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

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948

“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson