Did You Hear Them Roar?

“Message to the GOP: stop making women angry. You won’t like us when we’re angry.”

So said friend and fellow Clarionite Kali Wallace when I posted this picture on my facebook page, and I couldn’t agree more.

You don’t hear people talking about it much these days, but in the run-up to the 2010 election, in which the GOP took over the House of Representatives, the campaign was jobs, jobs, jobs.  But as soon as they were sworn in, the Tea Party insurgents and the remainder of the Republican establishment decided that they would be best served if the economy didn’t recover, and they turned their legislative efforts back to the Culture War, with a deeply misguided emphasis on women’s health and reproductive rights.

I think it’s fair to say that that decision came back to bite them squarely on the ass, as well it should have.

The last six months, maybe even the last year, has seen a steady drip of conservative white men saying really, really stupid things about rape and the pregnancies that are sometimes a result of that rape, things they appear to genuinely believe and feel called by their consciences to do something about.  Last night, they got their electoral asses handed to them.

For those of us on the right side of history, the schadenfreude is delectable.  But more than that, I think the results of last night’s elections carry an even more important message, and that message is this:

Guys, when it comes to women’s bodies and what they choose to do with them, especially in terms of their reproductive rights, it’s time for you to STFU.

Seriously.  Just stop talking, because your opinion is non-operative.  Your thoughts are irrelevant.  It’s simply not your place to pronounce on those issues.  Especially when it comes to rape.  So stop talking, and FFS stop trying to parse it into legitimate or illegitimate or whatever weasel-word Trojan Horse you’re focus-grouping this week to sneak it into legislation.

Look, I know the whole patriarchy thing has been a good deal for us.  But it’s on the way out, as it should be.  Women make up half the population, and their long history as second-class citizens is coming to an end.  And that’s to be celebrated.  Because they are equals, and are endowed by their Creator with the same rights as men, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Last night, they exercised those rights, and while I don’t expect it’ll change the hearts and minds of that segment of the male population that believes in its own right to dictate how others will inhabit their bodies, I do hope it’ll serve as a wake-up call.

America is growing up.  Step by incremental step, we’re becoming the nation we were always meant to be, and a big part of that is recognizing the rights of people who are not like you to live their lives as they see fit.  If you want to be part of this evolution, you’d better recognize.  If you don’t, well, that’s your right, but don’t expect the rest of us to go along with you anymore.

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