Thursday, March 29, 2012

...and they are elected officials...

In the last few weeks, a couple elected officials have opened their mouths and promptly inserted their feet. They've revealed disturbing things about the way their minds process things. They've shown their biases. They've demonstrated a vast lack of knowledge about medicine in some instances, they've demonstrated misogyny in others, disdain towards the poor in yet more.  They've disturbed a great many people in the process.

I often find myself shocked and amazed at the lack of humanity displayed by those chosen to represent the people.
I wonder how or why they were elected.

Up first, Mary Franson.  A Minnesota state representative, she made the following statement during a message to her constituents.

"Isn't it ironic that the food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever," Franson said. "Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves."

I don't care what your opinions are on welfare.  I don't care which side of the aisle you stand on or how you vote.  I don't care what political party you are, I don't care what race you are or how much money you have.  It is never okay to compare hungry human beings to wild animals.

Since the statement went public and the very unflattering nature of it came to light, she's made the correct decision to rescind it.  However, many other people have jumped on the comparison bandwagon.  Posts floating around Facebook get many "likes".   It makes me physically ill that there are so many in this country who see nothing wrong with the dehumanization of people.

Next, we have Wisconsin representative Don Pridemore.  A fine example of misogyny in action, he is.  He thinks that women should dig deep to remember the good times while their abusive husbands are beating them instead of leaving.  He thinks this because preservation of the family unit is essential since "being single causes child abuse" and leads children "to go astray".

Take a moment to absorb that one.  He's actually chiding women who leave abusive marriages!  He's blaming them for whatever misfortune their kids may see in the future.  Oh, he just hits you....that's okay!  Deal with it.  Suck it up and be a good wife.  He's a good guy otherwise.  Pat, pat, pat, little lady.  We big strong men know what is best for you.


Then I saw this article yesterday, about all the misinformation spewed by lawmakers about women's bodies, about contraception and cancer, about abortion and rape. By far the most offensive statement in this one pertained to the allegation that the rape and incest justification for abortion is invalid for the simple reason that it's virtually impossible to get pregnant from rape.

Yes, you read that right.  Representative Stephen Friend claims that the odds of getting pregnant from rape  are "one in millions and millions and millions", when the statistics show the number is closer to 5%.  He asserts that women have the ability to "secrete a special secretion" that kills sperm when they are going through a traumatic experience.  Yeah, sure.  We all have magic voodoo vaginas to protect us from impregnation during rape.

Are you concerned for the state of our nation yet?

You should be.

If these things don't upset you at all...that bothers me even more.

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