Tidal wave, bomb, blow-out, and maybe hundreds of other words could have been used today to describe the SCOTUS leaked opinion from last night, and the punch back from everyone with a thought on the matter, yet there’s only one real meaning to this shit — cruel and usual circumstances at last on the podium after 49 years.
History flushed by Republicans down the toilet of self-contained, humane freedom.
Years gone by with a fixed future supposedly assured — then again maybe not:
“My mother and all the women who fought alongside her gave my generation Roe v. Wade,” @MollyJongFast writes. "It was an essential gift, and an irreversible one. Or so we thought." https://t.co/EwyUynRZaA
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) May 3, 2022
One of my favorite commentators on current affairs is Molly Jong-Fast and this afternoon at The Atlantic she discusses her mother in relation to the shitstorm off the leaked document — Molly’s mom is Erica Jong, who made a massive impression on me nearly five decades ago with “Fear of Flying” and the book still hangs in my mental air. I was blown away by a female’s version of modern life (in the 1970s, anyway).
Molly notes her mother’s generational high marks (and lows):
They hadn’t managed to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. They had failed on fair pay. The too-long list of things that had once seemed possible would continue to sting for decades. During the Reagan and Bush eras, my mother felt complete despair at the way conservatism rebounded politically and culturally.
She’d say she was a member of the whiplash generation, “raised to be Doris Day, yearning in our 20s to be Gloria Steinem, then doomed to raise our midlife daughters in the age of Nancy Reagan and Princess Di,” as she put it in her memoir, Fear of Fifty.
Keep in mind that my mother, like some other second-wave feminists, had huge blind spots because she had grown up wealthy and white in a blue city in a blue state. Sometimes she’d get really drunk at dinner and grumble about all the things feminists couldn’t get done for their daughters (meaning me), but she would always comfort herself with the reality that they had gotten one major thing right.
My mother and all the women who fought alongside her gave my generation Roe v. Wade. They gave us the bodily autonomy we should have already had. They gave us the opportunity to choose what happens in our own uterus. It was an essential gift, and an irreversible one. Or so we thought.
It’s not that my mother’s generation hasn’t feared this outcome before.
Six days after the 1989 swearing-in of president George H. W. Bush, my mother wrote in The New York Times, “Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear an attack on Roe v. Wade, it is painfully apparent that two decades of feminist achievement can be swept away with one wave of a judicial or Presidential hand. Women and men who thought all this was settled long ago, who naively assumed that women’s bodies would never again be political battle grounds, have had to wake up and take notice.”
Sixteen years later, in October 2005, Bush’s son would appoint the man who would write the draft opinion that proves how naive we have been.
My mother is 80 now. She doesn’t write much anymore. But the term whiplash generation feels more apt than ever. She is about to watch her granddaughter grow up in a world without the rights she secured for herself, and for her daughter. Today, we have a glimpse of history not yet written.
A seismic change in America is coming, and it is coming quickly. But it isn’t too late. Not yet.
Sad as shit, really.
Meanwhile, I found a couple of recent scientific studies that leave women a bit on the dazed side.
Women in all things get the short-end of the stick even in Congress — from Cambridge University Press yesterday and a study on the complications of gender bullshit. From the Abstract:
Women in Congress are highly effective legislators. Yet, if women are more likely than men to be interrupted during committee work, they may face a gender-related impediment. We examine speech patterns during more than 24,000 congressional committee hearings from 1994 to 2018 to determine whether women Members are more likely to be interrupted than men. We find that they are. This is especially true in Senate committees — where women are about 10-percent more likely to be interrupted.
Furthermore, in hearings that discuss women’s issues, women are more than twice as likely to be interrupted than while discussing other issues. We see a similar pattern for rapid-fire “interruption clusters,” an aggressive form of interruption. We further consider a range of moderating factors, which yields little evidence that women change their communication strategy as they gain experience in Congress. We also find suggestive evidence that interruptions are driven by mixed-gender interactions.
Plenty of data at the link, and you will find an obvious display of way-in-depth research, also concluding at the end of charts, graphs and analysis of such, the tough men of Congress: ‘Moreover, we see little overlap in the confidence intervals around the predicted probability of “Men Interrupting Women” and those around “Men Interrupting Men,” suggesting that men may be more likely to interrupt women than they are to interrupt men.‘
Assholes, they are.
And this, too, is another example of Republican cruelty regarding women’s and children’s healthcare — published yesterday at PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), and from the Abstract:
This paper analyzes the link between foreign aid for family planning services and a broad set of health outcomes. More specifically, it documents the harmful effects of the so-called “Mexico City Policy” (MCP), which restricts US funding for nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion-related services abroad. First enacted in 1985, the MCP is implemented along partisan lines; it is enforced only when a Republican administration is in office and quickly rescinded when a Democrat wins the presidency. Although previous research has shown that MCP causes significant disruption to family planning programs worldwide, its consequences for health outcomes, such as mortality and HIV rates, remain underexplored. The independence of the MCP’s implementation from the situation in recipient countries allows us to systematically study its impact. Using country-level data from 134 countries between 1990 and 2015, we first show that the MCP is associated with higher maternal and child mortality and HIV incidence rates.
These effects are magnified by dependence on US aid while mitigated by funds from non-US donors. Next, we complement these results using individual-level data from 30 low- and middle-income countries and show that, under the MCP, women have less access to modern contraception and are less exposed to information on family planning and AIDS via in-person channels. Moreover, pregnant women are more likely to report that their pregnancy is not desired. Our findings highlight the importance of mitigating the harmful effects of MCP by redesigning or counteracting this policy.
Also plenty of additional data/info at the link.
History stitchery, once again here we are…
(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Weeping Woman [La Femme qui pleure],’ found here)