There is a convent in Sorrento, Italy that has nine foot thick walls.
I remember being awed by the immensity of the walls. This is the former home of the Bare-Foot Carmelite Order of Nuns, who, besides being barefoot in all types of weather inside this fortress which they never left, took a lifelong vow of silence. The walls, said our guide, were not to keep others out but more to keep the women from escaping. You see, many of the women were forced to be there because they were considered to be disobedient by the men in their lives; fathers, husbands looking for marriage annulments, and even the village priest. If the men thought you to be unmanageable and un-malleable, you had to be shut away.
Let’s understand that I lean more towards what is offered by the Democratic Party than any other. At least they’re fair to women. Let’s also understand that I think the Republicans, who American history has shown was a conservative but relatively fair party at one time, have completely gone way over the edge in their thinking especially as it regards women. They like to use right-wing, conservative, Evangelical religion to do it.
It doesn’t work for me. I simply refuse to vote for any political party that has idiots who seem to feel they can define women’s rights most especially through the horror of the word rape. Make no mistake about this; rape is an act of violence and any woman who is raped deserves to have the right to a termination of any pregnancy that results from that horror.
But the Republicans have idiots, yes I said idiots, running for office who want to set women’s rights back to the Middle Ages. Remember reading about those times? Women burned as witches because they disagreed with the “holy” men of the church, women sent to live in convents simply because they were “disobedient”; women basically sold into loveless marriages, passed from father to husband, one man to another, with absolutely no rights.
And let’s not forget the “rule of thumb”. It was an actual law! In a book written by historian Harriet H. Robinson, Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement, there is this reference:
"By the English common law, a woman’s husband was her lord and master. He had the custody of her person, and of her minor children. He could 'punish her with a stick no bigger than his thumb,' and she could not complain against him."
Married women had little recourse if a husband treated her or her children badly, including many acts of battery. Yup, great times back then.
So, about those idiots: Idiot number one is Todd Akin with his comment on “legitimate rape” and that his understanding is that a women’s body has “ways to take care of all that” meaning that we can control whether the rape results in a pregnancy or not. Health Class 101, right Mr. Akin?
Then there’s idiot number 2: Paul Ryan. This is a man who is a vice-presidential candidate, and refuses to approve abortion even in the case of rape or incest because according to him, (and I am sure his religious upbringing), they are a “form of conception”. I’m guessing that he was in the same health class as Akin. A form of conception?! Way, way out of order here, Mr. Ryan.
I am outraged on behalf of all women but that is my problem or maybe it is my saving grace. I don’t get fooled by empty promises or glad-handing politicians or made to believe that my body is less worthy of respect and personal decisions simply because I have a vagina and not a penis. Someone else’s religious beliefs about when conception occurs or why birth control and abortion rights should be denied to women are not my beliefs nor are they the beliefs of people whom I know.
My husband and my male friends, God bless them, see Akin and Ryan as idiots also. The idea that a woman either has super Ninja vaginal fluids to “take care of all that” possible pregnancy from a rape or that a conception by any means, and Ryan means RAPE, is all the same is ludicrous and cruel. Want to discuss the subject of bullying? What do you think these men are doing when they make decisions for women? It is blatant bullying and they want it to be legal.
We need to stop anyone who wants us to see ourselves as lesser beings and less intelligent than they are and we need them to stick to issues and not parrot, or force, their religious views on everyone else. Separation of church and state is there for a reason.
When they’re out there campaigning for our votes they need to remember one crucial bit of info: We’re not the idiots.
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