You taught me ‘bout your past
Thinkin’ your future was me
And you were tossing me the car keys
“Fuck the patriarchy” keychain on the ground
We were always skipping town…
So casually cruel
In the name of being honest.
–Taylor Swift, “All Too Well” (10 minute version) (Taylor’s version)
I am writing this in Germany, where yesterday, I woke up to the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade. Anyone paying attention knew this was coming at least since Ruth Bader Ginsburg died; the theocrats’ fifty-year plan has paid off big-time. It was what Ardyth [my hyper-Catholic maternal grandmother] wanted more than anything. I wonder if she would have actually been happy, or just a bit less angry.
Also: Fuck the Green Party.
Originally in 2000, Ralph Nader said he wouldn't run in competitive states. Then his ego got the better of him. That evil shit got way more votes in Florida than the “official” margin that allowed the Supreme Court to make Bush president. Bush then appointed Alito, who wrote today’s “This is how The Handmaid’s Tale starts” opinion. (Alito cites – again, to support a legal decision in 2022 – Matthew Hale, a 17th century “jurist” who had at least two women executed for witchcraft and who wrote a treatise supporting marital rape.) (Update below.)
Well done, Republican women. Especially you, Susan Collins, you POS.
Again in 2016, Green Party also got more votes than Cheeto Jesus’s margin over Hillary in PA, WI, and MI. And we know how that worked out: three “Roe is established law” liars in four years.
But while the well-off (like me) will rant, the end of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy will literally and profoundly hurt millions of people. And this unnecessary misery and adversity will continue until we realize elections aren’t just ways for us to make a personal statement. They matter in terms of real and profound suffering. The elections of 2000 and 2016 will continue to matter even after we wise up, given that we have given the Court to the theocrats for decades.
I can’t tell you how many people told me in 2000 and 2016 that they didn’t “like” Gore or Hillary. (The saddest but most accurate meme today is a picture of young Handmaidens, with the caption, “Yes I know. But I just didn’t like Hillary.”) They wanted Bernie or nothing. They wanted to “send a message.” They said there was “no difference” between the candidates. And now, because of their egomania, untold poor people will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth. And countless unwanted children will be born into poverty.
It is 2022. We should be working to secure basic human rights for transgender people, and our concern for animals should be increasing. We should be expanding the circle of our moral concern. Instead, the Supreme Court has decreed that half our population no longer has the right to self-determination.
I knew this was coming as soon as Anthony Kennedy retired. But still, when I think about it, I am so goddamn angry.
Update after Roe was officially overturned:
After puberty, I bought into the claim “the woman’s choice is whether to have sex.” (As someone with almost zero luck with the opposite sex, I readily and resentfully repeated this.) There is a right-wing joke that the best birth control pill is an aspirin held firmly between the knees. (Those people had clearly never had interesting sex.)
Alito’s opinion overturning Roe shows just what a lie this “woman’s choice” has always been.
In addition to killing women for “witchcraft,” Alito’s hero Matthew Hale also wrote a treatise saying a husband could never “rape” his wife. This is because the woman is, for all intents and purposes, his property. She has no agency. She has no choice.
Alito did not need to cite Hale in the original draft. He did not need to keep the Hale citation in the final opinion. His argument, such as it is, didn’t hinge on some obscure guy from hundreds of years ago. Hale’s obscene opinions had no bearing on “giving the decision back to the states.”
Yet knowing exactly what it meant, Alito and his fellow Christian Nationalists chose to cite Hale, holding him up as a legal mind who should determine our laws today.
And even though Hale’s witchcraft and rape assertions were clearly spelled out following the leak, Alito and his fellow Xtian Taliban all chose to keep Hale in the final decision.
They could have cited any of the great minds in U.S. history. They chose to site a rape defender to whom women were wenches or witches.
They make it very clear. Women have no agency. The majority of the Supreme Court of the United States believes women cannot choose to not have sex. They cannot choose if and when to be pregnant. They cannot choose to terminate a pregnancy.
Their “legal” argument is simple: Women exist to serve the man and bear as many of his children as he chooses to have.
They could not be clearer on this. The Handmaid’s Tale is not a “hysterical overreaction.” It is their playbook. It is their ideal.