Friday, February 17, 2012

"We Are All Catholics"--NOT.

Show of hands: who likes sex? 

Now, ladies, keep your hands where they are; fellas, put your hands down and look around. Look at that! We like it too. 

Alright, ladies: keep your hands up if you also think that having sex is bad (wrong, sinful, whatever) unless the sex is with your husband and you are willing to become pregnant. Oh, look; there ARE some of you. Yes, I think I recognize you from Brother John's class; I remember his telling us that the only way a birth control pill could work is if the girl held it between her knees. Aspirin works too, I understand--plus, it's cheaper and available OTC. 

OK, then: keep your hands up if you also believe that having a vagina exempts you from various things--call them rights, liberties, privileges, freedoms, whatever. 

Like controlling whether you become pregnant. 

Like obtaining FDA-approved treatment for certain debilitating illnesses. 

Like access to low-cost health care, if you're poor. 

Like having a voice in laws that primarily impact women. 

Like NOT having a foreign body inserted in your vagina against your will. Some call it rape; others, a condition for getting a legal abortion in some states. Good thing it's not a condition for free speech, too. 

Hey, look, way there in the back: I see you with your hand still proudly raised, Sister! Wow, you really mean it, too--you've got that upright posture, stern look, thin lips, chin thrust right out. Well, I've got some good news and some bad news for you. 

The good news is that no matter who wins the GOP nomination in August, you will have a candidate on the ballot who represents you! The bad news is that he doesn't stand a chance of winning against Barack Obama in November. 

While you watch this confounding era in our nation's history play itself out, Sister, why don't you divert yourself with a good book. Let me recommend The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. 

The rest of us need to speak up about these issues. Men, that includes you, too. The "war on religion" is a Trojan horse, with women's health at stake. 

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