Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dear Fellow Dudes: Shut Up About How This is No Biggie

Image Creator:Brian Snyder Credit:REUTERS

[Note: Formatting is weird on this article because I brought it over from the old site and I didn't want to redo all the links.]

To all my fellow dudes who are just calm as a cucumber that the recent rash of laws is never going to get past SCOTUS, let me put this as diplomatically as possible:
You need to shut the fuck up with that bullshit.
For starters, by and large, you've been wrong since about 2015. You've been wrong about the degree of bigotry fueling the right. Like really wrong. You've been wrong about the white nationalists not really being a thing. You've been wrong about the wall being a weird crowd-pandering thing that would never happen. You've been wrong about the concentration camps being harmless and the most sympathetic policy we plausibly could enact and that it's over because of the protests. You've been wrong about the travel ban. You've been wrong that there aren't literal fucking Nazis in the street. You've been wrong that it wouldn't be so bad and people would survive this.
So it is time to stop imagining yourselves the rational überpundits of political thought, look into the veritable avalanche of your fucking WRONGNESS, and admit that you do not POSSESS the ability to predict the perturbations of an approaching threat the way that those directly affected by it do. And that your calm, collected, rational demands that everyone around you chill the fuck out about laws that are never going to affect YOUR body autonomy are not just WRONG (but holy shit are they ever wrong), but are also gaslighting those who are affected that their spider sense isn't really tingling.
You blew off those who study dictatorships, legions of historians, political scientists, communications experts, folks who have LIVED in dictatorships, countries we're allied with, POC, LGBTQIA+ folks, immigrants, Muslims, Latinx folks, most Germans, and pretty much all Jews who lived through the Third Reich––all those folks were jumping up and down and screaming. And yet here we are...with a constitutional crisis every week, a president cosying up to dictators, and suggesting that he's owed a couple of extra years, and watchdog groups saying American democracy is more threatened than ever before.
And right now you are missing the bigger picture. Right now you're in the process of being WRONG again. Because if you were listening to any expertise beyond that which you arrogantly pulled out of your own ass (because of [I guess] your considerable experience dealing with legal abortion politics?), you would know that forced birth extremists have been putting these pieces into place for decades. If you read beyond the preview text or paid attention past where you were sure you had all the answers, you would see over and over the concerns of those groups that have been fighting this fight this since Roe v. Wade and before are not so cavileer.
1- None of these experts is even remotely as cocksure as you are that this court will not uphold one or more of these laws. Kavanah (despite the assurances of uterus-less dudes, whose bodies are not the one being legislated, that he is mostly harmless) was literally appointed, among other things, to undermine Roe. That was one of the gold stars on his resume.
2- That THESE laws may not pass, possibly even all of them, is not the point. These laws are designed to get to SCOTUS. They are a "probing of the defenses." This is the velociraptors testing the fence perimeter. A lot of very powerful forced birth extremists want to know which arguments are going to gain traction with the new SCOTUS makeup and, to mix metaphors, these laws are throwing spaghetti at the wall. They want to ARGUE it. They want to see who leans forward and who rolls their eyes when they make certain points. Once they know what'll stick, they go back to their desks and write the exact, precise laws with the legal wording that will exploit the weaknesses they discovered.
3- Between the passing of a law and its eventual SCOTUS challenge (possibly as much as a year later), real people get hurt. It's not just an intellectual exercise of armchair legal expertise. THIS WILL ACTUALLY AFFECT REAL PEOPLE.
4- There are dozens of ways proven conclusively to reduce abortion much more effectively than outlawing the safe and accessible kind. Cheap and easy access to birth control, for example. (Spoiler: they're coming for that too because of "religious freedom.") There are hundreds of ways to respect children's "sanctity of life," from free access to prenatal and postnatal care to fixing lead-contaminated water to ensuring that children from poor families always have shelter, food, electricity, and running (clean) water. But largely when these ways of being pro-life are brought up, the same group of lawmakers and a 90%+ overlap of supporters are staunchly against such things being "the role of government." There are even fertility clinics with fertilized ova given a "Meh..." shrug/pass even though the unused embryos are tossed into the trash. And these laws always target women and the doctors who treat them but never the men. This isn't about "Won't someone think of the little souls!" It's about controlling the bodies of people with uteruses. And if some group out there were working FURIOUSLY, day and night, with an army of lawyers, enacting the endgame of a plan in the works since 1974, to mandate control of YOUR body so that you had to be an incubator to another organism no matter WHAT the extenuating circumstances were, you would probably not be so goddamn fucking blasé about it.
So shut the fuck up about how none of this is a big deal because your vast constitutional scholarship and extensive political abortion law activism somehow also includes psychically knowing the minds of nine high court judges. (Not to mention your boundless expertise on fetal development, late term abortions, and prenatal care.) And listen for a fucking second to the people who are actually affected by these laws tell you that they are terrified as shit because they just heard the branch crack underneath them. Because poo-pooing their feelings like you can oracularly view the future of abortion jurisprudence, know better than battle-hardened activists, and aren't concerned about that thing that won't be directly affecting you not only makes you an insensitive, gaslighting fucknoodle, but history suggests that you're going to be WRONG.

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