffordable. This bill is their most recent attempt to place affordable abortion care out of reach for even more women.
The need for access to abortion to protect the health of women, not just when they are in danger of imminent death, is critical….. Health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy or others would not necessarily fit the definition of placing a woman in “danger of death,” but could have potentially serious consequences for her health. Health insurance currently routinely covers the range of pregnancy care and other health services that may be needed by any individual woman. By denying abortion coverage, this would not only change the current insurance women have, but would put some women’s health at risk.
In conclusion, this bill would impose a sweeping and unprecedented ban on abortion coverage, with far-reaching and harmful consequences for women’s health and economic security. When it comes to the most important decisions in life, such as whether to become a parent, it is vital that a woman be able to consider all her options–including an abortion– no matter what her income or source of insurance. It makes sense that health programs cover the whole spectrum of women’s reproductive health needs, including birth control, abortion, and childbirth, because when people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.
Here’s a link to the Judiciary page where you can read all three statements.
Part of Deorflinger’s complaint is that he, and some others, do not want tax-payer dollars going to pay for elective abortions. As a pacifist, I don’t want my tax-payer dollars going to build bombs and fund wars based on lies. And yet, my wishes aren’t granted. For women who might get a teeny bit of tax-payer money to help them get an abortion if they need or elect to have one, these women are tax-payers, too. If they’re adult women, they pay taxes in some form or another, whether it’s sales tax at the grocery store, gasoline tax at the gas pump, property taxes on their house or apartment, or income tax.
Do we even need to go over how hypocritical it is that Viagra is covered by insurance but abortion may not be?
STOP MAKING WOMEN OUT TO BE MOOCHING SLUTS. Women get pregnant. By MEN. We’re in this together. Drop the misogyny and look at the facts as presented by Wood.
This subcommittee and this bill are yet another step backwards for American women and American politics. According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2013, 56% of women live in one of the 27 states considered hostile to abortion. Guttmacher also crunched the numbers on anti-abortion laws:
Twenty-two states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013. This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year…. 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).
Let’s review some of the other misogynist highlights that happened in the USA in the past couple of years that I covered here on ArousedWomanBlog.com:
- NEWS: Susan G. Komen Finally Shows Its True Colors – And It’s NOT Pink!
- NEWS: Rep. Todd Akin Defines ‘Legitimate Rape’ for All of Us Pretend Rape Victims
- NEWS: No Women on House of Representatives’ Birth Control Panel
- FILM: ‘The Invisible War’ Exposes U.S. Military’s Sexual Abuse Cover-Up
- NEWS: FDA’s Emergency Contraception Plan for Plan B Contradicts Court Ruling
- NEWS: New Mexico Takes #GOP’s Stupid Pills to Usurp Rape Victims’ Reproductive Rights
- NEWS: Michigan Lawmaker Reprimanded for Saying “Vagina”
- NEWS: Republicans Still Waging War on Women – ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ Dies
- NEWS: List of 31 Senators Who Voted Against the Violence Against Women Act (& the Coward Who Didn’t Vote at All)
- NEWS: The War on Women
- NEWS: Romney & GOP Prefer Their Bitches in ‘Binders Full Of Women’
- OpEd: My “Steubenville” Experience – The Night I Don’t Remember
What does this mean for women in the United States? We MUST stand up and speak up for our rights as American citizens and human beings with basic human rights. And we MUST vote more pro-choice women in Congress.
Samhain means “Summer’s End”, and October 31st is a night to honor those who have crossed over. Most cultures that are close to their indigenous roots have rituals such as this. For Northwestern European indigenous culture (and those of us of that descent), Samhain is a very special, sacred time.
For some background, Halloween is NOT rooted in paganism or witchcraft. The devil, demons, and evil spirits are a Judeo-Christian fantasy. The word “witch” comes from the Proto-Indo-European word wig- which means “wise” and was used to refer to “wise women”, the healers and keepers of life’s mysteries. This is the reason that misogynist imperialists have always hated and feared women. “Pagan” comes from the Latin paganus, which means “country dweller”, and was used by the Romans to refer to the indigenous clans of Europe. For clarification, the Romans were NOT pagans; in the Roman Empire, the walled cities — urbs, were home to Roman citizens — civiem (from which we get the words civil, civilized, civilization). The walled cities were built to keep the indigenous tribal pagans OUT and away from Roman citizens. This is how “pagans” (the indigenous clans) came to be thought of by the church as un-civilized; they were literally un-citied — the pagans did not live within the walled cities of Rome with the civiem.
Back to the present, one of the most prolific visages at this time of year happens to be decorations, candies, and costumes featuring a green-faced witch. Some say, it’s just a comic take on something that’s not real. They say it’s a joke, a harmless costume.
I completely disagree.
When you buy products that feature a green-faced witch with a crooked nose & ragged hair, you are perpetuating misogyny.
The mass public is thoroughly confused about witchcraft and witches. In regard to paganism and witchcraft, too many people think witchcraft is either evil (thanks to the medieval church) or whiz-bang fireworks (thanks to TV, film, and Harry Potter). This is why we activists have to speak out against the ingrained prejudices. Sadly, most people do not know they are being misogynistic, thanks to the imperial patriarchal culture of the past 2,500 years. And so, we continue to speak up and speak out until all of humanity is educated and the healing begins.
Posting some of this information on my Facebook profile, one friend (yes, an actual, in-real-life friend) made this surprising comment:
All I can do is laugh. Halloween has always been about fun in my lifetime, people overthinking things and getting offended over nothing is what the problem is. Look at all the BS going on about peoples costumes, it’s Halloween, that’s what people do, dress up in costumes that depict something they are not. get over it lol [sic]
The getting offended part may have referred to American Indian activists protesting Halloween costumes that include “Indian braves” and Pocahontas. Odd, since my actual friend is actually Cheyenne. Just goes to show how insensitivity to other people’s oppression is prevalent regardless of personal identity.
For my response, I gave a brief overview and background of the Witch Trials, which I researched extensively for my musical, Witchcraze.
The perception of what witches look like stems from the witch trials of Europe and the New World colonies. Wise women — witches — were a common part of rural society, but the height of the Dark Ages saw the first Witch Trials in the early 14th century, when Pope John XXII declared in 1326 that the inquisition could investigate accusations of witchcraft. When the printing press was invented and mass printing was available, woodcuts of witches riding brooms and attending sabats became a familiar sight in print, fueling the burgeoning stereotype of witches. Another damning factor for women as knowledgeable healers came with the rise of medicine and men commandeering the healing arts. Wise women who still treated patients became suspect of all sorts of calamities during the late Middle Ages, as various epidemics afflicted both humans and livestock. If someone or some thing died, people blamed the local witch. As medieval Europe recovered from the fall of Rome and established institutionalized rule within its new kingdoms and expanded the institutionalized dogma of the male-dominated, woman-subjugating Christian church, the witch went from a place of respect in a community to a source of shame and suspicion.
The witch trials were brutal to say the least. By the time most people saw a “witch”, it was for her public trial or execution (re-trial). This happened after she had been imprisoned and tortured for months. The witch hunters and those in charge of gaining confessions from the accused used all means of violence against the women, including rape, beatings, joint breakers like thumbscrews and the strappado which broke the women’s shoulders, the iron maiden, boiling water, boiling oil, to name just a few. The beatings left their faces severely bruised and swollen, hence the green discoloration, and misshapen as their facial bones were broken and not reset properly, a feature that is caricatured by a large, crooked nose and overly emphasized cheekbones and jaw. The missing teeth of the commercialized witch are a nod to the real witches having their teeth punched out during beatings for a confession. The witches hunched posture and misshapen fingers are also part of the legacy of beatings, their backs and shoulders were severely injured while their hands were crooked and disjointed. Their voices raspy due to choking torture and dehydration.
My comment to my friend:
So you may not see what harm there is in buying green-faced witch merchandise, but for those of us who know what it means, it represents misogynist evil. So there is nothing for me to “get over”. I will continue to educate people on the truth.
To which he responded:
I’m well aware of what happened in those times, not a good time for people, women and men, who were accused of witchcraft. Education is a great thing or we wouldn’t be where we are today but come on, I’m not going to turn away a child because he or she is wearing a green faced witch costume.
You do not aim scorn at the kids; after all, hate and prejudice have to be carefully taught (to paraphrase South Pacific). It’s the adults who need educating so they don’t continue the cycle of misinformation and stereotypes to another generation.
So I speak up, and I speak out. I love sporting a witchy hat when I can, and “looking like a witch” is something I do every single day — just by being me.
P.S. I’ll save talking about the sexualization of witches, the pentagram, and Christians stealing Yule from the pagans for another time.