This week, Idaho's state legislature joined the ranks of state lawmaking bodies that have collectively decided that women are evil idiot children who can't be trusted. They're just a whisper away now from passing legislation that would require women seeking abortions to head on over to Crisis Pregnancy Centers and their condescending "don't kill your baby" counseling before being allowed access to a legal medical procedure, and now, one Very Special State Senator is concerned that women who say they've been raped should be forced to return home, think about it for awhile, and consider whether their were really raped or if they just had one of those non-consensual marital sexual encounters to which a husband's entitled.
Chuck Winder, the sponsor of Idaho's "Double Ultrasound Bill," and a Republican from Boise, was skeptical of opposition to the bill, which would require all women seeking abortions to receive ultrasounds beforehand, regardless of whether they've been raped, victims of incest, or in the case of a medical emergency. So he did what any hateful, loudmouthed idiot with no empathy or knowledge would do: he defended his viewpoint with a Senate floor soliloquy so vile, it made even my jaded jaw drop,
Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.
Whoa, whoa, whoa— slow down there, Turbo. Is Winder suggesting that women don't understand what rape is? That maybe in the midst of normal marital relations, we might wander into an abortion clinic in a marital sex haze demanding abortion and blabbering about rape because we're confused? That's pretty vile.
But let's give Chuck Winder the benefit of the doubt here— if assuming that women would totally lie about being raped in order to avoid the ultrasound he's suggested should be required and not that women don't know what rape is, his statement implies that he must at least understand that the legislation he's supporting would subject women to an ordeal so traumatic and unwanted that they'd lie and say they'd been raped in order to avoid it. I don't know how many women Winder has spoken to, but lying about rape is a big fucking deal that people don't just do willy-nilly, like when you tell your friends that you're "leaving the house like right now" when in reality you just got out of the shower and won't realistically be leaving the house for another 15 minutes. Rape is not a thing that women just make up to avoid mild inconveniences — like, say there's a marathon of America's Next Top Model's 5th cycle playing all day on Bravo, and a lady hasn't used any sick days for months, and it's kind of rainy outside so she doesn't really feel like going to work. Does she call and let her boss know that she can't come to work because she's going to be raped all morning? No. Because people don't lie about things like that unless they're driven by desperation. Winder's speculation that women would lie about rape or incest to avoid an ultrasound is his implicit admission that what he's proposed is cruel. And he doesn't care.
So, from what I can glean, here are the things about which conservative male lawmakers have now declared they're more attuned to than women: pregnancy, menstruation, PCOS, birth control (it costs $9 at Wal-Mart! All pills!), how totally not a big deal it is to have a transvaginal ultrasound, whether or not women know what pregnancy is (better show 'em the ultrasound!), science, medicine, obstetrics, how easy it is to carry a pregnancy and then "just" give the child up for adoption, and now, penis-in-vagina rape and, by extension, sexual consent.
Do you ever wonder what people say about you right after you leave a room? When they're sure you can't hear what they're saying? When they feel free to tell each other about all the crap you do that annoys them? Well, it appears that the Idaho State Legislature has decided to do that right now, but with ladies. Except — psst, guys — we can hear what you're saying.