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How the War on Women Ties Into the War on Islam

April 5, 2012
This Kind of Thing Must Stop

Adorable Muslim child - - or threat to our very way of life??

It’s been a strange few months for American women. Though we long ago grew accustomed to the Right’s regular attacks on our reproductive rights, the nature of this season’s assault has left many women nonplussed. While the debate over abortion makes a certain amount of sense, it strikes one as bizarrely medieval to go after contraception.

Why would the Right walk into a fight over something upon which 99% of American women rely? Are they actually trying to lose the women’s vote? If nothing else, it is extremely imprudent politics. What’s more, from the point of view of abortion prevention, it has long been a point around which both sides could agree: if you want fewer abortions, avoid unwanted pregnancies.

So the current uproar over contraceptive access, combined with the traditional right wing demand for abstinence only sex education, clearly puts the lie to the idea that the Right is primarily worried about the rights of unborn children. Rational analysis would lead to the conclusion that it’s really more about sexual morality.

Ah ha!you say, “They’re not about protecting the innocent, they’re about legislating morality, and enforcing religious norms!”  Well, yes. That is absolutely true. No argument here. But could there be something else?

After all, why would the Right allow this kind of battle to break out at a time when they could be poised to regain the White House and the Senate? Why do something so incredibly self-destructive? I believe it goes much deeper than sexual morality. It’s about fear.

Just like their politically ill-advised attacks on immigrants, this war on women may be rooted in the most basic of human evolutionary biology: the need to survive, dominate and thrive. The Right these days is experiencing a type of psychosis, triggered by plain demographic reality. The United States is graying as the birth rate has hit an all-time low. Meanwhile, population growth in Islamic countries is supposedly on the rise. (Never mind that this is itself a myth, Americans, especially American Christians, believe it – and that’s all that matters.) And so we end up with the inevitable conclusion: we need more babies. More American babies.

A recent post by Scott Charney,  over at Foreign Policy In Focus, explains more:

In other words, if the Netherlands, and many other countries in Europe and around the world, manage to prevent abortions by preventing pregnancy, that is not considered an acceptable strategy, partially because the resulting low fertility rates allegedly leave such countries open to conquest by Muslim immigrants.

This hypothesis, sometimes awkwardly referred to as “Eurabia” (most Muslim immigrants, like most Muslims in general, are not Arab), has become a staple of right-wing rhetoric in the past decade……

Indeed, such fears are not only misplaced, they are comprehensively wrong across the board. The numbers regarding fertility and immigration patterns, as well as the social and political beliefs of many Muslims in Europe, do not even remotely support the hypothesis of people like Steyn, and yet their ideas have stuck in the minds of many. Anders Behring Breivik and the English Defence League share these concerns. Perhaps more importantly, so does the American Christian Right, the most bellicose demographic in America, and the same one responsible for the wave of legislation targeting contraception and abortion.

This is not to say that the war on women is entirely Islam – – but it is to say that the Right wants to see more babies, not fewer abortions; and part of the reason for that is that the wrong people are having babies.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    August 7, 2012 6:02 pm

    Women’s rights is really a bunch of crap and based on a false premise that the unborn is part of the women’s body until viability. This is totally false and the placenta proves the point, for this organ is the bridge as well as the barrier between two seperate and distinct organisms. Abortion kills and is an attack on the human lifecycle, especially when done for convenience, which is most of the time.

  2. June 22, 2012 5:38 pm

    Very interesting. Loved your abstinence “education” post too. We don’t have any abstinence education in UK – not even abstinence plus, it’s simply not included in sex ed, we only learn contraception, abortion, don’t rape, etc, but in January they tried to do abstinence-plus here for female pupils only. It was to be compulsory. The bill was withdrawn after protests.

  3. April 5, 2012 4:35 pm

    No, you made it clear, I was just calling them dumb too, and speculating as to some of their motivations, if there are any beyond what you said.
    By the way, there is a proposed nationwide sex strike starting April 28: and I think it deserves to go viral. We shall see how Republican “values” hold up when they can’t get any action.

  4. April 5, 2012 4:21 pm

    You’re right that this is stupid for so many reasons. Latinos are driving the birth rate in the US right now, which means if they were to restrict contraception and make more babies, there’s not reason to expect they’d turn out white.

    I also think it’s rather ridiculous that they’re doing it running up to an election, given that they could totally get away with this kind of thing right AFTER an election, and hope that people would have forgotten about it by the next vote. I think they’re either deliberately trying to distract people with social issues and fire up the base, or they’re just complete misogynists, or both. Plus, they apparently want white people to rule the world too, because somehow the history of white rule has been so adorable?


    • April 5, 2012 4:29 pm

      I guess the point I didn’t make clear in my post is that I don’t believe there IS a reason they’re doing this now. It’s more like a panic has set in w/ the GOP base – and they just can’t help themselves.


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