America Is In Real Crisis. Why Did We Let This Happen?
A bunch of chickie-boos registering post-Roe to vote for the very first time points to how we Americans sleepwalk through elections, until we're like, "Whahappentoourdemocracy?"
I raised a bit of debate earlier this month on LinkedIn when someone posted a supportive article on Iranian women’s protests against wearing the hijab. Commented I,
It's a critical example of an unpleasant fact of life: In order for things to change, the *oppressed* are the ones who will drive it, no one else. Not the ruling class/party, not the government, *the oppressed*. When they've had enough they say the hell with it and *fight back*. It doesn't matter who they are or where they live. It's a universal fact of life.Something to think about in our own highly privileged, victimhood-obsessed cultures.
A few pushed back and one inevitably dragged slavery into it (because you can never talk about oppression without bringing up slavery, since we only got rid of it, like, the other day), sarcastically suggesting “..those slaves should have rose up collectively and vanquished their oppressor(s).” To which I noted there were numerous slave rebellions over the centuries and it remained a primary concern for slave owners everywhere. Rebellions fed the narrative along with escaped or freed slaves telling their stories to sympathetic abolitionists, their allies.
There are always allies, I pointed out. Humans can’t collectively agree on anything. You may not know who your allies are and they may be afraid to speak up, but eventually a tipping point occurs and the tide turns against the oppressors.
Otherwise, many sleepwalk through their lives accepting the status quo, especially when they tolerate the slow, gradual erosion of their rights until one day they wake up and…
The girls finally got ‘woke’—up
America’s mid-term Congressional election isn’t nearly as sexy as the quadrennial presidential election, but nothing is collectively making women’s hearts go pitter-patter—with fear—as much as the forthcoming mid-term elections next month, four months after the official loss of Roe v. Wade.
All reports indicate that women are registering to vote, many for the first time in their lives, in record numbers, and primarily Democrat. Seems many finally woke up from their deep sleep of, like, the last fifty years and realized that oh, hey, OMG I can’t believe Republicans actually pulled it off! They got rid of Roe! WTF are we going to do now? I didn’t think they’d REALLY do it!
But they did, and no one can say they didn’t see it coming if they were paying attention. Feminists and women’s rights activists warned about it for decades. The long slow death of Roe began at its birth in 1973 when foes began looking for ways to restrict abortions, beginning with the passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976 which prohibited any government funds to be spent on any abortion that didn’t result from rape, incest, or when a pregnancy posed a threat to the woman’s life. It was the first real shot back across the bow and continued throughout the country as Republicans, conservatives, and the religious right worked hard at the federal, state, and local levels to roll back the hard-won right to make choices about one’s own body.
“This will result in the loss of Roe if you don’t stop them now!” feminists kept yammering. America’s women weren’t listening. They had shit to do. Like jobs, and families, and keeping up on Dallas and Dynasty. Later, they distracted themselves with social media and Netflix, ironically with The Handmaid’s Tale. “Wouldn’t that suck if it happened here?” some asked while others gave them the side-eye and thought, “WTF do you think is happening under Trump, you dizzy broads?”
Three Supreme Court justice picks later and - a total of five liars under oath who said they’d preserve Roe - the joke’s on you, chickie-boos! Ha ha ha! Gaslit ya, bitches!
If this November turns into another Blue Wave, like the last mid-terms which saw a record number of women elected to Congress, the next two years could be interesting, if President Biden and the other Democrats have the balls and labia to get some real shit done, damn what the Red Caps want. Don’t count on it, but women can dream.
Not all the new voters are motivated by fear of the new Republican lordship over their wombs. Some will be driven by fear that women who value agency will chip away the right’s hard-won victory over female autonomy. The blue wave may be lighter or darker than the last, but it will likely be purple in some places, or simply a lighter shade of red.
The question after the election is: Will women learn their lesson?
Democracy is like a marriage. You can’t slip the ring on - or sign the Constitution - and then go back to sleep. “I don’t have to try anymore. I don’t have to vote to keep this alive.”
Too many women sleptwalked through the latter part of the twentieth century thinking all was well with abortion rights, even as its enemies patiently turned up the heat. You could always get an abortion somewhere, even though it might be more of an inconvenience. Mostly middle-class and white women could afford to think this way, not the poor who might barely scrape up the money for the abortion, let alone the bus or train ticket to elsewhere. Now a woman can, will, and is going to jail if she has an abortion, even if she travels to a legal state. Unless she’s fucking Herschel Walker, who will find a clinic somewhere on the Q.T.
You want to be a resident of this Jesus-stan state? You keep your damn legs closed until marriage or menopause and if someone rapes you and you get pregnant, deal with it, you filthy whore! You made him do it with your slutty, womanly ways!
This is how Gilead starts for women: Not with the highly improbable sudden American coup d’état of the book, but by incrementally boiling the pretty little froggies.
We let it happen. We allowed Republicans to do this. We permitted them to erode away our right to make decisions about our own bodies.
Women have power, and sometimes we choose to give that power back to the original holders.
So we will turn out to vote in Roevember, but what’s not on the ballot is the return of Roe v. Wade. Whether that takes another constitutional amendment or perhaps some new federal laws that survive Supreme Court challenges, we will likely see a slow, gradual return to eventual abortion rights. What’s the timeline? I don’t know, but it took 49 years to drive a stake through Roe’s heart.
Some have called for the impeachment of the five Supreme Court justices who lied under oath about preserving Roe, but that’s not likely to happen, for good reasons. As justified as it would be, we’re already facing a much bigger crisis of state if Donald Trump and his cohorts-in-coup d’état get indicted. There’s hell to pay if he is, and hell to pay if he isn’t. And the side who will bring holy hell if he is is much better armed and more inclined to use violence.
Eliminating over half the Court would be truly unprecedented and terrible, terrible optics for any sitting President.
Remember, progressives, these things work both ways.
What does this mean for the rest of America?
Women who paid attention and cared about preserving their rights voted Democrat, or for any Republican or other candidate who declared their commitment to abortion rights.
Those who sleptwalked through the end of Roe weren’t registered or didn’t vote and we can thank them as much for Roe’s demise as we can the Handmaids and their Commanders who actively fought and voted against abortion rights.
‘T’warn’t all just the Republicans, after all.
What has happened to women is a lesson for the rest of our nation of zombies.
Since the ascent of Ronald Reagan in 1981, we sleptwalked as a nation as he destroyed unions beginning with the PATCO air traffic controllers strike the same year he was inaugurated. We snoozed while he nationally deinstitutionalized the mentally ill and created a homelessness crisis, and subsequent crime spike, which continues to this day. The C-average college student granted ill-thought-out tax breaks to everyone, increasing the national debt and destroying budgets. When the nation’s unemployment rate was over 10% in 1982, Reagan’s primary objective was to promote school prayer. It was the kind of silly-ass culture war we have today, and illustrates how a largely overstated grievance underlines a sinister agenda by one political wing to impose a particular way of life on everyone else.
We woke up in 1984 to re-elect The Great Obfuscator in a landslide and snored as he undermined civil rights, escalated the Cold War and drove the Doomsday Clock three minutes to midnight, pushing it back to six minutes in December 1987 with the INF Treaty with the then-Soviet Union. We shut our ears to warnings during the Bush II era that income inequality was a serious problem and the middle class was disappearing. We had more important things to think about, like how the hell we were going to find another good-paying job in the latest recession and whether we were going to get murdered in workplace mass shootings.
Now here we are in 2022 and we can’t agree on what’s a secure, honest election or even collectively condemn a violent attempted overthrow of a democratic government. At least in 1974, Republicans grudgingly came to agree that Richard Nixon had to go.
We still point our fingers at ‘shithole countries’ and tell each other, Yeah, we’re not like that. Not even close! Those damn libtards just hate ‘Murica!
Sleeping beauties and their new transfer of body autonomy to male control are the canary in the coal mine for American voters. I won’t even quote Pastor Neimoller, we all know what he said. We don’t care. We have shit to do. Gotta catch the Jeffrey Dahmer series on Netflix tonight!
When I’m not warning Canadians about the dangers of sleepwalking through elections, and we do it too, I help women and others reclaim their power, if not their body autonomy, on my website Grow Some Labia.