The Female Body: A Strange and Frightening Country

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with the unifying theme of this year’s Republican Presidential Nomination process. At first I thought it was economics, but everyone else is having too much fun taking shots at the richest man on the field, Mitt Romney, so I don’t think that is it. Maybe it is national security, but Ron Paul is a pretty strong isolationist, so that isn’t it either. Perhaps  religion is what unites them, but they are all of differing, often dramatically so, versions of Christianity, so I don’t see it there either. Oh… wait! I know what it is! It’s that “women are icky!!!”

Every one of them is anti choice, or at least mouths the party line on that one. They are all about “freedom of religion” when it is religion imposing itself on women’s bodies. They all complain about the downfall of traditional gender roles to varying degrees. Even Bachmann, maybe especially Bachmann, when she was still in the race seemed to want to wage war on women and their bodies.

The idea of women controlling their own destiny is of course inimical to male privilege, the dominant paradigm of our entire species, so it is no surprise that politicians, regardless of race, sex or religion are going to pander to conservative views especially when they belong to the conservative party. The vigor with which this years candidates, and their most vocal supporters, do so, however, would be almost comical if it were not so dangerous and wrong headed. They are walking tropes of anti women motivations and behavior.

Romney? He belongs to a faith that until the past generation or so held firm that it was the absolute right of a man to marry multiple women (not so much with the other way around.) Santorum? Leaving aside for a second his foaming at the mouth devotion to an organization that is the last Christian sect to say “nah, women can’t hold leadership roles in our group”, the guy just oozes “I live in the closet but lady parts scare me.” (Assuming I am correct, though, you gotta admire the intestinal fortitude it would take to father five kids under those circumstances.) Bachmann? Please. “It’s not fair that other women get to have orgasms and I don’t.” Paul? This is going to be kind of mean, and I know I’m never going to win any beauty contests myself, but does he kind of remind you of that poor, ugly kid in high school that is constantly rejected and takes it out on all women, even his mother? Finally there is Newt. What can possibly be said about Gingrich that hasn’t already been said. Newt raises misogyny to an art form. My hat is off to you sir (so I can slap you across the face with it.)

Now maybe I am biased. I want a female body, though I was not born with one, and still have a great appreciation for other women’s bodies. I admit it, I may have an agenda here. But jeez, don’t you think their lives, and ours, would be a lot less frightening and a lot more fun if they tried to see things from that perspective? Isn’t life a bit saner, and a bit nicer if we see a woman’s body not just as a baby factory or a masturbation aid for men, but as a beautiful thing in its own right, owned wholly by the woman residing in it?

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