Democratic Talking Point Oracle #2
I spent the past weekend helping out with a local Pet Adoption clinic (an absolute success, by any standard) when, shagged out from striking the tents and tables, I was approached by an apparition in the form of a Schematic Drawing of a Vagina (SDV). The SDV wavered slightly in the breeze, then bid me follow her (presumably "her") to a nearly empty Coffee House closer to the Los Angeles River. It was there, while I drank some Bolivian Fair Trade Dark Roast and she toyed with her Vinegar and Water Frappe that she relayed to me the second list of Democratic Talking Point Instructions.
I was all ears. Sort of.
I was nervous at the beginning of our chat, trying not to stare, looking for typos in her text, but she put me at ease, talking at length about how to save the country from those who would strip women of sovereignty over their own bodies. She spoke so rapidly I was barely able to come up for air. One of my neighbors saw us, but I assured him that the SDV and I were just good friends. He rolled his eyes so hard one of them popped out. Serves him right.
SDV: What strikes me as a mistake is for Democrats to allow the discussion to continue to be framed by conservatives. "Pro-Life" is only pro-life for a fetus, not the mother, and not the grown child, who can be shipped off to kill people without so-called "Pro-Life" supporters batting an eyelid. Call them "Pro-War on Women."
MJS: Did you just bat an eyelid?
MJS: Well, you batted something...
SDV: Try to concentrate here. I only have a few minutes.
MJS: Well, if it wasn't an eyelid...
SDV: Stop being childish. Do not refer to those who wish the government to control women's reproductive organs as "Right-to-Life" people. They're not. They are something else, so call them something else, not to be didactic, but to be precise. Do you understand what I'm saying by calling legislators who are working to make abortion illegal "Pro War on Women?" Describe, in graphic detail, what is meant by those who would outlaw legal, safe abortions.
MJS: Are you sure it wasn't an eyelid?
SDV: Last chance, jivester, before I make a scene. Follow me?
MJS: Yes, sorry.
SDV: Be graphic in your discussion of the issue, i.e. our wives vaginas are to be managed by the state, our daughters vaginas are to be run by the state, a doctor should just let congress stick its hands up our women. Be graphic: female citizens of the United States do not have sovereignty over their uteruses, their fallopian tubes, their vaginal canals, because each one is connected to the other.
MJS: Many people don't like explanations that take too long.
SDV: Precisely: make them take too long. If a progressive goes on the radio suggest that he or she talk about vaginas, vaginal canals, fallopian tubes, uterine wall, eggs; talk about penises and sperm and DNA and testes and so forth. The same people who are uncomfortable with their own bodies are the ones who want to run yours: get it? Make them face what they are trying to do, make them talk about it in as unfettered, non-euphemistic fashion as possible. Make them face The Elephant in the Room.
MJS: I could make a joke here.
SDV: And that's another thing: get over it. Get over the schoolyard sniggling and juvenile responses to the word "Vagina." Many people, who never march against wars but want to control women, are going to have to face the music, and you can't control the issue if it's just going to devolve into peurile joking.
MJS: Well, it is funny, I mean, the Elephant in the Room is a schematic of a vagina.
SDV: Whatever. Let's review: Progessives need to talk about abortion, about birth control, and how those who are against abortion are, by and large, also against birth control, which means they don't care about the fetus as much as they do about what a woman does with her own body.
MJS: I'm not saying you look like a...
SDV: Talk about sperm, and if we outlaw abortion, what about all that sperm that men issue that never meet an egg? Is not a half of a blastocyst also sacred? If it isn't, and it has no moral value, but an egg does, then women are actually superior in relative moral value to a man! Women should then be deciding what men can do, and cannot do, with their penises. Make the dialogue go down these weird alleys, allow it to speed along into the absurdities that follow when we treat women's reproductive organs as governable while men's organs are not subject to the same controls.
MJS: So, talk bluntly, in detail--but isn't that what anti-abortionists do when they describe late-term abortions and the violence and suffering visited upon the fetus?
SDV: Some people may not be up to speed on this, but just so you know: a woman's body is her own. If it's not, then your sister, your wife, your mother belong to the state. The images used that depict late-term abortions are powerful, but the same people who use those won't look at images of children killed in Iraq, or soldiers faces blown off, so go into that disconnect and put the two together. Remember: these people are not pro-life, they're Pro War on Women.
MJS: But many women are...
SDV: ...also opposed to legal, safe abortions, I know, I know. Many are also against birth control, or sex education for their kids. All I can tell you is this: they are part of the War on Women, whether they understand their role consciously or not. They could get on board with birth control and sex education and cut down on unwanted pregnancies, but many don't, because it's about...
MJS: (interrupting) The War on Women.
SDV: I think you got it.
We said our good-byes (I started to give her a kiss but thought better of it). I walked home, repeating over and over to myself what anti-abortionists are really about: The War on Women. The War on Women. The War on Women. The War on Women.
Ain't no snark big enough to make me forget that sentence: The War on Women.
This Democratic Talking Point story was inspired by a posting from Fired Up Missouri.
The article was lost to me, but check out the site, and get fired up.
Schematic image of a Vagina sans any prurient, lust-inducing human quality is from here.
Crossposted at Correntewire.