We Cannot Choose Our Way To Gender Equality

SORRY CHARLOTTE

SORRY CHARLOTTE

(This post is because I have more to say about this.)

REMOVING PUBIC HAIR HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

TAKING A HUSBAND’S NAME HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT. 

WEARING MAKEUP HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

GETTING MARRIED HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

HETEROSEXUAL SEX HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

DATING HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

HOMEMAKING HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

PLASTIC SURGERY HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

HIRING A NANNY HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

DIETING HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

RAPE FANTASY PLAY HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

BUYING FASHIONABLE CLOTHING HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

WEARING HIGH-HEELED SHOES HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

EATING MEAT HAS ITS ROOTS IN SEXIST TRADITIONS. EVEN THOUGH I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WHO HAS ZIR OWN SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE REASONS FOR DOING IT.

Y’all, we can add to this list all day long.

It’s important to talk about the ways in which our choices can be and are sexist, and why they are sexist, and what the systems of power and oppression that perpetuate sexism look and sound and feel like. It is vital that we talk about who benefits from these sexist things, and who is marginalized, oppressed or disempowered by them.

No one is living a sexism-free life. No one is free of privilege. Everyone commits microaggressions. Everyone fucks up. Everyone makes shitty decisions. Some of the shit you do is sexist. Sometimes you’ll do it consciously. Sometimes you’ll do it accidentally. Sometimes you’ll do it joyfully. Observing that people make sexist decisions, even observing that YOU, MY FRIEND have made sexist decisions, may genuinely be a critique and a judgment of you as a person, but also may be a cry for help, or a cry of anger, because your sexist decisions are making someone else’s life harder, even if they make your life easier. To be feminist is not to be free of criticism; to be feminist is to be open to criticism.

When I wear high heels, I am making someone else’s life harder. When I eat meat, I am making someone else’s life harder. When I wear mascara, I am making someone else’s life harder. When I shop at Wal-Mart, I am making someone else’s life harder. When I get married, I am making someone else’s life harder. When I watch pornography, I am making someone else’s life harder. Sometimes I can choose not to do these things. Sometimes I cannot choose. But when I do them, for whatever reason I do them, the effect is that I am making someone else’s life harder because I am reinforcing patriarchal norms, perpetuating misogynist ideas or funding explicitly oppressive institutions.

I understand that decisions I make that may seem unimportant, inconsequential or even feminist to me, are decisions that may negatively affect other people in the aggregate. When someone calls my decisions or actions sexist, it may be because they are sexist even though I consider myself a feminist. I may also not have the desire or ability to amend, change or undo my sexist decisions or actions. I may like my sexist actions. They may make me feel good or happy.

To that end, I think feminists have a dual mandate.

(1) Do minimal harm

(2) Do a fuckload of good

We can’t do minimal harm without talking about what things are harmful and why. So if someone critiques a decision you’ve made, or an action you’ve taken, as unfeminist, sexist, or otherwise perpetuating of patriarchy, oppression, or marginalization, they might be perfectly reasonable in doing so, or they might be a complete asshole with a stupid beef. But chances are, you are going to be doing some sexist shit sometimes at some point in some ways. Because chances are, we are all doing some sexist shit, because patriarchy is strong and stubborn and there is no such thing in living in a patriarchy-free way, making patriarchy-free decisions, wholly outside the realm of culture. Because nobody lives on fucking Jupiter. Listen to criticism from people you trust if you feel like a change might be in order. The others? Haters allllllll the way to the left. You will never be every feminist thing to every feminist person.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean never doing sexist shit. It does mean that you take on the social responsibility to fight patriarchy in ways that make sense for you and that utilize your skills and talents for the greater good. Feminism is not an intellectual exercise. We cannot “choose” our way to gender equality in the quiet privacy of our own homes. Feminism is active public practice.

Fuck choosing our choices. Let’s choose our battles.

Posted in activism, feminism, personal essays | 7 Comments

Pflugerville ISD Caves To Pressure From Right-Wingers Over Domestic Partner Benefits

Because backwards, right-wing religious zealots who hate equality and freedom are the most important people in the world and must be accommodated at every possible turn, the Pflugerville Independent School District–it’s a northern suburb of Austin–has said it will reconsider its decision to extend domestic partner benefits to employees. Summary: THE GAYS OH GOD THE GAYS.

According to the Pflugerville Educators Association president: “There has been pressure from the religious community in Pflugerville pushing back against it. … Their issue is that they think somehow this supports gay marriage.”

Despite the fact that the district leadership and education association brass seem to think that this is totally stupid and ridiculous and it’s not even about gay marriage you guys, it extends domestic partner benefits to hetero people toooooooo they’re gonna backtrack. Charles Dupre, PISD Superintendent:

“From my perspective, it was simply a change to our benefits plan that recognized our ongoing dialogue about equity and social justice, and our dedication to valuing every member of the PISD family.”

Whew! At least Christians have talked the district down from “valuing every member of the PISD family,” that could have been really horrifying.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Austin Feminist One-Year Anniversary Tweetup Saturday 12/1 With The Lilith Fund!

aftAustin feminists and allies, please allow me to cordially (OR NOT SO CORDIALLY IN ALL CAPS) invite you to tomorrow’s joint #ATXFEM/Lilith Fund tweet-up and happy hour!

Our first tweet-up, at which the #ATXFEM hashtag was born, was December 3, 2011 at Red House Pizza (RIP) and I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since a bunch of feminists gathered ’round to talk about activism, cats, and who-knows-what-else. Since then, we’ve met almost every month to convene with like-minded souls. It’s been really incredible, and I’ve met so many awesome activists, feminists, allies and new friends.

If you haven’t yet been to a tweet-up, let me encourage you to come out tomorrow to the Flying Saucer at 5 p.m., because not only will you get to meet the #ATXFEM crew (and become a part of it!) but you’ll get tons of information about the Lilith Fund, a vital organization that helps women access safe, legal abortions and does community outreach with regard to reproductive justice. Also, there will be coloring books and pub trivia with fabulous dollar store prizes.

Still apprehensive about meeting a bunch of strangers at the bar? Worried you won’t fit in if you don’t have Twitter? Let me assuage your fears.

Posted in abortion, activism, austin | Leave a comment

CultureMap Dallas Launches With Victim-Blaming “Crime News” Story And Self-Righteous Response To Criticism

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will note that I occasionally rag on CultureMap Austin, a publication I actually wrote one piece for back when it launched in 2011. (Relive the memories!) CultureMap–there’s a Houston, Austin and now, Dallas, version–is the kind of fluffy, PR-friendly brand that best lends itself to enthusiastic coverage of largely inconsequential things. And certainly there’s a place for that kind of thing, and nothing intrinsically wrong with it–in Austin, TRIBEZA, another publication I’ve written for in the past, is a pretty good example of how to do this kind of journalism-lite successfully. I know and like many of the people who work for CultureMap in both Dallas and Austin; unfortunately, a few good people do not a decent fluffy, PR-friendly publication make. I’d very likely ignore it entirely except that CultureMap Austin’s food coverage is really quite good, and since one of my part-time gigs involves a fair bit of food coverage, I like to keep it in my RSS feed lest I miss the good work of folks like Jessica Dupuy.

What CultureMap has is a consistency problem. A a writer and contributor curation problem. Because they seem to be willing to run just about anything by anyone, they’ll end up printing, for example, Dan Solomon’s fantastic music journalism, but also a piece from some dude in a bathrobe telling you to fight terrorism by watching movies because this one time the ceiling collapsed at a movie theatre by his house so, expert.

I’m writing all this as a preface because I think in order to understand the developing shitshow that is now two pieces on rape from recently launched CultureMap Dallas’ managing editor Claire St. Amant, you need to understand more or less the place CultureMap occupies in Texas’ media landscape. It’s a fluffy online publication that occasionally dabbles in Real Issues, and almost always fails when it does. Why that is–a lack of aggressive, experienced editorial oversight, laziness, inability to pay good writers what they’re worth, sheer ignorance, favoring pageviews over quality content, a combination of any or all or none of these things–I don’t know and can’t begin to say. All I, or anyone who doesn’t work there, can see is the end product, and I personally find it nigh unreadable most of the time, with notable exceptions that make it hard to write off entirely.

Here’s the background, according to police records and this WFAA report: on Saturday night, two Highland Park High School students went to see Ghostland Observatory at a downtown venue in Dallas. After the concert, Ryan Romo (who is 18) and an unnamed teenage girl (of so-far unreported age) ended up in the back of Romo’s truck, at which point the girl, who I’ll refer to going forward as Jane Doe, told police Romo raped her despite her repeated demands that he stop. He later drove her home, where she told her mother what had happened and then underwent two examinations, a sexual assault exam at a hospital that “revealed vaginal tearing and and abrasions on her buttocks” and follow-up with her gynecologist, who declared the trauma to be “forceful.” Police recorded two phone calls between Romo and Doe, one in which he offers to get her the morning-after pill, and another in which he told she was making him “feel bad” by construing the sex they had had as non-consensual.

Barely a day after the charges were filed on Tuesday, CultureMap Dallas ran an article by St. Amant under this headline: “Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?” It was filed under the category “Crime News.” But what it amounted to was a weird, rambling trip through rampant speculation, picking-and-choosing of facts reported, victim-blaming and some serious conflation and confusion around the very serious–and different–legal concepts of statutory rape and sexual assault of a child.

It’s something I expected to have been written by one of CultureMap’s contributors; an errant piece that slipped by the editorial process somehow. An excerpt:

Kids are supposed to mess up. They lie. They cheat. They get caught. They grow up. But throw a sex act in the mix, and childish ways are all but left behind.

Romo is one week shy of 19 and legally an adult. However, it still seems bizarre to call a girl his peer while they are kissing but a child if their clothes come off.

And:

No matter the facts, there is no good outcome in this case. If Romo forced himself on a girl in the backseat of his Chevy Tahoe as alleged, then he’s a sexual predator. If it’s a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo.

This, written by CultureMap’s managing editor. I’m not going to tackle all the things wrong with St. Amant’s original piece, because Anna Merlan at the Dallas Observer did that yesterday to great success. From Merlan’s piece:

Whose impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt are we talking about here? The implication seems to be that the alleged victim may have had consensual sex, regretted it, and then went on to say she was raped. That’s a staggering bit of speculation, and would be at any point in an investigation. But it’s especially obnoxious to bandy about just hours after the alleged incident was first reported.

Put simply: if you’re going to file something under “Crime News,” it oughtta be a rundown of the facts, and not a waffling opinion piece that poses a question that, ultimately, is up to a jury, and not a journalist, to answer. St. Amant’s initial article basically amounts to a “But what about TEH MENZ?” bit of trolling and belongs nowhere near a label of “news.”

One might think that smart criticism from a peer–in this case, Merlan’s piece in the Dallas Observer–would give St. Amant pause. It didn’t. Instead, she wrote a self-righteous defense of the original terrible article, published today. It’s a great lesson in how not to do the right thing. She starts:

It’s an interesting day when merely raising the question of an accused criminal’s guilt or innocence results in an outcry. Disregard the fact that not every person accused — and even convicted — of a heinous crime is guilty.

Actually, it’s not an interesting day when people who say they’ve been raped are not taken seriously. That day is more aptly described as “typical” or perhaps “every.” She goes on:

Forget due process. Toss out innocent until proven guilty. Any 18-year-old should immediately be condemned when accused of rape. Just lock up this kid forever. If only the world were so simple.

With regard to “due process,” St. Amant is the one who “forgot” it when her first piece of coverage on the story sought to question either the alleged victim’s account or the alleged rapist’s guilt. Journalists write stories that don’t take sides on alleged criminal action all the time. It’s called news reporting, and it generally comes with at least the pretense of objectivity. The headline “Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?” isn’t one that’s written by someone who cares about “due process.” Next:

Ryan Romo, 18, was arrested on October 29 for sexual assault of a child. In recorded phone calls, he admitted to having sex with a fellow Highland Park High School student on October 28 after a Ghostland Observatory concert at the Palladium Ballroom.

Here we go! This is some reporting of the facts as they’re known so far! Well done, St. Amant. But then this:

I have some experience covering sexual assault cases. I fully subscribe to the belief that even if a female walks down the street naked, she doesn’t “deserve” to be raped. No matter what choices a girl makes, she always has the right to say no. And when men don’t listen, it’s rape. Period.

That “some experience” link goes to past accolades for St. Amant’s work, as if winning awards somehow makes one impervious to criticism. But what follows it is just astounding: St. Amant wants us to give her credit for thinking rape is bad and that rape victims don’t deserve to be raped? Congratulations, lady! You’re a human being who lives in the world! Let me go find my gold stars I hand out to people who aren’t sociopaths.

This is where I particularly want to note that “no means no” is an inadequate way of viewing rape. The word “no” doesn’t have to be uttered for sex or sexual acts to be non-consensual. For more on this: Yes Means Yes.

St. Amant also makes the mistake of writing about rape in a way that centers the “girl” (not all rape victims are female!) and not the perpetrator of rape; this leads to an endless circle of “But what if she did THIS” or “What if she was wearing THIS” or “But what about THIS contingency,” which puts the onus on rape victims to prove their worth, and not the onus on rapists to not rape people. Here’s a better way of putting it: “I fully subscribe to the belief that non-consensual sex is rape, and that people who force others into non-consensual sex are rapists.” She goes on:

However, we don’t know that’s what happened in that Chevy Tahoe on Saturday. And when the two parties are high school students, the situation is much murkier than, say, a 32-year-old teacher preying on his pupil. When you immediately declare the accused guilty, you risk creating a different victim. But shame on a reporter for taking an emotionless approach to a volatile topic.

You right, St. Amant: we DON’T know what happened in “that Chevy Tahoe on Saturday.” But when you do your damnedest to speculate based on your selection of the facts–speculation that heavily favors the idea that people falsely report rape more than rapists actually rape people–you’re going to get criticized.

The fact that the alleged victim and alleged rapist in this case are high school students has NOT A SINGLE THING to do with this situation being “murky.” The facts, as reported–sexual assault exams revealing trauma, phone calls where intercourse was admitted–would be as “murky” as anyone could want them to be whether the players involved were 17 or 50. Granted, the charges would be different, but “murky” isn’t something that has to do with age, here.

The problem with St. Amant’s piece wasn’t its “emotionless approach to a volatile topic,” it was with its selective reporting of the facts and wholesale questioning of just one side of the story–the alleged victim’s. More:

Stepping off the specifically prescribed, tough-on-crime, “lock ’em up and throw away the key” talking point gets you labeled a victim-blamer. Never mind that I spelled out that anyone who forces another person to have intercourse is a sexual predator. If you raise questions in a sexual assault case, you are accused of hating women.

No, what gets you labeled a victim-blamer is victim blaming. “Spelling out” that “anyone who forces another person to have intercourse is a sexual predator” doesn’t mean you can’t victim blame, it just means you’re trying to soften the blow by pretending that you’d totally be on the alleged victim’s side, if only their story were better.

The “you are accused of hating women” link goes to Merlan’s piece in which she does not, anywhere, accuse St. Amant of hating women, but does break down St. Amant’s piece in a thoughtful and meaningful way, drawing out the many, and appalling, mistakes in her coverage. Then:

When you can’t even question a person’s guilt before a case goes to trial, there is a serious problem.

I couldn’t care less that this guy is a star baseball player, but that doesn’t make the modifier any less true. Were Romo a budding ukulele player, that would’ve gone in the story instead.

I’m not sure where St. Amant thinks anyone is telling her she “can’t” question Romo’s guilt; nobody’s calling for censorship. Plenty are criticizing her coverage. They’re not the same thing.

If Romo forced himself on a fellow student, he aptly will be labeled a rapist. But the term child molester still wouldn’t fit, and any law that labels sex with a peer a case of pedophilia deserves scrutiny.

Again, St. Amant seems to be unclear on what the statutes are, here. She seems to be conflating the idea of “Romeo and Juliet” type cases–involving consensual sex–with actual assault cases? It’s unclear what St. Amant is getting at. But for more on the issue I think St. Amant is trying to address, see Jordan Smith’s work at the Austin Chronicle.

We don’t know the age of the alleged victim; if she is a minor and more than 36 months younger than Romo, the law says she simply cannot legally consent to sexual activity. Whether that law “deserves scrutiny” is up for debate, but this seems like a bad case to take as an example, since known details are so few and especially since it hasn’t even gone to trial. Once we know what a jury decides, I guess we can talk about whether Romo is a “child molester” or a “pedophile,” but until he’s convicted of anything at all, speculation is completely pointless, because until then, he’s just a person who’s been accused of a crime.

St. Amant goes on, referencing some good work she did on a D Magazine cover story:

In the Episcopal School of Dallas case, the lines were clearly drawn. A married teacher groomed and manipulated his student. He took advantage of her and committed sexual assault of a child.

They were never on the same page psychologically. There weren’t questions to be answered in the ESD case, only a matter of punishment.

But every sexual assault case is not so black and white.

It’s certainly clear that when a case isn’t nuanced, St. Amant is capable of writing objectively and thoughtfully about it. To observe that “every sexual assault case is not so black and white” is observing that the sky is blue and the grass is green. But what we do know is that rape victims often do not report rape because they’re afraid they won’t be taken seriously–because they’re afraid that what will happen to them is exactly what St. Amant has done, which is exactly what happens so frequently in coverage of rape and so infrequently in coverage of other crimes: the alleged victim’s story is treated as intrinsically questionable.

There’s a name for this: it’s called rape culture, and Claire St. Amant’s pieces don’t do anything to combat it. Rather, they powerfully reinforce it. If CultureMap Dallas wants to be taken seriously by serious people, it should treat further coverage of this case–especially coming from its new managing editor–with a more thoughtful and delicate hand.

Posted in crime, Dallas, legal issues, media, news, rape culture, sexual assault | 4 Comments

Texas Continues To Play Ping-Pong With Low-Income Women’s Health

Despite claims that the new Texas Women’s Health Program–the state program built so that Governor Perry and conservative legislators can pontificate about banning abortion “affiliates” from participation–would launch November 1st with a stable full of providers ready and willing to see the 50,000 patients that would otherwise get care at Planned Praenthood, will not actually launch tomorrow. But it’s totally ready to do so! It just won’t. Because … because.

No, Texas will continue to take federal funds for the Medicaid Women’s Health Program–funds that will run out at the end of 2012 because the Center for Medicaid Services has said it won’t fund a program that bars Planned Parenthood, which it considers to be a qualified health care provider, while Texas does not.

Possibly because there aren’t actually enough non-Planned Parenthood providers ready to see patients? Possibly because Texas is scrambling to find the nearly $40 million it needs to fund the program, which has been historically funded at 90 percent by the feds? Who knows. The only thing that’s clear is that Rick Perry seems to like holding women’s health hostage to score political points.

I’ve got the full story at RHRealityCheck today.

Posted in abortion, health care, legal issues, news, politics, reproductive health, Rick Perry | Leave a comment

Just throwing this out there.

So, I’m reading this CultureMap Austin roundup of the most “motivational” quotes from the Texas Conference for Women in Austin this week. Some of the choice selections:

“Women have a graduate degree in taking things personally.”

“Men don’t know how to see the leadership potential in women, so deliver it — don’t make them guess.”

“[For a happier home] get more sleep, make your bed and establish a kissing schedule.”

Weirdly, I don’t find these “motivational” so much as “patently offensive, patronizing and stupid.” My vagina doesn’t make me take things personally, it’s not on me to fix men who can’t see the value in female humans, and the last thing I want is to badger my partner into kissing me at pre-determined intervals. But the official “host” of the conference was Anita Perry, so there you go.

But instead of complaining–or perhaps, in addition to complaining–I thought it might be cool to do something that might result in some actually motivational patriarchy-smashing. What if there could be a Texas conference for feminists/allies/progressives that actually gave people the tools and information they need to make changes they’d like to see in terms of gender equality, reproductive justice, media accountability, etc. and so on?

I’ve been tossing an idea like this around in my mind for a couple of years now, and I think it’s high time it came to fruition. If anyone wants to help–which means anything from brainstorming to actual pavement-pounding–email me at (andrea dot grimes at the gmails) or leave a comment with your contact information, and let’s see if we can’t make something happen.

Posted in activism | 8 Comments

Rick Perry Digs Mitt Romney’s Stance On Abortion. But Which One?

MITT ROMNEY, U SO OSSUM

If Rick Perry is cool with your stance on abortion, chances are you’re not a moderate. Chances are you believe, like Rick Perry, that Roe v. Wade is “shameful,” that Planned Parenthood does harm, that women can’t be trusted to make good decisions about their own bodies.

And Rick Perry is pretty cool with Mitt Romney’s (new!) stance on abortion, as he made clear this morning on CBS.

Of course, Romney and Perry are both Republicans, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that their views align—except that yesterday, Romney tried to pull a fast one, pretending he’s been a centrist on the issue all along. His statement to the Des Moines Register: “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

If this is part of some bizarre attempt to hold the world record for most stances held on abortion in one political lifetime, Romney is a shoo-in for the title. If it’s a blatant semantic pander in an effort to score votes without alienating extremists, Romney’s also on solid ground. But the fact that someone like Rick Perry would go out of his way this morning to cheer on Romney’s beliefs should be the biggest hint of all that Romney’s views aren’t truly moderate at all.

Romney’s hedging, of course, with his statement: while he may try to claim that he’s not technically lying by saying there’s no “legislation” with regards to abortion on his agenda, because he would subvert Roe v. Wade by leaving that to the judicial, rather than the legislative, branch, there’s still plenty else in his agenda to pick from. According to Romney’s own campaign website: he’ll “end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood,” which is absolutely done by legislation—specifically, he’ll favor legislation that guts Title X, the family planning funding structure that, as it stands now with Planned Parenthood as a provider, saves nearly $4 for every $1 invested. In fact, Romney simply wants to “get rid” of Planned Parenthood. Just like … Rick Perry.

Here’s what Rick Perry has said about Planned Parenthood, which he’s barred from Texas’ vital Women’s Health Program to the detriment of tens of thousands of Texans, because he believes (wrongly) that they’re some kind of abortion factory instead of a vital, dedicated and trusted reproductive health care provider:

We’ve banned the use of your tax dollars for abortion procedures in Texas, and expanded that ban to include those affiliated with abortion providers in the case of our Women’s Health Program. That upset more than a few people in Washington, who insisted we financially support organizations like Planned Parenthood by including them in the WHP.

Never mind the fact that the Hyde Amendment already prevents tax money from being used for abortions except in extremely rare circumstances, and Planned Parenthood keeps their reproductive health services in Texas wholly separate from their abortion-providing services, which comprise about three percent of what they do. Rick Perry’s all about scoring political points, not doing what’s demonstrably best for Texans–after all, he couldn’t have been prouder of his 2011 Texas legislators, who slashed family planning funds by two-thirds last year, which will almost certainly increase the number of abortions in Texas.

And as for what Governor Perry has said about Roe v. Wade? He hopes it will someday be a “shameful footnote in our nation’s history books.” No doubt he digs Mitt Romney’s abortion stance, because they’re perfectly aligned. From Romney’s campaign website:

“… he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges.”

With Romney taking so many different stances on abortion depending on who he’s talking to and whose votes he thinks he needs, it bears asking: with which of these many stances does Rick Perry actually agree? If the answer is even one, or any at all, the future bodes ill for American women. When it comes to moderate, sensible reproductive health care policy, Texas is simply not the state you want on your team—especially not with Rick Perry as captain.

Posted in abortion, duders, feminism, health care, news, politics, reproductive health, Rick Perry | Leave a comment