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Chris Jepson: I see Republicans...

Chris Jepson

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Recall the 1999 Bruce Willis movie titled “The Sixth Sense.” Out of that quite good little drama came the now famous line, “I see dead people.” That catchy expression morphed into many variations but my T-shirt favorite went, “I hear voices … and they don’t like you.”

I’ve been trying to understand what is going on in the Republican Party when it comes to women, their bodies, sex and fertility. It’s essentially a male-run concern, the Republican Party, although you have a predictable number of Republican women serving as faithful acolytes. Outliers, if you will, at odds in their solidarity with their American sisters at large.

American women who willingly participate in their own subjugation remind me of those unfortunate women who perform the barbaric female genital mutilations in Sudan and Somalia. No woman, free of male domination (thinking), would voluntarily oppress other women in such ways.

It is as if Republican men are ignorant of history. For the past 8,000 years, the male boot has been firmly placed on the neck of females. I do not know if we’ll ever understand the historical origins of why men came to consider women as “less” than men, but it is undeniable that that is/was the case. Bigger, more ferocious men like to dominate.

Religions, too, historically, have played a tragic role in the marginalization of women. Although interestingly enough it was Martin Luther who, during the 16th century Reformation, jump-started the change in the status of women. He advocated that women be taught to read (imagine that!) and he married (radical idea: a married clergyman). Educating women (reading) was the game-changer, however.

Go back and examine the status of Western women even during our more enlightened times. They were hardly enlightened for women. Plato’s Greece, The Renaissance, The Age of Reason were all unquestionably oppressive for women. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft issued her now seminal “A Vindication Of The Rights of Woman” and the case for female equality was formally up for public discussion.

It took until the mid-19th century before British women could make any claim to personal property or even to their own wages. Reflect one second on this fact: the United States gave the right to vote to emancipated male slaves — slaves — decades before America’s daughters were afforded that right. That is how little women were considered.

There was a time in my grandmother’s adult life when she could not vote. Less than 100 years ago, American women could not vote. That is a nanosecond ago, historically speaking.

The Republican Party is the party of female oppression. It revolves around who will control a woman’s sexuality and fertility. The Republican Party Platform (Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan) would have the government, for all intents and purposes, regulating and managing a woman’s uterus. Will our daughters someday — upon the onset of menses — be required to register their uteruses to ensure their compliance with state fertility laws?

Abortion, birth control, fertility, reproductive prerogatives are individual, fundamental female (human) rights. To interject the state into this dynamic is totalitarian and unacceptable.

Republicans would deny female autonomy, would continue to place the historical boot heel of oppression upon the necks of our daughters. Expect each American woman to think and act for herself.

I see Republicans … and they don’t respect women.

Vote accordingly.

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