Tuesday, May 10, 2022

What To Do When Republicans Kill Roe

Update: With thanks to Tengrain at Crooks & Liars including this article at Mike's Blog Round-Up!

The most likely thing that will happen once Alito's ruling - using the Mississippi anti-abortion law to nuke Roe - from the bench becomes official is that 18 states will automatically trigger abortion bans, with 4 other states implementing severe bans.

After that, the reactions - by both the women suddenly reduced to second-class cattle and the Far Right religious nuts eager to turn them into breeder stock - will get messier.

Anyone hoping for a mass exodus of every woman and girl from ages 13 to 40 fleeing the Red States will have to think again. While it makes the most sense - "Get the HELL out before they harm you!" is the most logical move to make - the sheer logistics of it can't happen. Too many women will be tied down, either for personal reasons (family), financial reasons (too poor), or age (too young). A number of women could flee - either with family living in pro-choice states that can take them in, or with high-enough job skills to relocate for employment - but it will be in the hundreds, not hundreds of thousands.

These Republican-controlled states are already passing legislation punishing pregnant women if they try to leave their states. Wanna guess how quickly those states will pass laws stopping women of child-bearing age from traveling at all to keep them in one place?

One thing that should happen once the states nullify Roe is that women should say goodbye to the dating scene. I'm not being flippant here or throwing out a Lysistrata gambit as a lark. This is a genuine concern. ANY social interaction with men is going to lead to a risk of pregnancy, even when the sex is consensual. Relying on birth control is not an option, especially when you see these Republican bastards are going after IUDs and condoms and birth control pills next. 

I do worry that this will give the prudes among the Far Right some enjoyment in seeing the Hookup Culture take a severe blow, but desperate times desperate measures. Ladies, you simply cannot risk a social life that could end up with you enduring a pregnancy you can't afford and could kill you.

I'm serious: Pregnancy mortality in the United States is horrifying. Increasing those mortality numbers through forced-birth - especially in matters of ectopic pregnancies - is a given at this point. 

The only way to survive this attack on your personal well-being right now is to just cut off the social stuff with guys. Uninstall the dating apps. No more speed dating or lock and key parties. Stay home. Watch movies with your girlfriends. Zoom chat while hanging out with your pets. Start up gaming nights on your XBoxes and Playstations, private teams, no boys allowed. Blow shit up on Call Of Duty, and avoid calling David for a quick one.

On the bright side, the end of Ladies' Nights at the college bars is going to drive a lot of conservative young men fratbros out of their goddamned minds.

On a more serious note, the dangers of sexual assault and rape are going to go up. Hell, a number of these rapists out there are going to view the end of Roe - especially as these states get rid of any abortion exemptions for rape victims - as a license to go wild. What we know about rapists is how they tend to view women as things, as objects, and the way that the Far Right is banning abortion rights for women is basically turning the entire gender into cattle, dehumanized and easily targeted by men who enjoy the power and pain they inflict. 

It hasn't been safe at all for young women in our world: the threat of rape is always there. But now it's going to get worse. In some respects, fleeing is the only rational response to all of this: There's only so much protective measures like traveling in groups and learning self-defense fighting can do. But again, Gods help us too many poor women can't afford to flee, and too many teen girls don't have the freedom to make that call. They're going to have to rely on their parents to get them to safety, and again not all of them can (or worse, the parents are too Far Right and anti-abortionist to care).

The only other rational response to the end of Roe ought to be a massive voter realignment among women - and among the men who agree women should have the rights of privacy and equality under the Constitution - away from the wingnut Republicans who caused all this chaos and despair. It would be pretty to watch as every unregistered woman 18 and older head to the nearest place with voter registration forms and sign up to be Democratic voters. It would be nice to see any registered No-Party or even pro-choice Republicans re-apply their voter IDs and switch to Dem. One hopes that the number of angered, eager pro-choice voters reaches levels even in Red states that would flip control from Republican to Democrat, and that the new Democratic majorities at the state level would rewrite the laws to give women back their power of choice.

Thing is, in the week we've learned that the Supreme Court is poised to end Roe and abortion rights for women, there hasn't been a noticeable stampede of angry women or angry voters filling out registration forms. It's likely that most of our fellow citizens, even young women, may well be worried about this loss of personal rights: It's just they won't do anything about it until it directly affects them (Abortion as an issue being, well, Someone Else's Problem). Sad thing is, by the time they will be affected by this, and by all the other privacy rights the wingnuts are about to eliminate, it'll be too late.

The rights pertaining to abortion choice rely a lot on the due process rights of the 14th Amendment and the privacy rights of the 9th. Once the Far Right has a way to cut away one of those rights, they'll be able to cut away all the others. People need to understand that risk, and they ought to be registering to vote to get those Republicans the hell out of elected office to stop them from dragging our nation into the firepits of our worst historical behaviors.

It'll be a fight these midterms because the Republicans in power have already made efforts to rig the upcoming elections results anyway to favor themselves. The only way to beat them is with massive voter turnout against them.

Please wake up and fight back, Americans.

It's not just women's rights that are getting killed here. It's all of our rights on the chopping block.


dinthebeast said...

I had a hard time understanding why Republican men would support policies that make them less likely to get laid until I got hip to the fact that they don't want consensual sex with women, they want to own them.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Infidel753 said...

women should say goodbye to the dating scene

This kind of thing is part of the fundies' goal, though. Remember, they want to force everybody back into the old pattern of sex only within marriage and "chastity" beforehand. Before abortion and birth control were routinely available, fear of pregnancy was part of what enforced that pattern. They want things to go back to that.

I doubt that this is going to produce much of a voting realignment among women. Remember that a lot of women are anti abortion (just as a lot of men are pro-choice -- there's actually not much statistical difference between men and women in abortion attitudes). Women who are pro-choice are mostly Democrats already, and those who are anti-abortion aren't going to stop voting Republican. The fall of Roe will certainly energize both sides, but it's not obvious which side will be energized more.

Paul W said...

Hey, Infidel.
As I mentioned in the article, the fundies will cheer on if the dating scene turns into a desolate landscape of empty night clubs and restaurants, but as I also mentioned a lot of guys are going to *hate* that situation. Not to mention all the businesses - bars, restaurants, hang out points, etc. - that relied on a healthy dating scene to keep the money rolling in.

And as I noted, it may sound flippant, but it's also the only honest thing American women (especially in the Red states) can do in the face of not only abortion turning illegal but also those fundamentalists going after IUDs and birth control pills (even condoms, which we need to reduce STDs). It's just not going to be safe AT ALL to have sex in the post-Roe world even for married folk.

The wingnuts may win in the short term killing off Hookup Culture, but so many young adults (and even older ones) are going to get so pissed off by their meddling that they should suffer a massive backlash.

As I also also noted, people aren't aggrieved or motivated to fight back (Someone Else's Problem) until they themselves are affected by the damage getting inflicted. The loss of Roe, the loss of our privacy rights overall, is going to hurt a lot more Americans than the Far Right thought it would hurt.

This will get messy, but we should prevail.

Paul W said...

Hey, Doug.

Republicans don't think that far ahead. They think they're so rich and powerful that women will have sex with them based on sheer charisma alone (never mind all those articles that came out during the trump years of young Republicans whining that all the librul women were snubbing them in the dating scene).