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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

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“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott