Festering_Swamps    The cesspool that is toxic masculinity, the sea we all swim in,  had a newsworthy (aka an effect on people other than women) peak at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado.

Three people were killed and nine others injured after gunfire ripped through a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., during an hours-long standoff that unfolded Friday afternoon.

Officials announced the casualties — one police officer and two civilians — at a brief news conference Friday evening.”

The resolution was thus:

“The standoff involved at least two exchanges of gunfire and lasted about five hours, before the gunman was taken into police custody.

“We did get officers inside the building. They were able to shout to the suspect and make communication with him, and at that point they were able to get him to surrender and take him into custody,” said police spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley. He was apprehended at 4:52 p.m. MT.”

Well, so we have the murderer in custody, after a shootout, with police casualties.  Care to guess the ethnicity of shooter? (Helpful Clue: He’s still alive).  He allegedly said the following:

“He uttered the words “no more baby parts” to police after his arrest, according to a law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation. The official did not elaborate on the comment.”

Ah, motivation for saving babies – You would think that endorsing a violent man’s actions in shooting up a women’s medical centre would bring nothing but anger, shock and censure.  You would be wrong.

Coloradotweets1

The very male face of the anti-choice movement.

Coloradotweets2

Can you count the falsehoods that are known to be the staple arguments of those against women and their rights?

 

Coloradotweets3

The bullshite that was the whole selling baby parts fiasco, yet another anti-woman, anti-choice ploy, has borne fruit. We certainly cannot hold the authors of the patently false video, intended to whip up anti-choice hysteria at fault though, can we?

 

patriarchy1   Well patriarchy deniers, I think you’ll have to step up your game because this shit only gets more real as we go along.  Germain Greer’s quote comes to mind:

“Women have no idea how much men hate them.”

     And yet here we be in 2015 where striving for equality seems to be all the rage, and of course all the while, shitting on the few radical feminists who dare to name the root of the problem – Patriarchy, Male Violence, Masculinity – it takes a poignant example like this assault on Planned Parenthood to snap into focus how specious the goals of ‘striving for equality’ actually are when very foundations of society are predicated on the subjugation of women.

     I have little time for equality striving, man-pleasing, denatured feminist ideation whose goal is to be “equal” to the nigh-righteous standard being set by men as a class, on days like today.  But I stray from topic, as we are meant to stay focused on the conditions that the swamp we live in creates for us.  The foundation has already been laid by Valerie Tarico and we’ll examine what she has written on the notion of stochastic terrorism and this incident.

“But Arb,” faithful readers intone, “I’ve never heard of stochastic terrorism – help me out here.”

Fine…fine, gentle readers, let me provide you a definition gleaned from the Daily Kos:

Stochastic terrorism: is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.

This is what occurs when Bin Laden releases a video that stirs random extremists halfway around the globe to commit a bombing or shooting.

This is also the term for what Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity, and others do.  And this is what led directly and predictably to a number of cases of ideologically-motivated murder similar to the Tucson shootings.”

And this is a good definition.  What is also a lobe-blowing hoot is the following.  Patriarchy works in exactly the same fucking way, yet when women raise valid dead&aliveconcerns about their safety a la Schrödinger’s Rapist, they are instantly buried in the thousand versions of  #notallmen and/or “I’m offended because I’m certainly not like that…”.

***
So let’s use some new words to make it clear for the menz – Patriarchy is Stochastic Terrorism against women, the overt acts of aggression and subjugation (See objectification, see rape culture, see domestic violence, see wage gap, see socialization see… see…see….)are statistically predictable, but individually unpredictable – that is say that women must run their lives based on the possible threat, yet statistically predictable threat, of that one dude who actually will follow through on his catcall or that one dude who won’t take no for an answer – and be wary of this threat for *all* of their lives – tell me how this couldn’t effect how you view and exist in society (yet, those who deny the existence of patriarchy make this claim all the time).

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Woo, I’m feeling a bit ranty today.  Fancy that, when it comes to the A-level bullshite that went down in Colorado.  But, now that we have defined Stochastic Terrorism, we can continue with Ms. Tarico’s thoughts:

“Was the shooting exactly what conservative Christian presidential candidates and members of congress wanted? Maybe, maybe not. But it is what they asked for. Republican members of the Religious Right incited violence as predictably as if they had issued a call for Christian abortion foes to take up arms.
[…]

“Since David Daleiden launched his deceptive “fetal squish” video campaign aimed at fueling outrage among abortion foes, and since Republicans in high places decided that assaulting Cecile Richards and all of the women she represents was good electoral fodder, Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington and California have been set on fire. Righteous Christian abortion foes have made death threats against providers and clinics across the country.”

 

Here we can see the intersectional nature of the patriarchal paradigm.  Religion and members of the political class amplifying the misogyny,but at the same time re-branding their hatred of women as a noble crusade to ‘stop the murder of babies’.  Women have the right to say what goes on in their bodies?  Being regarded as full human with autonomy and rights and all that good stuff?  How better to continue the war on women, but to dress it up as some sort of noble crusade.  We need only to look to the conservative christian demagogues and their message of how to stop murder? – With more (biblically sanctioned,) murder of course (the stochastic terrorist bit)!  We should give credit where credit is due at this time, as I’ve said earlier, adding religion to any situation almost invariably makes said situation worse.

The situation women face is this as described by Glosswitch:

“Men do not live with the fear of getting pregnant and, if and when they do have children, they do not have to bear the physical costs. Hence reproductive rights matter because they enable women – some women, at least – to enjoy the same freedoms as men and in doing so become less dependent on the latter for support. Biology will no longer be destiny and all that.

But that’s not quite how things have worked out. Men, it seems, do not want women to make their own decisions regarding conception, pregnancy and birth. Rather than simply delight in their avoidance of Eve’s curse, men have remained very keen to make it known that PREGNANCY INVOLVES US, TOO. Whether a woman gets and/or remains pregnant is not just a matter for her. Abortion is entirely illegal in seven countries, even when a woman’s life is in danger; it is practically inaccessible in many more. Each year an estimated 47,000 women die from the complications of unsafe abortion. Women’s bodies might be metaphorical battlegrounds but the deaths are very real.”

 

As world leaders attend the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York, Amnesty International launches its Maternal Death Clock, which keeps track of the total number of maternal deaths worldwide. “The maternal death clock is a stark reminder to world leaders coming to NY for the MDG summit of the scandal that is maternal mortality,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general The Maternal Death Clock counter started at 0900 EST on Monday 20 September. For three days beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20, a digital billboard clock above Times Square will count the death of one woman every minute during childbirth to highlight the tragic cost of poverty worldwide.

Yeah, can you see how the swamp just moves things along?  Women having the ultimate say in pregnancy, but wait!  (*plaintively*) What about the men(z)?!?  If men could bear children, this discussion would be moot as Men being regarded as fully human rights bearing members of society, can do whatever the fuck they want with their body and damn you to hell and back and if you even think about impinging upon their person (the chorus of ‘come at me bro’s’ would ring to the high-heavens).  But you see, gentle reader, we’re not dealing with the default human in society, oh no, we are dealing with women and that, friends,  is a whole different animal.

Glosswitch notes this distinction in a quote that will be appearing in the future here on DWR:

“The trouble with reproductive choice isn’t that most of us are in mourning over embryos gone to waste. It’s that, if you really believe in it, you have to give people with uteruses the final say in who gets to be born, 100% of the time. That’s quite a big deal; men know it’s a big deal. After all, it means admitting that some people with uteruses can do something that no one with a penis ever can. Patriarchy, in seeking to establish paternity as the central social relationship, cannot allow for this. Instead we are meant to think that babies develop not with the help of the flesh and blood of the person who gestates them, but solely from men’s seed or, in our more progressive age, partly of his seed, partly of hers. As Barbara Katz Rothman points out, in such a system “children […] might as well have grown in the backyard.” So why not treat women as mere potting soil?”

Potting soil indeed.

What is particularly atrocious, in this case,  is that ‘respectable’ leaders of the right-wing christian political machine (see the GOP) have been inciting violence against woman and their rights with impunity.  The shootings at the Colorado Planned Parenthood were a particularly sharp tocsin belaying the unacceptably high cost of the swamp of misogyny that our society exists in.  The need for action and debate against not only this particular event, but the conditions that allow these sorts of vile actions to foment, has never been greater.  Drain the swamp, fix the problem.

***
We need more women coming to the forefront and calling this assault on Planned Parenthood what it really is – an assault on women and their status as full human beings in society.  We need more voices willing to give big heartfelt “fuck-you’s” to the venerated standard bearers of patriarchy (gender norms, organized religion, the establishment, etc…) in our society and have the will to obstinately continue until the material conditions improve for women in society.

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pottingsoilAdvancing the case for treating women as more than mere ‘potting soil’ has been the engine driving feminism forward.  Feminism has been about establishing beachheads against the oppressive patriarchal structures of society and then pushing back against the normative patriarchal superstructure – engaging in ‘boots on the ground’ struggle against the oppressor class –  and realizing that rights have never *ever* been freely given to women, that all gains are fought for and must be fiercely defended lest they be clawed back (and they would in a second, just think of how many times you see dudes pining for the ‘good ole days’).

***
The struggle must continue and it must be taken to the root of the problem (looking at you GOP et al.).  There is no way around this base axiom.  What does victory look like?  When shit-lords, religious or not, do not threaten the humanity of women anymore and women have access to the medical and reproductive care they need to make the choices that are right for them and their body.

***

Thus endeth the sermon.  Take care folks, and as ever –

IBTP.

 

[Source: cbc.ca #1, #2]

[Source: The Bewilderness]

[Source: Glosswitch]

[Source: The Daily Kos]

[Source: Valerie Tarico]

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