5.07.2005

time warp

Reggie Rivers, a former NFL player, writes a column for the Denver Post, and I thank Mr Rivers from the bottom of my heart for his latest piece. Athletes and former athletes are so rarely willing to be political, and given their built-in audience, it always seems to me a wasted opportunity. (I understand the reasons for it, but I'm activist - I want people to be active.)

In a recent comments-conversation with Crabletta, I was espousing my views on reaching more mainstream audiences with political material. For me, that is the greater challenge.

I couldn't live without venues like The Nation, In These Times, The Progressive (etc. etc.), and of course the blogosphere. It's incredibly important that we educate each other.

But for me personally, the more important stuff is Barbara Ehrenreich writing for Time, or an Oprah show on domestic violence, or a column just like this in the Denver Post.

You can read it in its entirety here. Oh what the hell, read it in its entirety right here. I love this little piece.

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Good news, guys: It's back to those good ol' sexist days
Reggie Rivers

Gentlemen, we're in a time warp, and I mean that in a good way. Over the millennia, we've been able to keep women's options severely restricted. If a woman wanted a beautiful home, nice clothes, a family and respect in the community, she needed a husband.

Once she was married, she'd face stiff penalties if she left her husband. It used to be that divorce laws didn't offer her much help, and the community was structured to reduce her options. Life without a better half could be pretty bleak.

Banks would not loan money to a single or divorced woman, apartment houses would not accept her signature on leases, employers would not hire her, other women wouldn't associate with her, and most men wouldn't date a divorcee. These powerful social constraints kept women in marriages, where they belonged.

Nowadays, the old patriarchy has lost some of its sting and, predictably, society is falling apart. Women have access to education, jobs, respect and opportunity with or without a husband, and that's a disaster. They're fueling the divorce rate, having children out of wedlock, bossing men in the workplace, demanding alimony and child support and not suffering reasonable sanctions for upsetting the natural law.

Gentlemen, we cannot give up the fight. We have controlled women for millennia, and we can still do it now. We just need to focus on reproduction. It takes two to tango, but she's got a bigger stake in the dance. Once the music ends, the effects can last forever, and that's where we gain our advantage.

We want women pregnant. It slows them down, interrupts their careers, places more demands on their time, makes them more dependent on men and encumbers them with children who further reduce their options.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ridiculously fashioned a privacy right out of thin air in Roe vs. Wade, giving women the right to have abortions. Every effort to overturn this bad decision has so far failed. But, thankfully, we're in a time warp. The strategies we used for hundreds of years to repress women are still useful today. We must focus on erecting barriers that will keep women from pursuing abortions.

Good news! The Colorado legislature this week affirmed Gov. Bill Owens' veto of the emergency-contraception bill. Liberals had demanded that health providers inform rape victims about the so-called morning-after pill, and it was typical of them to manipulate the rape issue to try to create a back door for abortions. But the governor rightly asserted that rape victims aren't on par with doctors. We've got to remember whose rights are important here.

In fact, any gynecologist who examines a teenage girl should refuse, on religious grounds, to inform her that she's pregnant. If the doctor suspects that the teen will use his diagnosis to seek an abortion, then he has a moral duty to keep her in the dark about the pregnancy as long as possible.

On the national level, our representatives are working on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would make it a criminal offense for a grandmother, aunt, older sister or other non-parent to ferry a teenage girl across state lines for an abortion without the consent of her parents. Let's see how long this little underground railroad stays in business after a few women get sent to prison.

Insurance companies pay for Viagra (good) but not birth control pills (better). And now, right-minded pharmacists across the country have started refusing, on moral grounds, to fill birth-control prescriptions (best).

Like the good old days, we'll just keep reducing their options and keep the ladies under control.

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Thanks, Mr Rivers. You are one cool dude.

4 comments:

Crabbi said...

Go, Reggie! Thanks for this most excellent post, l-girl.

I'd add mandatory mediation for divorcing couples to the list, too. I think Utah and Tennessee have such laws on the books, but I'll have to double-check. But what a fabulous way to promote family values! Even if a person is being abused, he or she should think twice about leaving because, well, you know, family values. Nukular family values are good. We need to create and promote a culture of wife.

L-girl said...

"Nukular family values are good. We need to create and promote a culture of wife."

You crack me up!

I emailed a thank-you to Reggie Rivers and he wrote back right away. (Nice!) He said he's had several emails from sexist guys saying "right on!" and calls from irate people calling him a neanderthal. Too funny.

Anonymous said...

HE is one of our more liberal newspeople here in our great red state...

Nick

Crabbi said...

That's funny that some people didn't get it because the strongest element of Rivers' piece was the tone. It was perfect! Of course, I guess sexist types aren't known for being quick on the uptake.