V for….?

For the better part of a year, I have been telling Republicans that they might do well in 2012 if they could focus on economic issues and resist the temptation to fondle the hot-button social issues. “No, Bob,” they told me, “We’ll be too busy creating jobs!” Yeah, I didn’t buy it either.

Since 2010, when the GOP stormed into statehouses across the land, the forces of morality have had their hands all over women’s issues. There were moves in the Arizona Senate to allow doctors to withhold pregnancy information if they felt it might influence a woman’s decision, and if she should choose to terminate, she would be forced to watch a filmed abortion first. (Maybe they’d do it ala ‘Clockwork Orange’ where they prop the eyes open so you won’t miss any of the gory close-ups.) In New Hampshire they tried to tie birth control to prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. There were those who claimed a victim of rape could not get pregnant, implying that if she is, she must have picked it up from her husband, one of her “partners” or maybe from a toilet seat. In Virginia, Republicans advocated for physical penetration as a deterent. If you’re a straight guy who’s ever endured a prostate exam, please note that it can only be performed voluntarily, even if refusal could be life-threatening. 

But things really came to a head in Michigan this week, when Rep. Lisa Brown was bound and gagged, metaphorically of course, for daring to mention the “v” word in the hallowed halls of democracy.

“Im flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina, ” she said to the chamber full of men, “but NO means NO.” Rep. Barb Byrum was also restrained for attempting to amend a pending bill to include vasectomies for men. Again, a “v” word. I guess what’s good for the goosed isn’t acceptable to the gander.

The next thing you know, they’re performing The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the capitol, complete with signs and chanting of “v” words all over the mediasphere. Repubby’s ears must be burning hotter than a chihuahua on Spanish fly.

Conservatives like to point to recent polls that show they’re gaining ground in the abortion debate. That may be true, since I don’t know anyone who wants one, but It will take more than all the king’s men to put that egg together again. Do we want to go back to the days of back-alley butchery or a black market for bathtub RU486? I would never counsel anyone to have an abortion, but I would never deny a woman the right to make her own decision.  

And just for the record, I am and always have been pro-vagina.

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56 Responses to V for….?

  1. Is it possible to support a woman’s right to make the ‘abortion decision’, and also question who should be made to unwillingly pay for the abortion?

    • Ryan Mount says:

      Welp that’s it Mr. Rebane. Is it a medical issue or a moral issue or both? I guess we can stir it up even more by adding in the 4th and 9th Amendments which seems to add significant ambiguity on both sides of this issue.

      It’s an interesting Libertarian question: would one be willing to have complete autonomy of their bodies (abortion in this case), as long as there was no government influence in the process? And by influence we’re talking about public funding (Planned Parenthood), education (I dunno, pick one…schools, government Ads in Women’s magazines) and regulations (the government telling a woman how and when and why she can have an abortion.)

      I think most people nowadays look at it as a medical issue between the patient (a woman) and her doctor. Unless we can implement my man-gina initiative (see below).

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        I’m pretty sure the Libertarian Party position is that it isn’t the government’s business whether a woman chooses to abort or not, and it isn’t the government’s responsibility to pay for it. I remember telling that to my Democratic congresscritter’s survey monkey when they called me for my opinion sometime in the ’80’s, and I gathered they hadn’t heard that one before.

        There probably isn’t unanimity in the LP on the questions of notifying spouses or parents (if a minor child). I personally think that some of the same ethics that covers the separating of conjoined twins applies to late term abortions.

        [BTW Ryan, you skipped out on a thread conversation you escalated on another blog, why not go back and face the arguments?]

        • Ryan Mount says:

          I meant, for the record, Libertarian in the general sense, and not in reference to the American Libertarian political party.

          Regarding the other conversations, I’ll go back and look. I have the attention span of a 7 year old, so I got distracted with other things. Not to mention my day (and night) jobs for that matter. Rust never sleeps.

  2. Ryan Mount says:

    > And just for the record, I am and always have been pro-vagina.

    Good to know.

    You know Mr. Crabb, we could solve much of this controversy by making men carry a baby for 9 months. Imagine the reforms that would happen almost overnight.

    I suppose we could call it a man-gina in this case. (Man-gina sounds like a heart condition, which seems oddly appropriate) I’m not even sure what a man-gina means, but it made me laugh.

    I got to say man-gina three times. Four if you count the last man-gina. Which would be five times.

  3. $10 for the best recipe for a drink called, “the Man-Gina.” Should be very popular to order them up, at least in Nevada City restaurants (and Berkeley too). Comes complete with a tiny plastic speculum, with a pair of cherries on the opening and closing handles. Are you man uppy enough for it?

  4. TD Pittsford says:

    Man or woman it should be clear that our bodies are not our own. It belongs to the insurance companies, the courts, and tort lawyers.

  5. Todd juvinall says:

    My position is the government stay out of a woman’s vagina and womb. But I don’t want tax dollars paying for any og it. Yet, the same babe from Michigan wants her constituents to pay, probe and inspect their wallets for dough to let the woman get a abortion. I would say what is good for the goose is good for the vagina. There, I said vagina quite a few times.

  6. Steve Frisch says:

    Just remember boys what women really think of us every time we discuss their health concerns as though they are our moral decisions…..


    • Todd juvinall says:

      Just you SteveF, we are confident in our sexuality.

      • Steve Frisch says:

        My daddy once told me the most insecure man is the one who boasts of their confidence.

        Todd, something tells me Bob will have less patience than other hosts. Can’t you just enjoy the video?

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Seeing Frisch’s post reminds me, Jonah Goldberg’s been promoting his new book, “The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas”.

      I’ve not bothered reading his stuff, but he was interviewed for the better part of an hour on CSPAN Book TV, well worth watching.

      ‘Women’s health’, what a wonderful cliche’d euphemism for terminating a pregnancy.

      • Steve Frisch says:

        Let’s remember that the issue in Michigan which Mr. Crabb refers to is not an issue of what health care women can or should receive under Michigan law, it is an issue of what procedures are used in a deliberative legislative body to allow or disallow people to speak. The issue of what health care a particular group my receive may be a matter of debate–as a matter of fact the health bill in question was not the subject of debate on the day Representative Brown was not allowed to speak, it was the debate on the previous day of the session–the bill being debated the day she was not allowed to speak as punishment for her previous days use of the word vagina was a school retirement bill.

        Here is an portion of the story from The Detroit News:

        “‘What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. ‘It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.’

        “Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, determined Brown’s comments violated the decorum of the House, said Ari Adler, spokesman for the Republican majority.”

        What Rep Brown said was. “I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” she said. But what came next is what got her in trouble: “And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.'”

        I guess I would ask commentators to please point out what is so offensive in that comment that it would lead to censure the next day?

        The ability of an elected representative of the people to address such an issue, and use language that is standard medical nomenclature, should not be restricted by the chair simply because they are uncomfortable with the language used.

        Todd, and by passive support Greg, fall into a common conservative trap here by perpetuating the idea that this is about abortion, or birth control, or any other health care choice. That is not the issue. The issue is the attempt to curtail speech by a powerful chair over the elected representative of the people.

        As long as the Republican Party acts as apologists for this type of nonsense they will continue to suffer the gradual loss of support amongst women and other groups who are treated paternalistically.

        • RL Crabb says:

          The problem with democracy is thus illustrated when the majority forgets that it has an obligation to protect the rights of the minority. We Californians know how that goes.

        • Todd juvinall says:

          Well let me see SteveF. What do you think would have happened if a man said “penis” or “keep your hands off my penis” on the floor of the Michigan Capitol? Of course it would be in context of say, a vasectomy. You libs are such hypocrites. Free speech only vetted by you? Sorry, though decorum in our public settings has been dumbed down by people like you there are still some semblance of manners in some areas.

          • Steve Frisch says:

            Nothing would have happened. But if it did you would be defending the right to use the word.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          Steve, this fits right in with Goldberg’s lying by cliche thesis.

          Brown’s comments, claiming her opponents were interested in her vagina and the “no means no” had poured ‘date rape’ cliches into the debate. This was found to violate decorum, and that isn’t a big stretch.

          • RL Crabb says:

            If those pillars of morality had anything like a sense of humor, they would have ignored the incident and it would’ve disappeared. Instead, they decided to use the “v” word to make an example of these two women. The Republicans are simply getting the payback they so richly deserve.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Sorry, Bob, but snide sarcasm/snark on the floor really is forbidden by most US legislative bodies. It has made Maddow and Beck wealthy, but it’s a way to shut down debate, not facilitate it.

      • Todd juvinall says:

        When the choice is life for the unborn here in California the government goes after the man’s money to support the child even though he has no say under the Frisch rule. Kind of unfair don’t you think?

        • Judith Lowry says:

          It’s called birth control TJ. You know, condoms, abstinence, yadda,yadda.
          If you let your little dogs loose in someone else’s patch, and they do damage? You pay.

          And why do we have all these men yakking about women parts again? Sheesh! Do you hear us going on and on about your scrotums?

          • RL Crabb says:

            In the interest of fairness, shouldn’t we exclude people with names like “Dick”, “Peter” and “Johnson” from public discourse, or even holding public office? That would put a dent in the Republican caucus. Oops! The word “caucus” is pretty suggestive. How about we refer to them as a “roomful of Richards?”

          • Todd juvinall says:

            Obviously you don’t get out much. Women yapp constantly about the males in their lives when lunching together and discuss all his parts. You must be from Mars (or is that Venus?) if you have not taken part in that. LOL!

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            JL dances around the issue… in the US, men now have virtually no reproductive rights.

            Judith apparently thinks that is proper.

          • Judith Lowry says:

            GG, you have the right to keep yourself in your pants.
            Otherwise you own 50% of the result.
            What’s so hard about that?
            If you don’t want to pay child support for an unwanted child, don’t take the chance that you might make one.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            So JL admits a man does have some say in the process. Thanks, that is all we asked and you supplied the proof.

        • Steve Frisch says:

          “…..in the US, men now have virtually no reproductive rights.”

          When I am done rolling on the floor laughing I will reflect on how hard men in the US really have it!

          • Todd juvinall says:

            You know about how hard men have it? LOL!

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            It does appear both Judith L and wikipedia disagree with you. Mens reproductive rights begin and end with the initial sexual contact.

            You apparently exercised your right to not have any kids. Good for you!

  7. Brad Croul says:

    here is the latest email missive (forward) from my octogenarian pop. Not sure if it is applicable here, but…

    Partners help each other undress before sex.
    However after sex, they always dress on their own.
    Moral of the story: In life, no one helps you once you’re screwed.

    When a lady is pregnant, all her friends touch the stomach and saying “congrats”.
    But, none of them come and touch the man’s penis and say “Good job”.
    Moral of the story: “Hard work is never appreciated.

    1. Money cannot buy happiness, but it’s more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than on a bicycle.
    2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the asshole’s name.
    3. If you help someone when they’re in trouble, they will remember you when they’re in trouble again.
    4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.
    5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then neither does milk.

    THERE YOU HAVE IT … and remember, life is good!

  8. Brad:

    Apparently your father never told you the three things every son should know:
    –Never eat at a place called Mom’s;
    –Never play poker with a man named Doc;
    –Never got to bed with somebody who has more problems than you have.

  9. Steve Frisch says:

    Nice to see the familial advice flowing here!

  10. RL Crabb says:

    “In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.”
    – Abigail Adams, from a letter to hubby John in 1776.

  11. Ben Emery says:

    Power to the vagina, it’s overdue.

  12. Greg Goodknight says:

    It took some digging, but the legislation being discussed is “The Legislature is considering legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless a pregnant woman’s life is in danger.”

    20 weeks, or 4 1/2 months, is about the lower limit for survival outside the womb, an interesting choice of terms, and there definitely could be a reasonable discussion based around some limit like that. The fetus is also the child of someone else besides the mother seeking to have the little critter evicted, and they, the little critter who presumably wants to stay where they are, and the state (in ensuring the rights of all are not violated) all have a stake in this.

    It still leaves 4.5 months for the womb’s owner to seek eviction, presumably without interference from the state or anyone else.

    Is that appropriate? Maybe, but it takes a debate devoid of snark and grandstanding to find out, and so far, the folks grandstanding are the ones making the most noise.

    • RL Crabb says:

      Politicians, grandstanding? Politicians and grandstanding go together like Pink Floyd and quaaludes. Both parties do it on a daily basis. If they didn’t, I’d be out of work.

  13. Judith Lowry says:

    Bob, you sure know how to give a blog “legs”!

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Judith, try letting go of the cliches and think for yourself one of these days.

      The entire tempest-in-a-you-know-what was just BS politics as usual. The original “vagina” comment was out of line in context, and “women’s health” isn’t an acceptable euphemism for abortion.

      This ‘interested in the Representative’s vagina’ was over a banning of late term abortions, except when there was a danger to the mother, defining late term as 20 weeks plus. What do other civilized countries do? Do they have time limits for seeking abortions?

      From the wiki:
      12 weeks (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Norway, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yugoslavia),
      13 weeks (Italy),
      14 weeks (Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Germany, Hungary, and Romania),
      18 weeks (Sweden),
      viability (Netherlands and to some extent the United States), and
      24 weeks (Singapore and Britain)

      Of the 100+ nations that have legal abortions, only two have longer periods of choice. Even Sweden has a more limited time than what the Michiganers were trying to debate.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Sorry… mainland China, Vietnam and Canada have no limits. In fact, I think China allows abortion through about the 300th trimester.

  14. Judith Lowry says:

    GG, King of the non sequitur.

  15. Greg Goodknight says:

    JL, queen of duck and cover.

    • Judith Lowry says:

      Once again, proving my point.

      Gotta duck out now and go to work.
      I have to cover my expenses.
      Oh and, that’s Ms. Queen to you.

  16. Greg Goodknight says:

    Madam, sorry to disappoint, but your points are never proven and are mostly just misstatement of fact hits and runs, and, given the raw hostility shown from your earlier post, “Men should have their pricks pinched off the day they are born, and then have to earn them back”, I hope you’ve never had a son.

    From all your posts above one wouldn’t have a clue the “vagina” reference was a red herring (or something smellier) that obscured the fact the bill was not about women’s health but rather curbing late term abortions, a bill more liberal than in countries like France, Italy, even Sweden, and already the law in most states.

    The biggest howler above was your claim that if I don’t keep zipped, I own 50% of the problem. The problem with child support laws for unmarried couples is that the man owns at least 50% of the bills but virtually Zero rights to make decisions in their child’s life.

    If you don’t want joint custody, preferably in wedlock, don’t make a baby and expect the state to shake down the dad for cash for you to spend as you see fit over the next 18 years. With equal rights under the law, outside of marriage, the sperm donor would have the same rights to walk away as the womb-lord does, and a number of feminists agree.

  17. Judith Lowry says:

    You make a lot of assumptions and you don’t listen.

    My crude remark in the aforementioned post was intended to jolt you gentlemen out of your reverie as you blithely bandied women’s issues about as if you even had a clue. It was a “mule and 2×4” kind of thing.
    I get my sass from the Irish side of my family, which is both sides, so I make no bones.
    The idea is to spar and have fun with this blog and others like it.
    My dad was a Golden Gloves boxer and his tongue was as nimble as his feet and hands.
    Mom was extremely quick witted and was his match.
    They were like the Godzilla vs. King King of words when they got going.
    Some us get raised around that and it makes an impression which leads many into comedy.
    I don’t aim to be disrespectful of others, but then I abhor a bully.
    Nor do I suffer those who love to dish it out and then whine when they have to take it.
    We all take our lumps.
    And yes, it does take two to make a human life, 50/50.
    No one knows better than I do.
    I am a paternal grandmother of four beautiful children 3,4,9 and 23.
    I never get to see any of them.
    I does hurt, I know.
    Peace? Just for today?
    Tomorrow is another day and Bob may have cooked up another juicy topic for us to chew.
    We may tilt yet again, GG.
    But for now, beautiful weather, have a nice day : )

    • Todd juvinall says:

      Greg your info is correct. Here is a link to a analysis of the Michigan brouhaha and it is also correct.


      Since all of us come into the world through a woman’s private parts, I think it is simply hilarious that JL and the libbers think they are the only ones concerned about their bodies and their “health” issues. But I do get snarky comments from the libbers and I try to to take them for the hilarity they try to dish.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Todd, thanks for trying to help, but sometimes being quiet can help even more 🙂

        I generally disagree with Coulter but she does turn the occasional phrase. I had not read any of her comments on this prior to your post, but I think she was perfectly clear on the concept with these lines,
        “Why must a certain type of woman always start shouting about her vagina whenever the topic of abortion comes up? Do what you want with your vagina. Pro-lifers just want to stop babies from being killed.”

        Personally, I’m pro-choice on just about everything but elective late term abortions not medically indicated for the actual physical health of the mother are an abomination.

        • Todd juvinall says:

          GregG, being quiet has never been my strong point. Sometimes I step in it but I have too much to say I guess. Speech is too much fun. Coulter is on the mark on this and though she can be the right leaning personality as JL is the other way, there is always a kernel of truth in what most people say.

  18. Greg Goodknight says:

    “You make a lot of assumptions and you don’t listen.”

    I think you are describing yourself beautifully, right down to the bully you should be abhoring. That “crude remark” of yours was ugly to the bone, and sexist at its core.

    I do have a son, “men’s issues” are as important as “women’s issues”, and human issues trump both. It wasn’t “women’s issues” that was being bandied about in Michigan’s legislature, it was late term abortions, a human issue.

    “Paternal grandmother of four” doesn’t make clear whether you bore a son or not. I have two grandkids by virtue of having married their grandmother.

    “Peace for today?” is fundamentally at odds with your very first sentence.

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