Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images
On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll talk to a Texas researcher about obstacles between women and birth control. The Duggar sex abuse scandal spins out of control and anti-choice politicians are getting nuttier and more radical.
Elizabeth Plank has a fun new video out about male celebrities picking up the whole feminism thing.
- Male feminists *
She interviews actor Matt McGorry about how he discovered feminism. It’s a fun and light video that will give you some hope for humanity. I recommend as a good way to wash out the taste of all the people, men and women, out there whose anti-feminism makes you despair.
As I promised last week, I’d keep covering the Josh Duggar situation if more developments arose. And boy howdy did they! This story keeps getting weirder and more disturbing all the time. The first big reveal was the family’s bizarre complicity and shielding of Josh from consequences.
- Duggar 1 *
Or that’s how it was first reported. But, as Irin Carmon of MSNBC found when she dug around, in fact, the statute of limitations had not expired when Duggar was reported to the police. According to the Washington Post timelines, Josh was first discovered to be molesting girls, mostly his sisters, in 2002 when he was 14 years old. His parents then proceeded to keep him out of legal trouble by sending him off to hang out with a family friend over the summer and telling their church, who should have been mandatory reporters, that he was getting “Christian counseling”. In 2003, an officer of the law was finally involved, but the guy was a family friend who gave Josh a quote “stern talking to” but did not file charges or otherwise officially engage the law. That officer later was caught with child porn and is doing 56 years in prison. In 2006, when Josh was 18, the authorities were finally alerted by an anonymous tipper. That was when they supposedly determined that the statute of limitations had run out, but as Carmon explained, Arkansas’s statute of limitations on child abuse is actually seven years, not 14. The state had until 2013 to arrest him but they didn’t do that. So something shady is going on here. And it gets worse.
- Duggar 2 *
Considering that most of the victims were his sisters and most of them still live with the parents that colluded to protect Josh from legal consequences, this development is ringing all sorts of alarm bells. The Duggars are a clan that believes women should basically have no right to self-determination at all, especially on matters pertaining to sexuality. So that compromises the ability of any of the victims in this case to be acting strictly of her own accord, as they have been raised their whole lives to believe they are not smart or strong enough to make their own decisions.
And then it gets even worse from here.
- Duggar 3 *
This is disingenuous. Josh Duggar’s behavior is a problem, especially since he doesn’t seem to have had any interest in taking responsibility until he was outed like this. But talking about the lesser moral responsibility of minors is a distraction from the real issue, which is that the Duggars covered up the crime, didn’t get Josh any real counseling, allowed him to continue living with the victims without getting any real help, and then put their family on TV where the victims were supposed to smile and act like everything in their family is normal and wholesome. Oh, and where Josh got to make jokes like this.
- Duggar 4 *
Yep, that’s him joking about his sister going on a date with his brother. It would be a silly enough joke if, you know, he hadn’t actually molested his sister. In context, however, it reads as incredibly creepy. At this point, it’s worth noting that, as this clip makes very clear, he is well over 18, making the claims about minors and responsibility moot. But is it any surprise that he seems not to give a crap at all? He molested a bunch of girls and his parents covered up for him and put him on TV as some kind of role model of wholesome Christian manhood. Then he got a job lecturing other people on their supposed morality for the Family Research Council. Where he tried to argue that LGBT people are a threat to children.
- Duggar 5 *
It’s never been clearer that the supposed concern for children is just a feint to cover up for the real agenda here. The whole thing shows that all this conservative Christian talk about personal responsibility and family and life is just a cover for their real agenda, which is giving straight men control over the rest of us, even if that means protecting men who abuse women and girls.
Anti-choice politicians just keep getting stranger and more radical all the time. In Texas, the fear that he might lose an opportunity to foist unnecessary suffering on women made state representative Jonathan Stickland absolutely lose his mind. Stickland’s bone-deep issues with women and his childish behavior have gotten him into the news before. Stickland decided to taunt Planned Parenthood representatives visiting the state capitol by putting a sign identifying himself as a former fetus on his office’s name placard, and when it was removed, he threw a temper tantrum that made him sound about 10 years old.
- abortion 1 *
The whininess! The false sense of victimhood! Not that this is surprising from someone who identifies as a “former fetus”, which is a classic conservative maneuver of pretending to be victimized in order to victimize others. Part of me was a former sperm but you don’t see me denying men the right to masturbate because of it. But counting nonsense grievances appears to be this man’s deal, as this clip masterfully shows: Pretending to be afraid when he wasn’t, pretending that he’s under some kind of assault because he lives in Austin where liberals live, pretending that Planned Parenthood is out to get him personally because they defend women’s rights. Well now this perpetually aggrieved man nearly came to blows with another Republican because he ran into obstacles trying to attack women’s rights even more.
Texas Republicans decided to temporarily table a bill that would deny women insurance coverage for abortions, and Stickland was so furious that he got into the face of Bryan Cook, reportedly nearly punching him in the face. Stickland had to be escorted from the house chambers. This is what we’re dealing with when it comes to anti-choice politicians these days: They say they’re all for protecting babies, but when it comes down to it, it’s more that they are all about acting like babies.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was being similarly slimy, going on Dana Loesch’s radio show and pretending that a bill he signed that would force women to undergo an ultrasound in order to get an abortion was just him doing a nice favor to the ladies.
- abortion 2 *
Walker would have you believe that, for some reason, one was not allowed to have an ultrasound without being forced to endure one, even if your doctor thinks it’s unnecessary. This is not true or else how would he have gotten an ultrasound picture of his own sons in the womb? In fact, you are 100% free to get an ultrasound if you want. Many abortion providers already do them to determine the best course of care. But Walker’s bill would require them to harass you while they’re doing it, by forcing the doctor to point out all the features on the embryo and trying to draw you into staring at it, even if you don’t want to. This is clearly just there to make women feel bad, to punish them for not having a baby. It’s also about making sure that vaginal wand is up there as long as possible, which is clearly just straight sadism. It’s not a gift. It’s just making an already unpleasant procedure even more unpleasant.
Sanctimonious, dishonest posturing isn’t just limited to state politicians, either. Rep. Trent Franks got all saccharine on the WallBuilders show defending a go-nowhere bill banning abortions at 20 weeks.
- abortion 3 *
Oh blooey. This bill wasn’t about high-minded ideas about life, but about finding a way to undermine legal abortion by, like cowards, attacking a tiny subset of abortions that are poorly understood by the general public. Part of me is tempted to wonder if people who voted for this bill are ever kept up at night with the guilt caused by being both misogynist and deceitful, but it’s been a long time since I last believed that nasty, mean-spirited people ever feel anything but proud of themselves for being so ugly.
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, things get stupid, real stupid edition. Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was furious that Planned Parenthood dared point out presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina’s anti-choice policies. So furious, in fact, that she said this.
- Hasselbeck *
Answer: Because Fiorina opposes women’s rights, especially with regards to health care. The ability of conservatives to take umbrage at anything, no matter how ridiculous, continually amazes me. I mean, the implication of this segment is that it’s somehow off-limits for a political action group to take note of the political positions of people running for offices. Since when is Planned Parenthood obliged to help candidates hoodwink the public about where they stand on women’s rights?