I grew up in a house of women; my grandmother, my mother, my sister, and I lived together for over a decade, and whether that sensitized me to the plight of women, I do not know nor cannot say with any surety. I remember tears, hugs, fights, laundry, long hours, and plenty of time in the solitude of my room, absorbing the happenings of the world, trying to he the "man" of the house. I saw the pain, I knew the travails, unspoken though they were most of the time, and it could not help make an impact on me.
Now I sit here, decades later, steeped in the tenets of humanity and feminism, father to a daughter, husband to a wife, brother-in-law to a sister-in-law, watching as self-righteous, self-satisfied, self-proclaimed "arbiters of morality" tear at the fabric of our society by demeaning, degrading, and deploring women and women's rights. My mortal soul writhes in agony within, knowing that these men -- and they are men across the board -- would suffer women horrors that womankind has not had to know in decades, all in a bid to reassert their "rightful" place as dominators of the social contract.
Nowhere is this most cowardly, most reprehensible, most misogynistic bent seen than in Virginia, where Governor Bob McDonnell, a man of undoubtedly low and amoral character, is ready to sign a bill that would give State sanction to the forcible penetration of a woman's vagina by a doctor for an unnecessary ultrasound prior to an abortion. Yes, that is correct: forcible penetration. As if that were not enough, he is also aligning behind a "personhood" amendment, declaring fertilized eggs people. But back to the first indignity -- in order to pander to Christian anti-choice fanatics and make himself a choice candidate to become a Vice Presidential candidate, this man is will to place his name on a bill that will require the forcible penetration of women.
The amount of bile that rises in my throat, the disgust that wracks my innards, the Vesuvius-like rage that boils behind my eyes for this man and all those who supported this bill, cannot be truly placed in words. It tempts my vow of anti-violence to a degree that nothing has in some time. The people behind this violation of human decency and the civil rights of women must be excoriated in their ignorance and religious fervor, for no person of right mind would consider this a reasonable thing to do. This is akin to the Salem Witch trials, where innocent women were killed for the merest suspicion of witchcraft. It is as if the State government of Virginia is wont to re-write, annotate, and expand on The Malleus Maleficarum, "The Hammer of Witches," as if the modern woman's desire to have control of her own body bears the taint of dark magics. Virginia is busy plunging itself into the 15th Century.
I am torn up inside, knowing that people such as these exist, people who would hide behind religious zeal and the march of "morality," people who would proclaim themselves "decent" and "Christian" people, even as they seek to torture and defile those who do not willingly follow their command. It stinks of the thumbscrews, of the stake, of the manacled form wreathed in flames for the "mercy" of her soul. This is the 21st Century, and ideas such as these have no place in a society predicated on freedom and individual liberty.
I ask these people these simple questions: Could you do this to your mother? Could you do this to your sister? Could you do this to your wife? Could you do this to your lover? Could you look a woman for whom you have the greatest love and admiration, and take a cold steel tube, and jam it up inside her, with a clear conscience? Could you see her lying there, in suffering and torment, and proceed to torment her further? Is it far easier to detach yourself from the heinous nature of the crime against a woman's body, to know it will not be you who has to do it? Would you so easily bestow on others the garish and lurid mantel of purveyor of pain, forcing them to deal with the consequences to their soul, while you sit in the comforting walls of your home, oblivious?
These women, these women I do not know, have not met, may never know, are my wives. They are my daughters. They are my mothers. They are my sisters. They are my lovers. I would not stand idly by and watch them suffer under such ignominious conditions for your "morality." I will not allow my daughter to be raised in a world that values her only as a brood mare, that sees her body as a plaything of the State. I will not allow you to strip these women of their dignity, where there is the least little thing I can do about it. I will write words, shout them from rooftops, I will organize, I will agitate, and I will not stop until I see every one of you who put your festering and fetid stamp on this, brought down and boiled in a stew of your own iniquity. This is not America. This is not justice. This is not liberty. This is the heavy hand of the State, and this is what was fought against to raise up a nation conceived in liberty and justice for all. These women will have their justice and their liberty, and you will not be able to stop it.