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Tuesday, 16 October 2012 09:12

No Debate: Romney and Ryan View a Woman's Body as Public Property

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

It is all too fittingly and tragically ironic that a couple of confidence men who sell the snake oil of anti-government rugged individualism consider a woman's body to be public property.

Perhaps it is the vestige of Christian fundamentalists who believe in Colossians 3:18: "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." Perhaps it is the male hormonal urge to have women submit as sexual objects for gratification, without the man bearing any consequences.  Perhaps it is the clinging to an effort to preserve male control over women.

Likely, it is all that and more.

In an election in which a Republican senate candidate espouses what many other Republican males won't say -- that there is a notion of "legitmatized rape"  --  this is no minor difference of social policy. When a political party seeks to force women to have children; and when women are denied contraception to prevent childbirth -- often into poverty -- and an unwelcome world due to these same men; then clearly the government is asserting control over a woman's body.

In this sense, all the talk of "too much government" and the squashing of individual rights just throws smoke on an agenda to preserve a male hierarchy – and generally a white one at that.

There is no debate about what the Republican presidential ticket wants to do in terms of women.  It wants to control them through the vehicles of state power – and not just their bodies.  They want to control their paychecks, their ability to be promoted, and more. What they want is their wives at home; their girlfriends as sperm receptacles; and poor women shackled with children whom they can't afford to raise (because of a harsh, uncaring future government that will provide neither jobs nor financial support).

About this view of the federal and state government controlling women there is no debate or sliver of difference between Romney and Ryan (whatever their calculated statements).

This is not an issue that always pits men against women. As noted earlier, there are Christian women – even if they come off as forceful – who are associated directly or in theology with the "Quivefull" movement.  This perverse symbiotic relationship with male use of the government to dominate women's bodies is detailed in a 2009 book interview by BuzzFlash at Truthout: "Kathryn Joyce's Book 'Quiverfull' Goes Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement 'Where Women Know and Keep Their Place.'" 

That may explain why Romney has, of late, started to close the gap with Obama on the women's vote (along with many white women who now feel comfortable enough with Romney to vote their race.)

The reality remains, however, that when it comes to a woman's body and role outside of the home, the Republican ticket is running on a platform that the female body belongs to the dictates of the government.