THE BLOG

Freedom... What Is It Good for?

Oct 12, 2012 | Updated Dec 12, 2012

Freedom... Hah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing... under a Romney Administration. OK so maybe misquoting a War song wasn't a serious way to start off this post but I'm feeling like if I can't laugh about this stuff I'm going to tear my hair out soon.

Let's be honest, the phrase 'freedom' is bandied about a lot these days, most especially by the conservative agenda pushers and the Romney surrogates. They seem to be showing up hither and yon, exclaiming like Henny Penny, that, "Our freedoms are falling, our freedoms are falling!" Apparently, and unbeknownst to me and many others, the Obama Administration has 'taken away our freedoms.' From what exactly, they haven't said, other than sputtering on about how religious entities are being 'forced against their will' to provide birth control coverage for their employees under Obamacare. Except -- and here's the reality check part, so hold on to your tin foil hats conservative readers -- nobody's 'forcing' anyone to actually use said birth control, are they? No, they are not. Rather, it's a logical option so that any woman -- no matter what her economic status -- has the power to control her own reproductive health destiny. It's really not a big deal... unless you happen to be, y'know, a woman.

Here's the thing, nobody -- and I mean nobody -- has the right to tell me or any other woman how to manage our own bodies and our own reproductive rights. I don't tell the men of the right-wing conspiracy theory factory that they shouldn't have sexual intercourse and possibly create more narrow-minded citizens to fill our overly populated world, and that's because even though I personally believe that there are too many people having too many kids, I actually do believe in a little thing I like to call personal freedoms. As in, every person's freedom to manage the most personal aspects of their life -- their sexual and reproductive health -- and in a manner that works for them, for their cultural and/or religious beliefs. And just because I do not share their beliefs, certainly does not mean they shouldn't be able to practice things like the rhythm method, which to be perfectly honest, I think is like playing Russian Roulette with a possible child. But I suppose if you also believe that access to safe abortion services is a heinous crime, then you wouldn't care if you knocked up your mistress. Oops! Was I not supposed to mention that tidbit of hypocrisy? Sorry...

I find myself simultaneously gobsmacked and pissed off whenever I hear these hysterical ramblings that Obama is taking away our 'freedoms.' The conservative movement under a Romney-Ryan ticket is quite literally foaming at the mouth to reverse Roe v. Wade, but that's not extreme enough. They also want to strike federal funding for any and all birth control. So they want to abolish a woman's right to choose to have a safe abortion, but they also want to eliminate a woman's access to birth control so that she can easily prevent unintended pregnancies. I know! Is anyone else scratching their head right about now? Aside from the ill conceived (pun intended, it was too easy), narrow-minded idiocy and lack of logic that this line of thinking -- or lack thereof - dictates, it also makes me wonder what the hell 'freedom' means to these people. Because I can tell you this, I can think of nothing that is more oppressive and wreaks of removing my most basic human rights and personal liberties and freedoms than a bunch of white, Christian men telling me how to manage my uterus. And to think that they consider themselves patriots. It's shameful, really. I was talking to some friends from Denmark the other day about this, and I was embarrassed to be an American, because we look so utterly insane to the rest of the world with this psychotic obsession the Right has with abortion and birth control.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, mainly because I get confused as hell about how we have an alleged separation of church and state -- and for good reason -- yet the extreme right seems to forget all about that little constitutional nugget. But my mental boiling point was tonight, when I finally heard Joe Biden slam home what's been rolling around in my head in all these months of election hell. When Biden said that although he follows and believes his church's doctrine on abortion, I felt like the George Costanza 'backward day' hell I'd been experiencing was suddenly set to normal again. Biden made clear that he would never impose his personal beliefs on other American citizens, acknowledging that there are many different cultural and religious norms that make America the melting pot that it is. And thank [insert religious deity of choice here] for that, because what a boring world it would be if we all were following the same cookie cutter paths!

In the United States, at least for now... I still have control over the choices I make about my uterus and whether or not it's inhabited. But if Romney/Ryan are elected into office, I'm going to be moving to Canada, or maybe Vietnam, where a woman can still make her own decisions regarding her reproductive health. I better make sure my passports up to date...