MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Dear RNC: Please Stay Out of My Ladyparts. Thanks.

I’ve been talking to various friends over the last few weeks, trying to figure out exactly when and where this apparent Republican war on women has its roots. This has to have been going on for a while, in subtler ways, even though it feels very much like it sprung out of nowhere in full bloom. I don’t think more than a day has gone by lately that there haven’t been at least a couple posts in my Twitter and Facebook feeds about a Republican politician saying something that’s blatantly misogynistic, or yet another bullshit piece of legislation aimed at controlling women and their ladyparts. It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so goddamned serious. I, for one, am getting awfully tired of old Republican men crawling all up in my vagina. If I didn’t invite you there, you don’t belong there.

My home state of Oklahoma passed a version of personhood legislation, which officially makes the Oklahoma legislature more stupid than …. well, than all the states that have shot down this legislation. If you are a liberal, a feminist, a supporter of the right of women to control their own bodies and their own lives, the personhood movement should scare the shit out of you. So should every single item on MoveOn’s list of Top Ten Republican Attacks on Women.

It baffles me that any woman would be a member of the Republican party at this particularly dark point in its history. I don’t care what your fiscal politics are, or if you think Obama care is Socialism (it is, but that’s not a bad thing to everyone, kids). If you are a woman and you are a Republican, if you are out there supporting Santorum or Romney or Gingrich, and most especially if you are, God forbid, a female politician drafting or supporting or voting in favor of anti-woman legislation, it is time for the rest of us to stand up and say: You are being a traitor and a disgrace to your gender. Period. We’re just past the point where we can be nice about it.

Look, I get the emotion behind the anti-abortion stance. There was a time in my life when I, raised Catholic as I was, aligned myself with the pro-life movement. When I was in the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature in college, believe it or not, I authored and supported pro-life legislation. But sometime in the years right after college, around the time I got divorced and left Oklahoma, my views underwent a major shift. I’m not sure I can pinpoint what caused that shift, but certainly many of the conversations and debates I had over abortion legislation with liberal friends back in those college days had an influence. My personal views on abortion didn’t change; it would still take something really extreme for me to consider having one myself. But what I came to realize is that I can hold that value for myself, but that I can’t make that decision for another woman. And I don’t want anyone else making it for me.

To control the access of women to abortion and birth control is to reduce the worth of women to nothing more than incubators. It’s more than just a slippery slope, it’s an avalanche. You know how you stay in power when you’re afraid of a large chunk of society opposing your views? You dehumanize them, you legislate away their self worth. In Nazi Germany, they did this by chipping away at the rights of Jews a drip, drip, drip at a time — a curfew here, a law about who could sell to a Jew or buy from a Jew there, a gold star here, taking away property rights there, a ghetto here, a train to Auschwitz there. Those Nazis sure knew how to dehumanize an entire race of people, but more importantly, they knew how to numb the populace to the horrors they were perpetrating: by committing those horrors a bit at a time, and then by fear.

We’ve been sitting back, jaws agape, while Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Rachel Maddow express our outrage. But where is our collective outrage? Where is the outrage that drove the suffragists, who fought for the right we have to vote these assholes out of power? Where is the outrage that drove our mothers and grandmothers to burn their bras, to march for equal rights and equal pay (which, AHEM, we still do not have)? Women need to be uniting here. Organizing marches. Protesting. Occupying, even. If we don’t all stand together to protect the rights of women in this country, if we allow the Republican party to control this conversation and pass laws that shackle over half our population, we really are headed to hell in a handbasket.

2 Responses to “Dear RNC: Please Stay Out of My Ladyparts. Thanks.”

  1. Sheila Framke says:

    Brava!

  2. L says:

    Great, but psst: the bra-burning thing is a myth. http://www.snopes.com/history/american/burnbra.asp

Leave a Reply

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies

How do you make a Top Ten list? For tax and organizational purposes, I keep a log of every movie I see (Title, year, director, exhibition format, and location the film was viewed in). Anything with an asterisk to the left of its title means it’s a 2014 release (or something I saw at a festival which is somehow in play for the year). If there’s a performance, or sequence, or line of dialogue, even, that strikes me in a certain way, I’ll make a note of it. So when year end consideration time (that is, the month and change out of the year where I feel valued) rolls around, it’s a little easier to go through and pull some contenders for categories. For 2014, I’m voting in three polls: Indiewire, SEFCA (my critics’ guild), and the Muriels. Since Indiewire was first, it required the most consternation. There were lots of films that I simply never had a chance to see, so I just went with my gut. SEFCA requires a lot of hemming and hawing and trying to be strategic, even though there’s none of the in-person skullduggery that I hear of from folk whose critics’ guild is all in the same city. The Muriels is the most fun to contribute to because it’s after the meat market phase of awards season. Also, because it’s at the beginning of next year, I’ll generally have been able to see everything I wanted to by then. I love making hierarchical lists, partially because they are so subjective and mercurial. Every critical proclamation is based on who you are at that moment and what experiences you’ve had up until that point. So they change, and that’s okay. It’s all a weird game of timing and emotional waveforms, and I’m sure a scientist could do an in-depth dissection of the process that leads to the discovery of shocking trends in collective evaluation. But I love the year end awards crush, because I feel somewhat respected and because I have a wild-and-wooly work schedule that has me bouncing around the city to screenings, or power viewing the screeners I get sent.
Jason Shawhan of Nashville Scene Answers CriticWire