Nov 15 2009

Same stupak, different day


I Blame the Patriarchy marches to the beat of a different news cycle, so this may be ancient history to you, but,


I propose that “stupak” be incorporated into common usage as a verb meaning “to ensure political victory by means of screwing women over bigtime.”

My mind is not boggled that the health care “reform” bill passed the House only because it contains an amendment (the aforementioned Stupak amendment) that would make it illegal for private insurance companies to offer abortion coverage, even when women pay for it out-of-pocket, if those women are also receiving federal insurance dough. It isn’t the least bit surprising that 64 Democrats voted for the bill [view the lip-curling list of politicians who hate you], and that 12 of those were women. It’s scarcely a blip on the Patri-O-Meter that Nancy Collaborator Pelosi was described by HuffPo last week as “triumphant,” and that Barack Godbag Apologist Obama looks forward to signing the bill into law.

Why am I not surprised?

I’ll tell you why.

Patriarchy is a big, boily ass lounging on two fundamental butt-cheeks, without which cheeks it would develop abscesses and go septic and die. Those two butt-cheeks are: sex-based dominance, sex-based submission, and the rapeability of women. OK, three butt-cheeks. Dominance, submission, the rapeability of women, and an almost fanatical devotion to compulsory pregnancy. Four. Four butt-cheeks. Although dominance and submission, as two sides of the same thong, should really only count as one cheek. So make that three cheeks total. Although when you think about it, since the rapeability of women and compulsory pregnancy are merely the practical applications of domination ideology, they’re all really pretty much the same thing. So, for the sake of clarity, let’s just say there is one big honkin butt — the state ownership of women — lolling in a louche manner upon the two cheeks: the rapeability of women, and compulsory pregnancy.

What I’m getting at is this: my lack of surprise at this Stupak shit proceeds from irrefutable evidence that state ownership of women is among the most beloved of our violent culture’s violent traditions. Social conservatives appear to believe that God made patriarchy in his own image, and that he will withdraw his complimentary concierge services and cancel Christmas, NASCAR, and life everlasting if the state stops oppressing women for even one second. So-called progressives just want uninterrupted access to pussy.

Also, people just plain like oppressing women.

That’s why, as part of the ongoing effort to keep women rapeable, rapists are generously protected by the law. Convictions are a joke. They are such a joke that 60% of victims never bother to report their assaults. They are such a joke that at least 20,000 rape kits are sitting around untested in various crime labs across the country. According to RAINN, only 6 percent of rapists ever see the inside of the hoosegow.

“Somehow all we can do is take the statement from the victim. Take the statement from the alleged perpetrator and then throw up our hands because they are saying conflicting things,” quoth this U Mass rape scholar.

If people genuinely wanted to see the end of rape, which they don’t, they’d rescind the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women, replacing it with the following: if a woman says she was raped, she was raped. If that’s your DNA, Chad old boy, you’re a rapist. That’s it. The end. “Throwing up our hands” would be discontinued as a law enforcement technique.

So you know that stipulation in the Stupak amendment which would except pregnancies resulting from rape? Happily for fans of the status quo, since 94% of those will never be proven as rapes, denial of access to abortion can continue to oppress all but the wealthiest women.

Although our violence-loving society sort of pretends to pooh-pooh rape, it thinks nothing of claiming state ownership of women’s personal internal organs. Everybody’s fucking ecstatic about this health care “reform” bill. It’s “answering the call of history.” Which history, as usual, calls for women to take it up the butt and like it.


2 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. Comrade PhysioProf

    Everybody’s fucking ecstatic about this health care “reform” bill. It’s “answering the call of history.” Which history, as usual, calls for women to take it up the butt and like it.

    Yep. This shit is fucking disgusting. There is only one political party in this country: the party of the woman-hating godbag-fellating corporate oligarchy.

  2. yttik

    Mind blowing, isn’t it? Abortion is a non-negotiable demand, something that has existed for thousands of years. No political party owns it, no politician blesses us with this right.

    A real mistake was made when the power was handed away, when the perception was allowed to form that declared one party “grants” us abortions, the other “takes” them away.

    “..the rapeability of women, and compulsory pregnancy.”

    Yes, but on the flip side of compulsory pregnancy is also compulsory non-pregnancy so as not to become an inconvenient rape receptacle. Abortion exists and has always existed primarily for the convenience of men. Someone who supports your rights to abortion does not always support your right to bodily autonomy.

  3. blucas!

    It’s gets even awesomer re: Bart Stupak:


    “A day before the bill passed out of committee, Stupak co-sponsored, and voted for an amendment written by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)–distinct from the now notorious “Stupak amendment”–that would have limited the government’s ability to include abortions in benefits plans to cases of incest, life of the mother, and forcible rape.

    The Pitts amendment actually passed, 31-27, with the support of several Democrats and all Republicans. But the “forcible” language–legally significant–was a bridge too far.

    In a parliamentary maneuver, chairman Henry Waxman actually voted “aye”, according to a House aide, in order to retain the prerogative of bringing it up for a second, unsuccessful vote. Between votes, Waxman conferred with some of the bill’s Democratic supporters to convince them to help shoot it down.”

    Pretty nice that our government has legal categories for “forcible rape” and “non-forcible rape.”

  4. Citizen Jane

    Society absolutely pooh-poohs rape. It pooh-poohs the rape of pretty young White middle class “modestly” dressed virgins who have never taken a drink in their life, who kicked and screamed the required amount, whose signs of trauma and defense mechanisms fit an exact specification, and whose perpetrators were working class men and/or men of colour who forced entry into their homes.

  5. goblinbee

    “…if a woman says she was raped, she was raped.”


  6. Shopstewardess

    Taking it up the butt is a traditional method of not later requiring an abortion.

    IBTP. Then, now and probably for ******* ever.

  7. agasaya

    Our rights were never the issue. They don’t count.

    Returning to reality, we follow the money. The economics of health care made inclusion of abortion provisions, at first, a way to delay bill passage. Can’t have the representatives go on record for allowing public funds to pay for a woman’s right for control over own body. Next, exclusion of abortion was hoped to increase delay. The more debate, the longer business continues as usual. The representatives won’t ever sign THAT one. Then the exclusion of abortion again becomes the excuse for conservatives to ‘give in’ so the voters don’t realize their representatives never wanted anyone to actually have health care at all.

    Once the bill is actually passed, it will goes back to profits. Physicians and care centers will want restoration of third party payments for abortions. First step is to broaden the range of permitted abortions by liberally defining ‘rape’ without actually having to prove it or obtain a conviction. Next, the mental health needs precipitating abortion are liberalized. Doctors will additionally show a spike in their D&C procedures for ‘general’ reasons. Legal ‘back-street’ nonsense until constitutional challenges prevail at some unspecified date in some other century. Or when hell freezes over.

    Money will eventually lead to restoration of abortion under insurance plans. No sector of this country ever rejects a chance for more $$$.

  8. Orange

    “Stupak” has already been defined as a verb, adjective, etc., at urbandictionary.com. I’m partial to the adjective form, which can be superlativized: “That is the stupakest idea ever.”

  9. Miranda

    This blows my mind. The idea that health care does not include access to abortion, a LEGAL medical procedure, is absurd. The tags- “Men hate you. Women hate you.”- are the only explanation that makes any sense. Why the fuck else would the godbaggy, women-hating, patriarchy-supporting, useless asshats who are supposed to represent us replace the Capps Amendment with this Stupak bullshit? I blame the patriarchy. And I fucking hate the patriarchy.

    Goblinbee, this should clear things up regarding the rape mention: http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2007/05/12/she-said-i-know-what-its-like-to-be-dead/

    Agasaya, I desperately hope you’re right. Greed is undoubtedly one of the primary motivators in our culture, but woman-hating is also at the top of that list. It’s pretty strange to find myself cheering on greed. I blame the patriarchy for that too.

  10. Cathy

    Not only did I vote for my dickhead congressman, I volunteered many hours and Nigel sent him money to help him get elected, thinking he would be better than the alternative.

    Agasaya must be right. The insurance companies would be delighted to take money from women, only to weasel out of having to help pay for any abortion that might be required. They’ll think of some preexisting
    condition to nullify their obligation.

  11. Hedgepig

    Citizen Jane, you forgot “and whose rapists had never met their victim before the attack.” Don’t forget, if a woman has even nodded to a man at the corner shop how can we presume she hasn’t got to know him a whole lot better, nudge nudge wink wink say no more.

  12. Butters

    I love this blog, and I like this post as well. However, I must respectfully disagree with your analysis. It is certainly a legitimate way of looking at things to see this as a case of Stupak, but it is not the only legitimate way of looking at it.

    Indeed many feminists, such as myself, support the bill in its current form. I will elaborate later if you want, but I have to go now,


  13. Elizabeth

    Twisty countin’ butt cheeks. Hilarious.

    And Butters, I can’t see it your way. There’s no way Stupak helps women or even l;eaves the issue at the status quo. It sucks. And it’s not about profits so much as a) the usual antiwoman crap, and b) a poison pill to kill health care altogether. It has to go, and I would throw the bill out over it. Just go into Reconciliation, which only deals with budget changes, with a simple budget change: Medicare age changes from 65 to 0. Then we can start with a project women should have been working on for the last 33 years: repealing the odious Hyde Amendment.

  14. MLL

    How right you are, Twisty. What you write about the rapeability of women reminds me of that story that was on CNN, about that teenager who got gang raped outside of her school where a school-sponsored dance was taking place, a few days back. I was so upset when I read about it, and then, I felt this intense rage. I checked your blog to see if you wrote something about it, but then, you don’t have to. Every single entry of your blog, even if it does not address rape directly, explains why rape happens.

  15. Notorious Ph.D.

    If it were just the conservatives, I’d be angry, but not outraged like I am here, because this is yet another example of liberal d00ds (and a few women) telling women that women’s personal sovereignty is some sort of boutique issue that we need to just shut the hell up about, for the “greater good.” Where’s my greater good, liberal d00ds?

    IBtP, again and again.

  16. Comrade PhysioProf

    It is the rankest arrant bullshit that woman-hating compulsory-pregnancy scumbags are given a free fucking pass for having no choice but to “stand on principle”, while those who acknowledge women’s bodily sovereignty are expected to “compromise for the greater good” as a matter of “political reality”. There is absolutely no non-depraved principled basis for favoring this narrative over one in which those who acknowledge women’s bodily sovereignty have no choice but to “stand on principle”, while woman-hating compulsory-pregnancy scumbags are expected to “compromise for the greater good” as a matter of “political reality”.

  17. Jezebella

    For some reason the big repro rights orgs are acting shocked – shocked I tell you! – that Dems voted for the plan despite the Stupak amendment. How can they pretend like they didn’t see that coming??

  18. Bardiac

    Only you, Twisty, could have me laughing about something I’m so furious about.

    End patriarchy.

  19. Hedgepig

    “How can they pretend like they didn’t see that coming??”

    Because no one expects the Stupak amendment!
    Nobody except radical feminists. In order to not be surprised by it, one first needs to accept the worldview that patriarchy exists, and is the dominant ideology. As we know, only a tiny minority accept this, so only this minority was equipped to see this coming.

  20. Kelly

    Only you, Twisty, could have me laughing about something I’m so furious about.

    This. It’s what makes this place seems like the only sane/safe place left on the web.

  21. Rosa Luxemburg's Ghost

    Jezebella is absolutely right that people shouldn’t be shocked, I mean when BHO picked Joe “Yet Another Old White Dude” Biden instead of, I dunno, Kathleen Sebelius or Hillary Clinton to be the VP, there was no doubt left he wasn’t interested in any real change.

    I’ve got a few friends who are talking about revolting from the Democratic Party leadership over this, and they’re looking for better Democratic candidates, mainly women. I can totally feel where they’re coming from, cause I used to be a hardcore Democrat too, back in the early 90s. However, I think their good intentions are not quite pointed in the right direction- while there’s not a shred of doubt that HRC would have been better than BHO for women in America, I’m not so sure that working within the pre-ordained, falsely dichotomous Democrat-Republican paradigm is a better answer than seeking to upend the stupid system altogether. I dunno, on one hand I’d rather have an actual liberal, female Dem in office over BHO, but on the other, my radicalism tells me there wouldn’t be a point. It’s so conflicting. IBTP that we don’t have better, more viable options.

    Any ideas about this?

  22. Jill

    “Only you, Twisty, could have me laughing about something I’m so furious about.

    Well you know what Mrs Which said about kkeeeeppping our sssensse of hhhumorrr.

  23. Chocolate Tort

    Woah, Jill just quoted Mrs. Which. I think I may have the vapors. Gosh I love Meg and those three astral women/entities. Remember when they sent Meg and co. to the 2D world? Hilarity!

    But back to the post at hand. Well no, actually, I don’t have much to add. If I had to decide what horrifies me the most about this whole Stupak business is the Congress critters who voted FOR the amendment but AGAINST the entire bill. That strikes me as just astoundingly sleazy and soulless. Ugh.

  24. La Chica Lucy

    Jill, as a longtime lurker, this Blamer has been eagerly awaiting your respected opinion regarding this anti-woman amendment, and must profess my complete agreement. Perhaps you should consider submitting your definition of “Stupak” as “(v.) to ensure political victory by means of screwing women over bigtime” to Urban Dictionary dot com. Blame on, Spinster Aunt, blame on.

  25. slythwolf

    Patriarchy is a big, boily ass lounging on two fundamental butt-cheeks, without which cheeks it would develop abscesses and go septic and die. Those two butt-cheeks are: sex-based dominance, sex-based submission, and the rapeability of women. OK, three butt-cheeks. Dominance, submission, the rapeability of women, and an almost fanatical devotion to compulsory pregnancy. Four. Four butt-cheeks.

    Amongst patriarchy’s butt-cheeks are such diverse elements as submission, dominance–I’ll come in again.

  26. io

    Seconding the swoon for Jill citing Mrs. Which! But alas, when I saw the list of Dems supporting the stupakated health care reform, I felt that same ol’ sinking feeling of not being considered fully human by people for whom I voted. Blame-blame-blame the P.

  27. Susan

    This debacle infuriated me as well, but your MP reference made me laugh. So far I’ve donated to Planned Parenthood on Stupak’s behalf, and had them send him a nice “Thank you” card, and I’ve donated to the woman who’s running against Pitts (the asshole Republican sponsor of the amendment), Lois Herr:


    I can’t wait to also support whoever runs against Stupak.

  28. kristyn

    Susan, if you signed up on the streets of Manhattan care of those ubiquitous canvassers, there is a good chance that I signed you up! We were out there furiously pounding pavement all week, wind rain or shine, getting out the word on good ol’ Stupak.

    A not-so-shocking number of people hadn’t heard about this lovely little parasitic gem. An even more shocking number had, which is to say about four people.
    Then of course was the altogether expected number of people who were vocally, adamantly convinced it isn’t their problem. For the sake of hack statistics and pseudoscience, in this particular sample group, that last number was comprised of rich older ladies, very rich younger ladies, all younger guys, and most older guys.

    Because of course, if you don’t want or think you might ever need to have an abortion, and/or if you can pay for health care out of pocket, why does it matter how many [other] women get thrown under the bus? We have a Democratic political majority and a Black president. We’ve achieved the pinnacle of human achievement. We should be happy, and go make Barry O a sandwich as long as we’re not busy.

    Blame, blame, blame.

  29. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I smell a rat and blame the patriarchy, in the form of those fucking Catholic bishops.

  30. Jezebella

    You’re spot on. Never trust a man in a pointy hat.

  31. Karen

    It surprises me not to see my congressman Tim Ryan on that list. He’s done nothing but sit with his thumb up his ass the entire time he’s been in office. The 17th seems fine with the status quo, as long as men are happy with what’s going on then there’s no reason to rock the boat. I expect nothing less from the district that elected James Traficant 9 times.

    Blame, blame, blame to every he-man woman-hater.

  32. yttik

    “..those who acknowledge women’s bodily sovereignty are expected to “compromise for the greater good” as a matter of “political reality”.

    Indeed, the distortion these two talking points rely on require people to twist into a pretzel and turn reality on it’s head. Women are the greater good. Women=the greater good. Their lives ripple out and impact the health of the community as a whole in ways we’ve barely begun to understand. Women also compromise more the 50% of the “political reality.” To pretend the “greater good” can occur without the inclusion of women is insane. To further declare women are so unimportant to the equation that their needs can be casually negotiated away in the name of political expediency, is also irrational.

    To add insult to injury, there is nothing in the Mitt Romney National Privatization Scheme that seems aimed at the “greatest” good.” If one is going to be declared non-human in the name of political expediency, is it too much to ask to at least be sacrificed in front of a decent bill?

  33. Pantsuit Sally

    The Democratic Party has officially lost my vote over this. I’m one of those people who has felt for years that the Dems didn’t really align with my beliefs anymore, but was too chickenshit to vote for a third party because it allegedly just aided the enemy. It doesn’t matter whether the boot on women’s necks belongs to a Republican or a Democrat- it’s a boot either way.

    All of you awesome radfems who insisted that voting for Obama instead of the Green Party, which had two women at the top of the ticket, was going to bite us in the ass were correct, and I regret that I didn’t jump on board with that sooner. I really hope that enough women are pissed off about this that they will defect as well and maybe next time around we can have some REAL change. Of course, that’s no help to the women who will feel the impact of this stupakery in very tangible ways.

  34. Narya

    Oh, it has even more godbaggery in it than is immediately apparent. Someone–Digby, perhaps?–pointed out that this will enable catholic hospitals a more level playing field. Because noone will be able to offer/cover abortion, that removes the disadvantage catholic hospitals face by virtue of their rampant misogynist godbaggery. I most definitely blame the patriarchy, particular when it’s wearing pointy hats.

  35. Aunty Christ

    “Throwing up our hands” would be discontinued as a law enforcement technique.

    Jill, what you’re saying is 100% true, and I’m so happy that you’ve said it, and god this is depressing.

  36. procrastinatrix

    For the vast majority of this post, I have just one comment: Righteous!

    However, in defense of David Lisak, the “rape scholar” quoted above, I think his full quotation may be a more fair representation. He is saying that “throw[ing] up our hands” is not a viable criminal investigation strategy, and is not used when investigating any other kind of crime.

    True, he could have phrased the whole thing much more effectively. The full quote is:

    “Psychologist David Lisak from the University of Massachusetts has spent twenty years studying the minds of rapists.

    ‘Somehow all we can do is take the statement from the victim. Take the statement from the alleged perpetrator and then throw up our hands because they are saying conflicting things,’ he said. “That’s not how we investigate other crimes.’ ”

    And thanks for the Mrs. Which quote in comments. How I love those three ladies/angels/stars/whatevers.

  37. Jill

    The “full quote” you paste here is only what CBS put on their website. Who knows what the guy actually said?

    In any event, I’m not taking a shot at Lisak. The opposite. I’m using him as a sympathetic witness, to support my point.

  38. Bizzie Lizzie

    The Hyde Amendment restricts exceptions to cases of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. This is perfectly reasonable, bearing in mind that the danger of carrying a pregnancy to term are greater than the dangers of terminating, and that according to medical ethics as I know it this means that in principle all pregnancies unchecked could be interpreted as a threat to maternal life.

    The law here in the U.K. allows abortion up to the 24 week stage (after which all births, live or still, must be registered) if two doctors are found to agree that the risk to a woman’s physical and mental health is greater if she continues with her pregnancy than if she chooses to terminate. All women will feel differently, but I shamelessly speculate that the balance of practical and ethical considerations will often shift through the course of gestation.

    The state does not own my body, but if I approach agents of the state asking that they assist me in interfering with the natural course of my pregnancy it’s natural that the state employed doctors have to follow some guidelines of ethical practise. As it happens, the interpretation of the law as outlined above varies widely, and some doctors will arrange an abortion for any woman who requests one on the grounds of danger to her life (following statistical logic). Others are less cut and dried, and there is much debate about the development of the central nervous system in the fetus. Most doctors would require far greater justification for aborting a fetus at 23 weeks than at 10. There are also some conscientious objectors, and naturally they are not expected to participate; hands up for a delicate gynecological procedure performed by a mysogynistic judgemental inhumane fuckwit who treats you worse than a cow bound for slaughter; anyone?

    Resulta que; abortion is state funded according to our universal healthcare principles, you need to pick your agent of the state carefully to ensure they will interpret the guidelines to your advantage (making education and self-assurance more important than financial circumstances). If you live in the sticks you may have to make a journey. There is no guarantee that after jumping through these flaming hoops you will not be faced with a mysogynistic judgemental inhumane fuckwit who treats you worse than a cow bound for slaughter, but at least you can afford a decent bottle of wine and a steak coming out the other side.

    To spiral lepidopterously back to the flicker of my point; abortion is pretty much available on demand here at least in the first trimester and state funded, yet the legislation often used to cover it does not differ significantly from that proposed by this amendment. The situation on the ground will depend on the integrity of individual professionals. Wee Obama (may his granny haunt him) has been making noises that some further negotiation of that amendment may be necessary, and if some further reference to, for example, mental health of mother and existing children could be worked in, state funding would surely be accessible to willing professionals, a massive improvement by my understanding on the current ‘on the ground’ situation. Even a further elaboration of the ‘danger to life’ to specify ‘greater danger than through termination’ would safeguard the freedom to operate effectively within the law in receipt of state funding.

    A right to choice suggests two possible outcomes and this means facilitating a choice to continue the pregnancy as well, and being vigilant against the social pressures that may be brought to bear on a ‘loose woman’ finding herself embryologically occupied. A right to basic healthcare for oneself and ones offspring is greatly consequential in these circumstances.

    Worst case scenario is that based on a whole bunch of posturing and pointy hatted tail feather displays people are frightened off voting for reform. Given the choice of being left with an unsustainable pregnancy or a nasty dose of H.I.V. I know which one I’d choose, and without reform there is still no universal right in the U.S. to modern life-saving medicines for those affected. If you have to sell the family cow to pay for an abortion you probably have to sell the whole family for a lifetime of A.R.V’s. Rampant godbaggery is reportedly more virulent in your part of the world, and if the problem was as serious here I appreciate that I might be less inclined to harbour faith in the integrity of a core of sensible professionals in interpreting an ambiguous law. For this I wholeheartedly blame the patriarchy.

  39. feral

    It seems that naming Obama feminism’s Superman (revolting Ms. magazine cover)has given him carte blanche to stab women in the back. His silence on the Stupak amendment is as predictable as Pelosi’s and even Kucinich’s silence. I agree with Jill and others: every last bit of this is predictable. I’ve heard countless “progressive” Dems hailing Kucinich’s refusal to vote for the bill though in his justification he never once mentions the amendment or, ahem, women.

    I can’t help but want to slap my friends who wagged their fingers at my decision to vote for McKinney.

    Never underestimate the ability of our political climate to render words absolutely meaningless. “Feminist,” “peace,” “change”….at least “fucking bullshit” still has some merit.

  40. phaedras

    They hate us and they make money off of it.


    That said, maybe, just maybe this is enough proof to middle class women that they are under attack and the pattern of “women’s issues” being the sacrificial lamb during every negotiation will be so apparent that the beginnings of a real revolt can form.

    Also, slightly off topic, a great post on who the rapists are:

    “McWhorter used a Sexual Experiences Survey tool that has been in use for more than 20 years. Of her 1146 participants, 144, or 13%, admitted an attempted or completed rape — substantially higher than Lisak & Miller. But in another respect, her work very much matched theirs: 71% of the men who admitted an attempted or completed rape admitted more than one, very close to Lisak & Miller’s 63%. The 96 men who admitted multiple attempted of completed rapes in McWhorter’s survey averaged 6.36 assaults each. This is not far from Lisak & Miller’s average of 5.8 assaults per recidivist. Looked at another way, of the 865 total attempted or completed rapes these men admitted to, a staggering 95% were committed by 96 men, or just 8.4% of the sample.”


  41. procrastinatrix

    Yes, Lisak’s quote supports your point, either way it’s taken. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt because of a Shakesville post about him, prompted in part by the CBS story, that delves a bit more into his work.


    Seems that he’s doing some good research, but it also seems to no avail because he’s fighting against the various butt-cheeks mentioned above, and the boily bottom known as patriarchy, which I blame.

  42. procrastinatrix

    Also, I’m going to try to amend my speaking habits to say, “Same stupak, different day” from now on rather than “same shit,…”. Seems much more effective for disparaging him than nominating the asshole’s name on Urban Dictionary, if adopted on a wider scale than just li’l old me.

    Thanks for the idea!

  43. agasaya

    Sally et al.

    Obama is pro-abortion and pro-public option. Re-iterating his opinions won’t magically write or pass the bills which will include both. He is making us take responsibility by allowing the idiocy of the opposition to be heard instead of taking more camera time to tell us what we already know. We put the opposition (and ‘progressive’ collaborators) into office and can’t expect Obama to control them. Industry may own their asses but they still need our votes to earn their graft.

    The fact that any bills are actually on the table is because women didn’t throw away votes on unelectable women candidates or third parties. As satisfying as such statements might have been, it would have resulted in McCain winning the election. Had that occurred, no health care reform of any kind plus a likely eradication of abortion rights (versus access) would be the current state of affairs.

    A lot of us are going without PAP smears, cardiograms and blood pressure meds. We are dying of preventable ailments. When women have basic health care, housing and food we have the basis for becoming educated in what needs to be changed and then how to create change.
    Holding off on general access to health care won’t increase our chances of getting abortion funding through congress. One shouldn’t depend upon the other because we can’t wait that long and fighting for your rights takes energy only available to the healthy.

  44. Gayle


    Voting for ostensibly progressive dudes has gotten us nothing. Zero. Zilch.

    Yes, all the men in the Primary were “feminists” while they ran against Hillary. I watched all the debates and heard all their bullshit words. Once she was out, they reverted back to normal. We were invisible once again– The silent, compliant majority.

    I’m in MA and watching the current Senatorial election has been a great reminder. The only candidate to come out and say she wouldn’t vote for the final bill if Stupak was included was Martha Coakley. The other male candidates scoffed at her and even tried to use her stance against her. One said her outspokenness against Stupak was like “Mana from heaven.”

    After berating Coakley publically and accusing her of insulting THE dead Kennedy, her main chalenger suddenly flip flopped when he read the polls. (BTW, Pelosi is coming to Boston to endorse that male flip flopping candidate over Coakley tomorrow.)

    No male candidate gets my vote again unless he has a proven track record. And if he’s running against a woman (of either party) his record better be damn good. I want parity in politics, which means I’ll be voting for women after I’m dead.

    I don’t give a damn what Obama or any male candidate says anymore. Their actions tell me all I need to know.

  45. Gayle

    PS: Obama said he’d sign a health care bill without a Public Option months ago. I haven’t the slightest notion why you think he is pro-abortion. He’s been dismissive about the Freedom of Choice Act since the Primary ended. He’s never come out against Hyde.

  46. Jill

    “Their actions tell me all I need to know.”

    Amen, sister.

  47. agasaya

    Amen indeed! Brief reference to ‘actions’:

    Hilary’s record is a testament to political expedience . She voted for war so she would be electable later on; stayed married to Bill, which basically speaks for itself. Her leadership is far more effective at lower levels, particularly in the State Department. VP is a position of wastefulness with not even a senate vote to offer if there isn’t a tie.

    Palin’s actions? Not going there again.

    Back to health care:

    Real reform can’t begin in terms of dictating the content of medicine until everyone becomes a consumer first and has some access to medicine. Any bill that gets women insurance fast is going to suck. Do you know how badly women are affected by the current male medical model? Issues of access to abortion procedures don’t even touch upon the effects of misogyny in medicine. Gender and genetics in general are ignored in the male medical model.

    Half of the population is genetically incompatible with standard drugs on the market today.


    Women respond with twice the immune reactivity to vaccines as men – yet receive the same dose and the same adjuvants to increase responses. Note: Women are the vast majority of patients with autoimmune diseases.





    When women become consumers in equal numbers with men, we can crunch the numbers and stop rewarding Big Pharma for mis-treating us. Insured women with basic health care access will be very motivated to act in order to get coverage for abortions as for any other elective surgery. Basic health care won’t be a bargaining chip any longer at that point. Right now, abortion is being held hostage in order for us to get the rest. There aren’t any SWAT teams going to rescue it right now.

  48. FW

    Fucking social contract.

    Eh. I just came from another blog and me and a dude got into a little discussion (not about stupak) and I said “It’s never pragmatic to give up freedom” and he comes back with:

    “””All social contract theory is based on the idea that people trade the freedoms of the state of nature to avoid the state of war […]

    Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, all them dead dudes that created the foundation of how we understand the creation of nations and states all agreed that we have to give up freedoms.”””

    —- and my gast was flabbered. I mean Rousseau? Really? The guy who inspired Wollstonecraft? You mean the dudes et. al. that pretty much ‘invented democracy’ and then barred women from owning property or voting or having any rights? Yeah, I’m gonna go to those guys for social contract theory.

    It’s the same fucking thing today! Fucking Stupak is the same old social contract crap that rendered women as property, powerless and as mere peripherals of men. —

    Where women, and women’s lives are in the contract as points to negotiate, NOT as parties TO the contract. In the way you’d negotiate who gets how many puppies if you breed dogs, we are indeed the bitches, and our uteruses are potential puppies! Oh yes, thank goodness for Locke, and Rousseau, and the rest of them. Where would we be without them?

    Which, hey don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love puppies? But sometimes bitches die.


  49. yttik

    We have failed to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, a campaign promise that was made, it was to be one of the first bills signed. Then we removed the family planning funds from the stimulus bill. And now we have passed an anti-abortion amendment. At some point one has to conclude that abuse is not love, that this is not 11 dimensional chess, nor a secret plot to reveal hidden pro-woman policies “once the dust settles.”

  50. Mordant Espier

    Besides the Catholic bishops, the other god bags you need to be watching on this story are those involved with–or aspiring to be involved with–“The Family.”

    Here’s Rachel Maddow’s coverage

    This group of guy’s guys forge their bonds by not admitting women, protecting adulterers, and making themselves feel powerful by buddying around with tyrants abroad. As Wanda Skyes cracked, the only way these people will even read the health care legislation is “to rest it on the back of the hooker they’re banging down at C Street House.”

  51. procrastinatrix

    agasaya, basic preventive care for women is also not covered under the House health bill, so I’m not sure what the foundation is for your argument that holding out against further restriction of access to abortion will prevent women from accessing basic health care.

    I agree with you that the male medical model is devastating for women’s and children’s health, but again, I’m not sure how failing to hold politicians accountable for their actions will help that issue.

  52. MPR

    Thank you, Jill. After a hard day of arguing with a boil on the buttcheek of the patriarchy about this article, (http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/259924/), I needed to come and reread your careful buttock enumeration to lift my spirits.

    Even though I have only lurked up until now, please know I appreciate every post.

  53. agasaya


    Why not hold politicians accountable while being able to see a doctor when you are sick. It’s a lot harder to hold them accountable when you are sick and can’t see a doctor. Every woman needs health care. Some women need abortions. Let’s not hold every woman hostage for abortion funding. The right to an abortion may be withdrawn sooner than we can get health care coverage at this rate.

    Women currently without health care can’t afford abortions now either. If some lose coverage, you will see masses of individuals ready, willing and able to fight for regaining it. But how many of those currently covered for it are fighting for those without any health care at all? Which option leads to increased agency and a larger pool of activists?

    I don’t know of too many women without any health coverage who would disagree unless they are in excellent health and feel invulnerable. If no other bill can pass without such unconstitutional amendments (abortion remains a legal medical procedure)then this may have to be it. Better to fight this out in the courts now before more conservatives hit the Bench.

    I’m timed out of this thread! Let’s hear from some people without coverage and in need of health care on this one.

  54. Bizzie Lizzie

    I’m not an American, but I’ve often contemplated the fact that I would have died a very young woman were it not for universal medical coverage here. My daughter would have died at birth as well had I made it that far. In fact we’d probably both have died several times over. I don’t know if it’s as bad as I imagine in the U.S. but if a young unmarried poor woman without insurance gives birth to a child needing urgent life-saving surgery in the U.S. would she get the best treatment available no questions asked, and if she did what would be the financial consequences? Would the standard of ante-natal care offered her be likely to identify her risk in the first place, avoiding another ugly point added to those neo-natal mortality statistics? Could these sorts of issues be urgent enough to outweigh the real world implications of this amendment?

    I still think that once the universal right to a good standard of medical care is acknowledged it would follow that ethical practitioners could interpret guidelines to access state funding for abortion, but I know I may be underestimating cultural differences. It seems states have made up the rules as they go along with how they interpreted the Hyde amendment. Is a nationally embedded right to free abortion in rape, incest or danger to life cases not an improvement on what went before, especially considering that under U.K. law ‘danger to life’ is interprable as a ‘catch all’, effectively allowing clinicians freedom in a state-funded system? (clinicians who refuse to participate with abortion referrals are obliged to immediately refer the woman to someone who does.)

    Please let me know if I’m being naive. I’d like to think that the patriarchal norms governing women’s fertility rights could be swiftly inverted over the next week or two and we could all move on liberated from that particular set of shackles before the last leave falls from the trees (or the next new-born dies unnecessarily), but I’m not going to hold my breath and create a further burden on the health service when I pass out waiting and crack my skull.

  55. snow black

    Bizzie Lizzie:

    “Is a nationally embedded right to free abortion in rape, incest or danger to life cases not an improvement…?”

    Arguably, it might be, but I don’t see that in the bill. Where is it? What I see is prohibition of insurance coverage for abortion (except as specified), if the insurance is purchased by anyone entitled to government subsidy for her insurance premiums, even if the policy is a supplemental one paid for entirely by the insured woman. On top of that, the outcome is likely to be a severe scarcity of policies that cover abortion, as it’s complicated and expensive to tailor policies for specific markets. Given the embattled state of abortion care in this country, this deform bill could be the last in a series of kicks that turn it into a dead industry.

  56. procrastinatrix


    In case you aren’t “timed out” and come back to read this thread, I’d like to point out that you didn’t address my point which is that preventive health care for women is also not included in the House health bill. The House bill would absolutely not require any insurance plans to cover pelvic exams, PAP smears, mammograms, or any other preventative health care for women. I fail to see how this bill increases access to health care for women, with or without the dreadful Stupak amendment.

  57. yttik

    Now they’ve come out with new guidelines for mammograms. No mammograms if you’re under 50 or over 74. But the part that really astounds me is the recommendation that women stop breast self exams. Why?? It’s free, it’s non invasive, and it’s your own damn body.

  58. Jezebella

    Well, obviously, yttik, it’s because our boobies are only there so men can grope them. We can’t be groping ourselves! That would disrupt the natural order of things.

  59. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The big ol’ P doesn’t want you getting the ridiculous notion that you might actually have a clue about what is going on with your own body.

  60. Bizzie Lizzie

    So the state would be subsidising individual policies through private insurers? It still seems to go against the most cynical of logic for them not to fork out for preventative care considering treating an illness in full bloom will often cost more. It also costs a small fortune less to terminate a pregnancy than to go ahead with it. Cost effectiveness, you know?

    I thought they were only kidding about the whole ‘God’ thing anyway so they could take outrageous liberties in the name of sacred sperm. I just assumed that when they realised they’d actually have to foot the bill all that would go out the window. I’m sure that’s a major practical consideration for the powers that be in the liberal interpretation of the abortion guidelines here, but true believers are a rare and unsettling species in this part of the world.

    > > But the part that really astounds me is the recommendation that women stop breast self exams. Why?? It’s free, it’s non invasive, and it’s your own damn body.

    It does sound like the plot may be well and truly lost. I think breast tissue is too dense for mammograms when you’re young but I can see no sense in not examining your self. That’s creepy.

  61. agasaya

    I fail to see how this bill increases access to health care for women, with or without the dreadful Stupak amendment.

    Actually, PAP smears are currently funded by medicare and many plans. The exam which one needs to collect the smear isn’t. So, true that preventive care isn’t covered yet but the under-insured can still see a doctor when sick. The uninsured can’t. I can’t afford the well-check up but when I found a lump in my breast, the exam, mammogram and follow up sonogram showing it was just cystic material was covered. Without my insurance, no follow-up would have been possible to rule out or detect disease.

    The stupidity of neglecting preventive health measures for the insured will certainly end for two reasons. First, lots of well check ups find reasons to prescribe drugs so Big Pharma can buy votes in congress to establish that. Why wait for people to get sick to get some expensive drugs they likely don’t need? Second, preventive care approaches save billions as the OMB will determine when they get to it. Asthma costs us 18 billion per year with it being the fourth biggest reason for loss of productivity in the workplace. Only about half of asthma is allergy based so it’s largely preventable. This will play well in many sectors as a reason for preventive care. And if you get help when sick, you will likely be working and perhaps able to afford that checkup if you want one in the meantime.

    I am waiting for someone without insurance to tell me they don’t want health care coverage if it must initially come with anti-abortion measures. Anyone who is familiar with the helplessness of illness and no recourse but an ER? Unless they can kick stupak out of the picture soon, it is another way to delay universal health care. They aren’t that stupid – Stupak works for them no matter what happens.

  62. tmi

    You keep asking, so I’ll volunteer. I’m 30, haven’t had health insurance since about 25. In the winter I don’t go out if there’s ice, because if I break something… well. You know. My aunt broke her wrist last winter and didn’t go to the hospital because she couldn’t afford it. I DO have ongoing health issues that are untreated and quite possibly going to cause me much worse health later in life.

    But you know what? No. If what little access to abortion that women have in this country has to be sacrificed for me to get health insurance, then no. It is a step in the wrong direction, a step further INTO patriarchy, and it isn’t worth it.

    Now, you can go ahead and not believe me. You could, if you knew me and my situation, bring up the fact that this bill won’t give me health insurance anyway; then I could bring up the fact that having health insurance doesn’t mean you’ll get health care, particularly if you’re female. But what you asked for, a woman not in good health, with no insurance, who thinks access to abortion is more important overall health care, that’s me.

    In short, my humanity is more important than my health.

  63. Sheeba Dean

    Agasaya, Hillary did not “vote for war” please see the video on her vote for an “investigation” and the warning that came with it. These “talking points” are not based in reality at all. You saying she “stayed with Bill” is a tired old republican way of attacking a powerful woman. What? You want a woman to run for president who has been perfect but, Obama can run with ZERO record and that’s fine and dandy with you. Just because you assume she could not have “beat McCain” doesn’t make that so since she did get more votes than any democratic candidate in the parties history. It is very American right wing to make an argument about what people do or don’t do in the private lives as a way to ignore their public record on any issue but, in this case women’s rights. Then you go ON to say she’s “better” in a secondary role. Oh yes…we’re all better as the secretary instead of being the boss because we aren’t quite as godly perfect as our male counterpart with no record of accomplishment whatsofuckingever. I notice you utterly excuse Obama’s pro war comments and votes while attacking a woman candidate for far less.

    To say that if some women must give up their right to an abortion for the “greater good” then so be it, is scary. Which woman? How many? What circumstances? It won’t be that woman who decides..it will be the insurance company and some MALE fucking doctor.. That tired old democratic party bullshit has been taking away our rights for decades now. We must ALWAYS follow the dog whistle for someone else’s greater good and do all the shit work for this party while having our issues put on the back burner. Do you know how much longer they will make this argument to ignore us? I left the party over it after thirty years of hearing the same old argument, different “more important” “greater good” bullshit one too many times.

    You go on believing that this bill is a good health care bill. Have you read it? Single payer was on the table and Obama and Pelosi took it off. Stupak was predictable. Obama not saying anything to prevent it was also predictable.

    I moved to Canada several years ago because I couldn’t afford health care at home. I’d like nothing more than to be able to move back but, can’t. This bill is not “health care” It’s a huge give away to big pharma by Obama as a big fat thank you for all the money they gave him. He gave the insurance companies a bill that will be HMO’s on steroids only you won’t get to see that in action until after Obama runs again in 2012. This bill has ZERO to do with affordable health care for all.

    Obama, never gave a shit about women’s issues and the democrats and republicans are a joke. Until women, stand up for other women in politics then we will NOT be represented in government, will always be asked to take it up the ass for the “greater good” and will forever be judged twice as harshly as the male candidate counter parts.

    Give me a fucking break. This bill needed to die. It is dishonest of Obama to call this shit “reform” with all the big pharma ass kissing that’s in there. He gave them far, far more than Bush did!!

    I notice all the health care compromises are aimed at women’s health issues. This was about patriarchy and woman hating.

    My family at home do not have health care and did NOT support this bill in it’s present form after having actually bothered to read the bill. Just because Obama says the word reform over and over does not make it so. Obama is Bush three. Only even Bush didn’t go after abortion rights. Sad and infuriating.

    I voted Hillary and then Mckinney. I’d someday like to go to D.C. and actually see some WOMEN up on the the walls of the fucking W.H. but, for people who hold women to ten times the standard of male candidates I probably would have by now.

    I’ve thought long and hard about giving up my citizenship over more than one issue lately. The U.S. woman hating press, the double standards in politics, the b.s.er in the White House calling himself a “reformer” while stabbing all my sisters in the back.

    Funny thing is, I was once just like you, making any argument I could to support the big daddy man democrat lefty boy in the W.H. no matter what they asked of me. Donate money, stump for the swinging dick who said he “understood” women’s rights ALL while putting my issues behind every other “important” fire of the day. No more.

    So forgive me if I find your arguments sounding strangely like they would fit in over at cheeto land OR Freeper. Either way…women lose no matter how you use word salad to justify it..I’ve heard it all before. The democrats and republicans are run by the same special interests and they do not have your interests at heart including Obama. Maybe, just maybe the reason they pushed so hard against Hillary is they were afraid she might not play ball the good ole boy way that Obama will and showed he would in Illinois. We’ll never know now and not for many, many years to come because the same old double standard arguments will continue to be made against every liberal woman who runs and the misogyny in the press will be rubber stamped and participated in by those calling themselves “progressives” over again.

    You’ve been had. This bill was not about “reform” it was payback for playing the game with United Health, and big pharma. It was all done with a final big “fuck you” to women. How anyone could defend that is beyond me.

  64. Amananta

    Some many years ago I viewed a faux-documentary about women’s lives after the US finally went ahead and made abortion outright illegal. There was a woman in the movie who was in prison for – something, I can’t remember, and was heavily drugged because she was “clinically insane”. Apparently she had written a book before her misdeed that landed her in prison, in which she said all women should get tubal ligations.
    Every time I see some crap like this going down, I think of this movie, and the woman in it, and agree with her advice, and wish my tubal ligation was a big fluffy teddy bear so I could hug it.

  65. laughingrat

    As dinner progressed, the congressman described years of feeling ignored, slighted or marginalized by his party for his anti-abortion views.

    “We’re members without a party,” he said. “Democrats are mad at you, and Republicans don’t trust you.”

    So he’s basically like every other violent misogynist asshole, hurting women because he feels slighted. Oppression really is boring and repetitive!

  66. agasaya

    Isn’t it interesting that he said Republicans don’t trust the right to lifers, despite the fact they always vote that line because they bought so many votes with it from the religious right that would have gone democratic on many other fronts.

  67. agasaya

    Stupak just resigned.

  68. veganrampage

    Yes agasaya STUPAK did resign but now he should be put to good use. Let all new medical students practice D&C on his colon without any anesthetic for the rest of his natural life; at least 20 years. The founder of the AMA used black slave women to experiment on with no anesthetic, some suffering some 30 plus operations, so now that I am Goddess of the Universe I proclaim free abortions for all, for ever, and all furture MD’s needs must practice on the asshole Stupak’s asshole. Sorry boys, only women are allowed to be doctors for the next 200 years. Why? Because it is Goddess’s will. Let it be done! Amyn.

  69. agasaya

    Pay attention here – Stupak resigned because a powerful crowd of people even more extreme than he, forced him to do so. He was too liberal!

    That tells us the funding of extreme right and religious groups by Republicans (to increase their rank and file among poorer individuals) has backfired and they have largely taken over the party. Instead of rendering them splintered and useless, we are about to see a rise in violence now (as if it weren’t already bad enough) against women, minorities and activists. The Palin rhetoric, which she likes to say is metaphorical, heaps blessings upon those in authority to turn an even blinder eye than usual to such ‘patriotic’ violations of law.

    This is about a lot more than abortions.

  1. It’s fun to read old blog posts « Donna Darko

    […] Twisty says Stupak is an ongoing effort to maintain the rapeability of women and compulsory pregnancy. […]

  2. Stupak – Why I like Canada. « Dead Wild Roses

    […] Pro-Choice, Healthcare, US, Anti-Choice Zealotry | by The Arbourist Twisty, from the blog I Blame the Patriarchy opines on the recent passage of the healthcare bill in the US with the Stupack […]

Comments have been disabled.