Women


At The Dance.

Ah, such goodies I have for you.

Many of you will already know from whence I speak. I’ve a book and movie by the same name to recommend. Here’s what Bosley Crowther, movie reviewer for the New York Times, had to say August 13, 1963, “The film that Luchino Visconti and his star, Burt Lancaster, have made from Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s fine novel The Leopard is a stunning visualization of a mood of melancholy and nostalgia at the passing of an age.”

The Leopard was published in 1958 and made into a movie five years later. I highly recommend that you first read the book and then Netflix the movie. The writing, the book is spot-on marvelous. The movie is gorgeous.

It’s Burt Lancaster as the lead who makes the movie so fascinating to watch. Lancaster plays a Sicilian prince in 1860s Italy. Everything is changing. His world is disintegrating. But what’s a prince to do? He hunts. He reads. He conducts scientific experiments. He carouses. He leads his family. He debates with the family priest. He’s sexy. Ironic. He’s a modern man (of sorts) lamenting the loss of his privileged status. He has faults. What man hasn’t? But as one English lady observed of the Prince, after reading the book, “There is a man I could have loved.” And how difficult could it be to have loved the likes and looks of Lancaster?

I cannot specifically remember how I first came to read The Leopard but I was still an impressionable teenager. I missed the movie’s release in 1963, probably not seeing it until Blockbuster Video opened in the late 1980s. What I do vividly recall was my utter fascination with the author’s creation of the primary character, the Prince, a man at the pinnacle of the social order who clearly understood that his day in the sun was inexorably passing. Not only was Italian nobility being replaced by—of all things!—a bourgeoisie middle class but the Prince was now one of the “old ones at the dance.”

I could easily live in Italy today. The land, the food, the history, the art, the climate, the people, Italy is a grand experience. And to have, once-upon-a-time, lived there as a Prince on 700-year-old estates, well, sign me up.

Burt Lancaster was born in 1913 and was 50 years old when The Leopard was released. He looks about as good as a man can look (in life/or movie). He’s trim. He’s fit. He’s handsome. He’s educated. But he’s melancholy. Life, alas, hasn’t stopped, hasn’t paused even briefly for him, a Prince no less. Time unfortunately does not defer to title or social class.

The last 45 minutes of the movie is a gaudy, extravagant ball where the Prince dances with a rapturous Claudia Cardinale, whose character, Angelica, is described in the book as “tall and well made, on an ample scale; her skin looked as if it had the flavor of fresh cream, which it resembled . . . and emanating from her whole person was the invincible calm of a woman sure of her beauty.” So lush a woman that one man upon first seeing her could “feel the veins pulsing in his temples.”

I’d cry, too, as does the Prince in the movie. So much beauty in life—sigh—so quickly gone.

The Leopard captures that dichotomy of human experience, hmmm, shall we say, beautifully.

I See Republicans . . .

Recall the 1999 Bruce Willis movie titled The Sixth Sense. Out of that quite good little drama came the now famous line, “I See Dead People. And They Don’t Like You.” That catchy expression morfed into many variations but my t-shirt favorite went, “I Hear Voices . . . And They Don’t Like You.”

I’ve been trying to understand what is going on in the Republican Party when it comes to women, their bodies, sex and fertility. It’s essentially a male run concern, the Republican Party, although you have a predictable number of Republican women serving as faithful acolytes. Outliers, if you will, at odds, in their solidarity with their American sisters at large.

American women who willingly participate in their own subjugation remind me of those unfortunate women who perform the barbaric female genital mutilations in Sudan and Somalia. No woman, free of male domination (thinking), would voluntarily oppress other women in such ways.

It is as if Republican men are ignorant of history. For past 8,000 years, the male boot has been firmly placed on the neck of females. I do not know if we’ll ever understand the historical origins of why men came to consider women as “less” than men, but it is undeniable that that is/was the case. Bigger, more ferocious, men like to dominate.

Religions, too, historically, have played a tragic role in the marginalization of women. Although, interestingly enough, it was Martin Luther who, during the 16th century Reformation, jump-started the change in the status of women. He advocated that women be taught to read (imagine that!) and he married (radical idea: a married clergy). Educating women (reading) was the game-changer, however.

Go back and examine the status of Western women even during our more enlightened times. They were hardly enlightened for women. Plato’s Greece, The Renaissance, The Age of Reason were all unquestionably oppressive for women. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft issued her now seminal A Vindication Of The Rights of Woman and the case for female equality was formally up for public discussion.

It took until the mid-19th century before British women could make any claim to personal property or even to her own wages. Reflect one second on this fact: the United States gave the right to vote to emancipated male slaves—SLAVES—decades before America’s daughters were afforded that right. That is how little women were considered.

There was a time in my grandmother’s adult life when she could not vote. Less than 100 years ago, American women could not vote. That is a nano-second ago, historically speaking.

The Republican Party is the party of female oppression. It revolves around who will control a woman’s sexuality and fertility. The Republican Party Platform (Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan) would have the government, for all intents and purposes, regulating and managing a woman’s uterus. Will our daughters someday—upon the onset of menses—be required to register their uteruses to ensure their compliance with state fertility laws?

Abortion, birth control, fertility, reproductive prerogatives are individual, fundamental female (human) rights. To interject the state into this dynamic is totalitarian and unacceptable.

Republicans would deny female autonomy, would continue to place the historical boot heel of oppression upon the necks of our daughters. Expect each American woman to think and act for herself.

I See Republicans . . . And They Don’t Respect Women.

Vote accordingly.

What A Woman!

In the spring of 1988, while working at Winter Park Memorial Hospital, I received a phone call from the Executive Director of Crealdè telling me that a new newspaper was forming in Winter Park and looking for columnists. From that one fortuitous call, 2013 will mark 25 years that I’ve written a weekly Observer column. Over 1200 columns, approximately 650,000 words. It, the writing, has been incredibly rewarding at a personal level.

I could not foresee in 1988 how serendipitous, how valuable for the quality of my life writing for the Observer would become. Out-of-the-blue, I would be contacted by individuals who read my “stuff” and wanted to meet. I became so close with one such reader, John Fisher, that we met every Thursday for lunch for 17 years (nearly 800 lunches). What an immeasurable gift. I so miss Fisher and his acerbic wit. In 25 years I’ve developed over half-a-dozen such relationships, readers who became friends, folks I have vacationed with, people who changed my life.

This column is about one such person, Nancy Chambers. About eight or so years ago I received a call from a stranger who wanted me to come to her residence for a chat. She liked my “perspective” and wanted to compare notes on the world.

For a number of years back in the late 1990s I occasionally received humorously threatening, quite creative, anonymous postcards, mailed to the Observer recommending for example that, “Jepson should be used as roadfill for interstate potholes.” That’s a classic. Needless to say, I have a reluctance to meet anyone for the first time in their home. But I did with Nancy and what a gift.

She must have been 79 or 80 at the time. She’d had a stroke a few years earlier but had recovered nicely. Nancy was a lovely woman, the type of gal you just knew was stunning (Gorgeous!) in her physical prime. Diminutive in stature yet anything but demure in personality. She was outgoing, quick, witty and extremely well read. A bit of a flirt. We’d lunch and she’d laughingly say, “Sit down and tell me some gossip.” Nancy divorced three times, thought the institution (of marriage) vastly overrated yet was a hopeless romantic. She’d moved to Winter Park in the 1950s, a doctor’s wife. She had three accomplished sons she forever bragged-on. I met them all and she was right to feel pride in their lives and achievements.

And so with some regularity we’d lunch or have dinners at her residence. I invited her to parties I hosted. Sometimes after a lunch she’d recommend we’d go to the Thrift Shop on Canton and I still have a great cotton robe she insisted I buy for a buck and a half. Nancy knew value.

I was then serving on the Planned Parenthood board of directors when Nancy and I first met. She was an ardent feminist, pro-choice, a woman who understood that history had proved particularly challenging to assertive, strong-willed women. We attended a few PP events together. Nancy had one pronounced regret in life, that she didn’t finish college. She was of the last generation of American women who came of age experiencing “the” rigid societal ceiling for females—that motherhood was the only appropriate expression for what it means to be an accomplished woman.

Nancy Chambers died September 8 and I will dearly miss her enchanting, impassioned femininity in all its delightful manifestations. What a woman. What a gift.

Is It The Stockholm Syndrome?

Gays, blacks and women. I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend why a gay man or a black woman or women, in general, would claim or want membership in the Republican Party? What is going on? What have Republicans the last 50 years represented that would have you as an African-American, gay or female identifying with them? I simply do not understand.

Depending on the specific state, anywhere from 85% to 96% of Republican Party affiliation is white. The Republican Party is the party of older, white, male America. Which is fine. All Americans have the right to associate with their like-minded brethren. I want it no other way. Such polarity, however, suggests underlining values that make the Republican Party exactly what it is, the party exclusively of old, white, straight America.

I am frankly stunned (SHOCKED!) that there is a group such as the Log Cabin Republicans purporting to represent the interests of gay and lesbian Republicans. Why belong to a political party so at odds with who you are as a human being? Not only at odds but aggressively militant (see GOP platform) in opposition to gay rights.

Oh, I imagine the indignant responses now, “Jepson, the gay and lesbian community is about more than just sexual identification.” Un-huh. As well we all should be. We all have issues (economy, environment, banking reform, etc.) that concern us but to belong to a political party that for the past several decades has vilified you and your “choices” begs the question, “Why?”

Whenever I witnessed African-Americans at the Republican convention (all six or seven blacks) I wondered are these individuals bereft of memory? Did they just fall off the bus (homage to Rosa Parks) that they do not recall President Nixon’s 1970 Sothern Strategy (see: Kevin Phillips) of picking-off disaffected Southern whites, disillusioned with the 1960s civil rights initiatives? It is a strategy still very much in play and one that has state Republicans nationwide attempting to suppress minority voter turnout. Shameful. As one critic observed about the oddity of black Republicans, “Isn’t that like black Klan members?” Harsh? Unfair? Tell me again the exact intent of Nixon’s Southern Strategy?

I wonder about the mindset of gay and African-Americans who identify with Republicans. I don’t get it. Anymore than I do with women, in general, who align their futures with the Republican Party. Again, for thousands of years men have run roughshod over women. It has only been in the last several generations that American women have achieved anything like equality with men. Someday historians will proclaim that one of the most significant developments of the entire 20th century was safe, effective and readily available birth control for women. It changed everything. Undeniably. Yet Republicans eagerly restrict your daughter’s fundamental right to control her own body and fertility.

I suggest the Stockholm Syndrome as an explanation as to why some women align themselves with Republican values. Drink the Kool-Aid long enough and you eventually do “embrace” the shackles that bind your thinking and limit your freedom. You end-up identifying with your oppressor. Yet, it can be different.

Join a better future and attend the Friday, September 7th (5:30 PM to 8:00 PM) grand opening of the Winter Park headquarters for the Re-election of Barack Obama. The Obama office is again in the Fountain Building, at the corner of Morse Boulevard and Denning. Jacqueline Jones and her quintet will be entertaining. Bring your enthusiasm and your checkbook.

What’s Wrong With Republican Men?

What is it about “modern” women that Republican men just cannot seem to stomach? Is it that women have minds of their own? Is that it? Or, is it that they have bodies Republican men want to manage? What a shame, huh, that “those” bodies come with minds unfortunately attached, well, at least in Republican circles.

Republican autocrats, ur, excuse me, Republican politicians nationwide feel they are on a quest to save women from themselves. How so, you might legitimately ask? Women have bodies, their own for example, that they simply cannot mange without the “authority” of the state. Ironically, tragically, that is the Republican position.

The typical American woman is incapable of managing her own body. Because of this obvious “biological” fact, Republican public policy argues that the state (government) is morally obligated to supervise “her” fertility, “her” sexuality, “her,” in other words.

Big Brother may be dead in the old Soviet Union but is alive and well in the American gulag (gutter) of Republican politics.

I return to my opening question, what is it about women that Republican men simply cannot tolerate? Is it that women are, in fact, too stupid to manage their own lives, their own bodies? Is that it? Women are simply too stupid. Or, is it that women are obviously too emotional to handle that task? You know, women are so awash in “monthly” hormones, well, their judgment, empirically impaired. Or, does Republican misogyny stem from Biblical pronouncements such as Genesis 3:16-19, “Your husband shall rule over you.” Husband, state, what’s the difference? Get a bridle on that gal.

Republican men nationwide, it would appear, are on a mission from God to save women from themselves. Interesting, however, America is not a theocracy.

What is it about female sexuality that so absorbs Republican men? Why would any reasonable, sane man have the temerity to think that he can legislate what a woman does with her body? Birth control? Abortion? Family planning? If and when to have a child? If and when to have a “fourth” child? These are so inherently personal, individual matters that it boggles the mind as to why Republican men are so intent on introducing the state into such private business.

Perhaps, as has been observed, all American women should incorporate their uteruses, then maybe Republican legislators would keep their hands (laws) off them. Are you laughing yet?

No. Because you have a Missouri Republican U.S. senate candidate (Todd Akin) arguing last week that, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.” This Republican despot, ur, excuse me, honorable six-term member of congress was explaining why he opposed abortion rights even in a case involving your raped daughter and if, gosh, she unfortunately found herself pregnant.

Golleee, Gomer, I wonder what an illegitimate rape feels like?

I do not have a complete answer (Do you?) as to why Republican men do not sufficiently respect women to allow them the management of their own bodies. I do know that for the past thousands of years men have treated women like chattel, property to be managed and disposed of at will. It has only been in the last 200 years that there has been any movement for female equality.

Perhaps Republican men today are the last gasp of a dying, reactionary order. For our daughters, we can only hope.

What Do Women Want?

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
Until someone tears it off me.

Kim Addonizio from her poem, “What Do Women Want”

Over the decades I have earnestly considered just that question. Sigmund Freud famously asked, “The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?” I find Freud a stereotypical joke, rather simplistic, chauvinistic and clueless.

One might legitimately ask if women want different things than men? I raised my only daughter to feel/think that that was not the case. That anything a man aspired to, she, as a female, could also attain. That biology was not necessarily destiny. That grit, determination, intelligence and will were just as much feminine as masculine qualities. So, what does a woman want? Besides equal pay for equal work, respect, a man with a slow hand and free pedicures?

Oh, our literature abounds with what modern women want. Sleep. A break from the kids. A man who will clean the toilet. Genuine equal opportunity. A safe, nonthreatening environment (culture). The list of universal wants is not particularly surprising yet each woman’s “wants” are unique to her.

Let me relate my most recent movie experience. I saw “Magic Mike” opening night and I was one of maybe three men in a theater full of “Ooohing” and “Awwing” women who enthusiastically applauded the lean pulsating pelvises of the male strippers featured in the film. Couple (no pun intended) that with the success of the E.L. James’ book trilogy “50 Shades of Gray” which features sexuality, submissiveness and orgasms and, well, as Cindi Lauper so presciently cooed, “Girls, just wanna have fun.” Indeed.

Desire. A woman wants to be desired. Add that to the list. There is a growing field of female researchers who are exploring female sexuality, particularly from the perspective of what women want sexually. Key in that discussion is the function of desire.

Meredith Chivers is a psychology professor at Canada’s Queen’s University. She is on the editorial board of a leading journal on sexual research, the “Archives of Sexual Behavior.” She describes the male/female dynamic as “One part is pumped full of testosterone, is more interested in risk taking, is probably more aggressive, you’ve got a very strong motivational force. It wouldn’t make sense to have another similar force. You need something complementary. And I’ve often thought that there is something really powerful for women’s sexuality about being desired. That receptivity element.”

Another prominent researcher, Marta Meana, a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada said that for women, “being desired is the orgasm.” Hmmm, as a man, I wonder about that. Yet I do agree with Meana’s summation on the nature of female desire, “It is at once the thing craved and the spark of craving.”

What do women want? Oh, everything. Just like men. Yet, as has been suggested, “Didn’t a longing for erotic tenderness coexist with a yearning for alley ravishing?” What? Both ways, women want it both ways?

Indeed. And modern men please take note. By all means let the ravishing begin. But first . . .

“May I get a hanger for that dazzling red dress?”

Where Republicans Dare To Go.

It’s a legitimate question. What would you riot over? Water. Food. Rights. Probably in that order for me. But most of us (in America) are not so reduced to have to riot over water or food. But rights? We are not so disposed today to riot over rights but I can foresee a day when that might be the case.

I was recently at the Planned Parenthood offices in Orlando picking up the executive director for lunch. Outside, picketing along the sidewalk, were protesters. They stayed on the walkway but shouted at women (and me) to save the babies. Some quietly read their Bibles. Others held graphic signs equating abortion with death. Which it is.

Life begins at conception for me. I do not see the necessity to argue what is self-evident. You can get into when is the fetus viable outside the womb? When does brain function begin? When does it experience pain? But once a fertilized egg attaches, we are already well into what I would call life.

Life actually begins when that exquisite chemistry of human attraction has copulation at the forefront of our minds, or loins, as the case might be. The delightful dance of life we humans so willingly, nay, so eagerly perform is a timeless expression of lust, of desire, of love and passion and of genetics. To say life begins at conception diminishes that breathtaking process. It is technically too simplistic.

Part of me completely understands the position of those opposed to abortion. If we lived in the perfect world, every fertilized egg would eventually enter the world as a healthy baby to a welcoming mother (and father/partner). They would be loving parents who want nothing else but to invest their lives (and resources) ensuring the child’s successful entry, as a functioning, self-supporting contributor, to society. But, sigh, there is a time for everything. Life, too.

No, the question surrounding family planning (birth control, abortion, etc.) is not when life begins but who will make the decision(s) regarding a woman’s fertility. Is what a woman does with her uterus state business?

I find it ludicrous that Republicans attack “Obamacare” as an intrusive overreach of government power, yet think it perfectly okay to aggressively insert the government into a woman’s uterus.

There’s a humorous cartoon circulating on the internet showing a doctor holding a speculum, sitting at the end of an exam table. He’s a gynecologist or an obstetrician. You see a woman’s legs up in the stirrups, her waist covered. She’s obviously having a pelvic exam. The Doctor has a puzzled but relieved expression on his face as he announces, “I see the problem. You have Republicans in your vagina.”

Republicans up your wazooo? That is what is dawning on more and more Americans, younger women in particular, who thought/considered such reproductive matters (choice) decided in the 1970s. You expect people to object to abortion, they get that, women do. But birth control?

You’re starting to see comparisons drawn between the 17th century Puritan experiment (religious authoritarianism) in America with what Republicans are advocating today. Repression of women is unacceptable. Anywhere. Anytime. Reproductive choice is a woman’s right. It is a more basic right than voting.

Ladies, ask yourself this: which would you have your daughter give up last? Her right to vote? Or, the right to control her own body? It is that fundamental.

Religious Republican Authoritarianism? Let’s hope it doesn’t come to riots.

Never Going Back!

She’s a craze you’d endorse, she’s a powerful force
You’re obliged to conform when there’s no other course
She used to look good to me, but now I find her

Simply irresistible
Simply irresistible

Robert Palmer

She’s a powerful force. That about sums it up.

What is it about women that have men so afraid? And for so long? Seriously, if one were to dispassionately examine the history of our species, an unbiased observer might legitimately ask, “Why do men treat women so poorly?” And for so long, I might add. Thousands upon thousands of years.

It should come as no historical surprise that we’ve institutionalized men’s fear of women. Look at practically every religion going back thousands of years and a major tenet of nearly all is the subjugation and control of women. Why is that?

I joke about lineage and fatherhood with “No man knows for sure” if the child “that” woman is bearing is his and it’s always good for a few yucks. Haha. Every woman knows unequivocally what is hers. Men could only wonder. Is that the historical basis for why men have unequivocally attempted to control the “lives” of women? Limited access, limited mobility, limited rights, limited stature—all in an attempt to limit sex? Is that it? Is there any more derided, ridiculed figure in literature than that of the cuckolded man? Raising another’s mans genetic “output.” Too funny. Hmmm?

Anthropologists speculate that there was a time when early human societies were more equal, some perhaps outright matriarchal. Some conjecture that once it became clear that “sex” and semen were necessary for propagation, that men began to “elevate” the status of their, uh, contribution to the process and women became marginalized and considered as little more than brood cows for male impregnation. Understand that early humans had little comprehension of human biology. “Something” went in and Voilà, babies came out. Perhaps out of that misguided ignorance, our (male) preoccupation with all things phallic began.

We may never know the exact historical causes of male fear but no reasonable individual will argue that women are not still on the “receiving” end of male bias. It masquerades (presents itself)—this bias—as sacred scripture, as religious dogma, as church doctrine, as political party platform planks, as “conservative” societal values.

Arguably, the most significant scientific advancement of the 20th century was safe, affordable, accessible birth control for women. It was a game changer for women. For humanity. Throw in the backseat of a modern automobile and thousands of years of male control vanished virtually overnight. (Why do the Saudis so not want their women driving?)

The 1960s & 70s were banner years for the advancement of women. All the rules of an oppressive “tradition” were challenged and many were discarded like so many restrictive bras. Breasts, bodies and minds now free and why not? Let the girls out!

We should all advocate feminism.

To argue otherwise, however, is somewhat predictable. I expect male dominated religions/churches to resist empowering women. Sexuality is frightening to some men. Oh, they argue, it isn’t God’s way that women should control their fertility, manage their destinies (if and when to procreate) and because “Father knows best,” well, it shall be as it has always been. Ad nauseum.

Wrong. In so many ways.

This is one genie (Jeannie) that ain’t ever going back in the bottle.

Romney The Flexible.

What I saw I no longer see.

I changed my mind in other words. Bad idea if you’re a Republican. To change your mind. Why is that? Why is it a bad idea to reconsider an “issue” and based on new information to change your mind? Why is changing your opinion so repugnant, so threatening to Republicans?

Core principles it is argued. If one has core principles, one doesn’t change one’s mind. Mitt Romney is worrisome to Republicans because, it is feared, he has too flexible a backbone. That he has few core principles. Some Republicans are concerned that Romney is really a moderate posing as a conservative and that he affects such a hardnosed pose only to secure the Republican Party nomination. I believe that is essentially accurate, that Romney is flexible, that he is a relativist (realist) passing as one of the faithful.

Consider the question of abortion. Abortion rights are one of those “litmus” issues for conservatives, as it is for liberals, such as myself. I would not consider voting for an individual who would restrict a woman’s fundamental right to control her own body. It is such an essential right, more inherent, more basic than even the right to vote. Ask yourself this. Which would you give up last? Your right to vote? Or, your right to control your own body? The irony abounds.

It is immensely laughable in liberal circles that the Republican Party espouses freedom from government intrusion and regulatory oversight yet thinks nothing of injecting the state (image intentional) into America’s uteruses. And why is that? Because you are female. Because the government knows best what is good for you, girl. Fertile? Pregnant? Have babies. Birth control? You trollop! The government knows what you’re good for. You’re the vehicle of life, metaphorically/literally speaking, and regardless where “YOU” are at the moment (impoverished, sick, in school, alone, etc.), you will deliver. Or, else.

Perhaps if American women incorporated their uteruses Republicans would then leave them alone. Corporations, to Republicans, have more rights than America’s daughters.

You know what? I, personally, am not going to have an abortion. Men by nature of their anatomy should take the backbench and butt-out of this conversation. It is our daughters who will make such decisions. Republicans salivate before the capitalistic myth of the self-correcting marketplace—that if we would only leave it alone—yet, perversely, they think nothing of instituting regulatory oversight over our daughter’s sexuality. Is that hypocrisy? Irony?

Why do we think so little of America’s women that we do not trust them, at an individual, private level, to make decisions that are good (appropriate) for them? Male legislators in Tallahassee or Washington know what is best for America’s daughters? Is that possible? Or, is it tyranny?

Less than 20 years ago Mitt Romney supported a woman’s right to reproductive choice. He was a middle-aged, pro-choice advocate. Fast forward to 2012 and he cannot spit out his anti-abortion bona fides fast enough. Why is that? What changed? Romney wants more (the White House) than he is willing to risk (lose) over principle. Or, perhaps, no principle was involved. Yes.

You can argue when life begins (I believe at conception) but it is the next step where the real debate begins. And I place my vote with America’s daughters to get it right. For herself. By herself.

Republican Values Found In A Diaper.

Republicans keep me in stitches. They’ll predictably trot out familiar old bromides like “Live Free or Die” or “It’s every man for himself.” Even I, on occasion, can be susceptible to such infantile gibberish. Yes, sometimes my latent libertarian nature reflexively embraces simplistic nonsense. “Don’t expect the government to do for you what you should do for yourself!” Republicans regularly run that one up the flagpole for REAL Americans to salute.

Republicans love all humanity until it is born. Un-huh, life is sacred! They get all warm and fuzzy inside at the thought of a zygote attaching to a woman’s uterine wall. It makes them weak in their knees and teary-eyed, however, imagining that process interrupted, aborted, if you will.

Oh, and then the wailing begins just like in Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Are.” THEY ROARED THEIR TERRIBLE ROARS! AND GNASHED THEIR TERRIBLE TEETH! AND ROLLED THEIR TERRIBLE EYES! AND SHOWED THEIR TERRIBLE CLAWS! Republicans do exactly that at the thought of coitus interruptus or rather, Zygotus Abortus.

What is it about women and their uteruses that gets Republican men all atwitter and flummoxed? They cannot keep their minds (or laws) off of a woman’s body. Ironically, they applaud corporations as having the same rights as people but think little of eviscerating a woman’s right to reproductive choice. What is it about women? Are women too stupid to manage their own affairs (their own bodies)? Why is it that Republicans are for the government getting the hell out of regulating business yet they are perfectly okay regulating a woman’s fertility, her sexuality? What’s up with that?

Guys, this might be tough for you. Imagine a scenario where it is you who actually becomes pregnant. You’re still the independent operating, functioning individual you’ve always been but you find yourself pregnant. As a man, how well would you cotton to the government telling you what to do with your body?

According to Republicans, you don’t even own your body; it’s the government’s to regulate. Does that scenario sit well with you as a man? Then why should our sisters, daughters, wives or lovers put-up with such intrusions in their personal lives? No self-respecting man would ever countenance such invasive, intrusive oversight. So, why should America’s women?

Oh, it is argued because Republicans “wuv” all life, particularly the unborn. That’s an interesting time in which to be all for life yet, once born, that life is virtually on its own. Irony, hypocrisy, anyone?

Crack whores. Impoverished, destitute homeless women. Raped sisters. Poor women. Third-year medical students. Graduate students. Mothers already nurturing five children. Older women. Unhealthy women. The mentally disturbed. 16-year-olds. Any woman, no matter her circumstances, no matter her wishes or desires, no matter her rights as a free individual—all pregnant, all menstruating women will be regulated by the federal or state government. A woman will give up her independence, she will forfeit her freedom, she will willingly subject herself to the authority of the state.

I once served on the Orlando Planned Parenthood Board of Directors. At that time there was an alternative facility next door purporting to assist pregnant women. They’d persuade “some” to take the fetus to term with the assurance of long-term help. The long-term help consisted of two dozen Pampers. Oh, and a “Good luck, girl!” She’s going to need it.

Real Republican values, folks. Found in two dozen diapers.

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