So as you know, Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - and known crybaby - held a hearing on insurance coverage for contraceptives, with the day's first panel consisting of men only. That's right - no women need testify on a vital women's issue. On what basis does Issa feel it appropriate to not let women testify? Well, on his wild goose chase of an idea that this is about religious liberty (eh, screw the religious liberty of women) and not contraception. Riiiight.
Shameful, but it would be one thing if it stopped there. It didn't. Darrell Issa went on Fox to defend his choice of an all-male theocratic panel to discuss a vital issue of women's health and women's religious freedom.
Appearing on Fox News with host Greta Van Susteren last night, Issa defended the decision, saying Fluke was unqualified to speak and that her first hand experience “wasn’t in any way related” to the issue at hand:Right, a law student who has had a close friend with personal experience with what happens to women when they don't have access to contraceptives and the moral implications of that lack of access does not belong to a panel bloviating about the morality of access to contraceptives testifying before lawmakers. Because evidently, women need to shut up when we are discussing an issue as vital as the separation of church and state, especially when it relates to the Church's right to deny critical, in some instances lifesaving health care treatment for women. Women need not be heard from when we're talking about conscience, morality, and religious liberty.
ISSA: They then wanted a different witness, a college student, who really didn’t belong on that panel for obvious reasons. [...]
She had a compelling story, a very sad story of a classmate who developed an ovarian cyst that might have been prevented by using contraception in another way, one that by the way, the Catholic bishop and everyone else there said is fully allowed, under their faith. But it was one of those things where her story was compelling, but it wasn’t in any way related to the point of the stated reason for hearing.
What the hell is wrong with these people? How is what Darrell Issa said and did any different from Rick Santorum's sugar daddy saying that in his day (apparently he is at least 178 years old), women used "cheap" contraceptives by keeping an aspirin pill between their knees?
Issa in his unending stream of hatred and stupid, compared what he is trying to do with contraception to Martin Luther King. Little did he know the Google would come up with MLK's actual position on birth control - which was to educate and expand the use of it. Oops.
Apparently, what Issa and his buddies are really defending here is the male-oriented theocratic dominion over the lives of women, including choosing what type of medical care they can receive, regardless of whether the theocratic denominations have to pay for it or not. Damn the freedom of religion and freedom of conscience for American women. Issa wants to portray this issue as one of religious liberty, fine. What about the religious liberty of women? Just who was speaking for that on Issa's panel? What about the women of different faith traditions - like, oh, I dunno, Catholic nuns?
The Republicans keep getting crazier and crazier. To term what they are doing a war on women doesn't even begin to describe it. In Issa's statements and actions is a profound view that has underlaid the American social conservative movement for decades now: that women are inferior to men, that they should not be allowed to run their own lives - especially their own sexual lives, that they should submit to men in matters in and out of the home, as well as inside and outside of the bedroom, that male dominated organized theocracy should decide women's fate.
This overwhelming and overarching theme of misogyny pervades the social radical movement in this country. This is what they are talking about when they say "family values" - specifically the value that in families women ought to be subject to men's whims and similarly, in public policy, women's issues should be decided by men. Of course, they will decide who are the proper men from their strain of religious, Christianist dictates. Not only are men to decide when women will be permitted to do what, men are to also decide when women can speak. Until they are so permitted, they must shut up and hold that aspirin between their knees.