I watched a documentary film exposing the common practice in Pakistan of throwing acid in the face of a wife that has displeased her husband (Academy Award winning “Saving Face”). One woman, with horrible scars about her mouth and throat, had acid thrown on her by her husband and sister-in-law and was then set on fire by her mother-in-law. Another woman had only half of her face recognizable, the rest just a flap of skin with half a nose and half a mouth.
This practice in a Moslem country was covered by laws that were not enforceable (they ask the husband if he did it and when he says “No” they drop the case). Women, if they displeased their husbands or guardians, could be attacked and even killed. The laws were on the side of the man (there is, as the film showed, some movement to change this).
Now let’s consider Rick Santorum and some legal activities going on in this country.
First, did you hear that a law is being passed in Arizona that makes it legal for a doctor to lie to a woman patient about her health and the health of her baby? The idea is that if the woman is not told the baby is deformed or that the baby is threatening the mother’s own life, there will be no reason for the mother to seek an abortion. It’s okay to lie to women … what do they matter?
I read a short article on the internet yesterday that reminded those members of congress who are also doctors (there are a few) that they were in violation of their Hippocratic Oath when they voted against providing care for people who might not be capable of providing it for themselves. We might even contemplate the for-profit healthcare in this country with the oath all doctors take; is there a conflict? I would suggest that the Arizona law is in direct opposition to the Hippocratic Oath and suspect that it will be unenforceable and ignored (not sure about the conservative doctors, though).
But back to Rick. I read that Santorum is against public education. He cites that 60% of the students who enter college believing in god and all the trappings of organized religion graduate four years later free from the hegemony of faith and open to new ideas: in other words, they have learned to think for themselves. Since education—reading, learning, discussing, questioning, thinking—has interfered with the continuance of primitive mythology, the answer is to drop public education. And this guy has advanced degrees from accredited colleges. But then, he is a man (I know, it’s open to argument).
Of course Santorum isn’t worried about educating his own daughters because they are being home-schooled by their parents. Here I agree with Rick: home-schooling is an effective way of keeping his daughters from discovering that the world is not as written in the Bible or as described by their parents. Could it be that Rick Santorum is afraid that his daughters might grow up and discover that their parents are delusional?
So to sum up (and there is a lot of evidence I have left out for brevity), the recommended way to treat a woman in the conservative (Taliban?) world of Rick Santorum and several other Republicans is to
- Deny them any external means to avoid pregnancy;
- Only engage in sexual intercourse with them for procreation purposes;
- Under no circumstance take any steps to terminate a pregnancy;
- Never allow a woman to make decisions about her own body;
- To prevent the chance of discovering a problem with a pregnancy, don’t allow any medical procedures, like ultrasound, that might expose the need for an abortion;
- If a woman asks about her health or the health of the unborn baby, lie to her if the diagnosis is problematic;
- Control a woman’s education so that she only learns about the Bible and enough basic math to verify her change at the Piggly-Wiggly;
- Remove all access to influences that might have a woman, especially a young daughter, ask difficult to answer questions;
- Limit the chance of young daughters fraternizing with any of the earth people until they are old enough to get pregnant and then take away their shoes;
- Roll-back all progressive (Satanic?) laws and customs that even suggest that woman are the equal of men;
- Make prostitution legal with cost controls and expensive medical coverage, but pass a law declaring prostitutes to be service workers and not actually women;
- Keep a jar of acid under the sink for emergencies.
To conclude, the law in New York adds an extra added confusion. It seems that as written, the law defines a prostitute as anyone who is solicited for sex. This means that if you are walking to the library or even home from church and a car pulls up beside you and asks about a party, you are legally considered a prostitute. That sounds terrible but at least in this case it refers to both women and men so it’s stupid but fair. Thinking about it, however, it seems like this law is the skeleton key for some of the restrictions Rick Santorum would demand: if prostitutes are not actually women, then walk up to any woman, offer her money for sex, and, violà, she’s a prostitute. Now you can have sex for reasons other than procreation (you don’t even have to pay her).