Published on June 17th, 2012 | by tomkolovos2
THE VAGINA ANALOGS: The politics of lipservice in the digital (r)age
Your vagina is all the rage in 2012.
It was a rage once reserved for my ass but lucky for me, in 2012, I am a gay man and we’ve come a long way, baby.
The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the military now allows gays to serve openly and without fear of reprisals. Marriage equality (the infinitely more voter friendly term for same sex marriage) is the law of the land in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, the District of Columbia and now in New York.
Yesterday Illinois’ Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez made history–and the front page of The Chicago Tribune– as the first State’s Attorney in the country to refuse to defend the lawsuit challenging the same sex marriage ban because she believes it to be unconstitutional, as does the Illinois attorney general’s office, which plans to file a brief in support of the ACLU lawsuit.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed under President Clinton for political –if not ironic–necessity is now being repeatedly struck down by the Federal courts–and by Republican appointed judges. Clutch the pearls.
President Obama was very publicly forced by Joe Biden to voice support for marriage equality in an ABC interview– with a closeted Robin Roberts, who’s otherwise enamored with over sharing details about her personal life– for fans of irony– thus resulting in Newsweek magazine declaring Obama “The First Gay President” on it’s recent hyperbolic cover story.
Neither Tina Brown nor Andrew Sullivan, who wrote the story and has become the de facto gay mainstream media intellectual emeritus, are strangers to hyperbole, one should note. But to a more serious and not hyperbolic point, as LBJ fever is now running amok among intellectuals due to Robert A. Caro exhaustive research, one should not miss the delicious opportunity to point out the crucial role of the Vice Presidents in matters of civil rights. It was LBJ who resigned himself, once he became President, to signing The 1964 Civil rights Act championed by JFK. Conversely, it was Joe Biden, history will recall, who forced President Obama’s hand on marriage equality and thus will be remembered for taking all the credit. (Let’s leave out, for our purposes here, Dick Cheney and The Partiot Act– and simply for being a Dick.)
This year will be the 25th anniversary of the publication of the seminal And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts, which is to say for gay men like me, the time between the devastation and fear brought on by the closet and the epidemic to the trivialization of sexuality in a Bravolebtity world populated by Housewives brought to you by inane gay fame whores like Andy Cohen is regrettably half my life.
You win some, you lose some, yes?
Yes. I won’t trouble you with the history of feminism but I will point out that Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues in 1996–16 years ago– in which:
Every monologue somehow relates to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.
Yesterday, the blogosphere was abuzz with the story of the GOP Legislature in Michigan which banned a female State Senator from speaking in the chamber because she dared use the word vagina, despite what Rebecca Keegan had to say in The Los Angeles Times piece “‘Vagina,’ once unmentionable, has become a fashionable term.”
In all fairness, she means it more convincingly when she sticks to popular culture and satire of conservative extremism on cable, but fashionable though it may be with Oprah Winfrey, the Doyenne of GED suburban PTA types, in politics your vagina is an outrage. 25 Republican-Approved Ways to Say ‘Vagina’ Without Offending Political Pussies from Zezebel.com should be required reading.
The GOP primary fight turned out to be an embarrassment of riches that brought out every right wing nutjob fueled by rage that you are actually intellectually capable to be trusted with control of your own vagina. Collective control of your vagina by the GOP has come to be known as “the war on women” in the 2012 political landscape. The far right wing puppeteers of the GOP claimed to have found in your vagina a portal that leads, if not exactly to John Malkovich’s brain, then certainly to an Eisenhower era mentality. Funny or Die released a hysterical video lampooning GOP women who proudly proclaim “I want the government in my vagina.”
“You know, it really is surprising, because I feel like it’s a retro-debate that took place in the 1950s. It’s sort of back to the future, isn’t it? And it is surprising in the 21st century we would be revisiting this issue,” Olympia Snowe of Maine, the outgoing Republican Seantor, noted a few months back.
That observation has stuck with me, especially the word “surprising.” It is most of all surprising isn’t it? And not the least bit because through the nearly 150 intervening years since The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill in 1869, Sarah Palin is the media whore of the GOP, or at the very least the darling who lowered the bar so low she deserves SSI benefits.
And the more I have thought about it, and in light of the progress in gay rights I hurriedly etched above, why would the GOP be in the business of revisiting your vagina, not that I’m saying it’s not a nice place to visit the first time or any other time you’re accepting visitors.
And then it dawned on me while I was reading even the cursory headlines about the country’s radically changing demographics: the war on women is not a war on women at all.
Why all the intense scrutiny in the traffic in and out of your vagina that is usually reserved for ISP providers? A vagina is the reproductive channel that must be controlled to protect against the decline of the white ruling majority in the 21st century. Surprise!
Minority Birth Rate: Racial and Ethnic Minorities Surpass Whites In U.S. Births For First Time, Census Reports and Tipping point for California: New census data shows Hispanics will outnumber whites sometime in 2013 and Explaining Why Minority Births Now Outnumber White Births. But wait, there’s more.
Despite the fact that the Romney’s and the Bachmann’s have 5 kids each and the Santorum’s have 7, the birth rates among white women are steeply declining compared to rates for non white women. Oh, and minority voters tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
One way to capriciously–and outlandishly– increase the birth rates among white women is to deny contraception coverage and make abortions even more difficult and or illegal.
Add to the mix that single motherhood is guarantor of poverty– “Only 43% of single mothers make over $15,000 in a year and only one in fifty make more than $30,000 a year. This is because single mothers usually work blue-collar and service jobs.”
Now add to the mix the fact that the GOP perfected the “The Southern Strategy” of pitting poor Southern white voters against black “welfare queens.” The GOP still relies on this racial hatred to make poor whites vote against their own self interest–Toby Keith Republicans I call them–by imagining that slashing tax rates for the rich will somehow benefit the white poor because Republicans will limit black access to government services.
And your vagina comes in where, you say?
By limiting access to contraception and the right to control the timing of family planning for heretofore privileged white women, not only would you see a reduction in the labor participation and educational gains women have made as a result of contraception, you would also see the rise of the “new southern strategy,” if you will, of whites vaginas the GOP can pit against threatening “minority vaginas.”
Just yesterday I ran across this incendiary post from The Atlantic by Elizabeth Wurtzel “1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism and Make the War on Women Possible,” and I thought the headline alone is a good place to start spoiling your entire day.
“Seriously: Did Romney actually tell his wife that her job was more important than his? So condescending. If he thought that, he’d be doing it.”
Spoiler alert: if he wins in November, he will be.
Without pussyfooting around, That’s my story. Just think about it and I’ll even spare you the headline the Michigan GOP might use: “Why vaginas leave a bad taste our mouth.”
Tom Kolovos is EIC of aControlledSubstance.com and took the photo which appears on this post outside of Water Tower Place in Chicago while the young lady pictures was waiting for the 151 bus.
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