Commentary| I know Conservatives Don’t Want to Change, but…

They can at least keep up. The industrial world has moved past the days of child brides, concubines, and selling our female children as brood chattels. The case of a victimized, brutalized, and impregnated ten-year-old in Ohio is a perfect example. The conservative media is losing their minds over a doctor doing the compassionate thing by potentially saving a living, breathing child’s life. More attention has been paid to prosecuting those who helped facilitate the child’s trip to Indiana (Ohio bans abortion after six weeks) than to that of the man charged with repeatedly raping the child. The doctors who provided her care estimated she was slightly over six weeks pregnant, thus making a move to a state that would give her the services necessary. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) bordered on slut-shaming the child, calling the girl’s story a lie in a tweet. Lost in the discussion is the welfare of the child. Pro-lifers treat her as an ancillary piece of a puzzle when she should be the crucial corner of the framework.

The thick-headedness of conservatives and theocrats regarding women’s rights should be no surprise. The late Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” In his mind, no woman wants to medically care for her body using contraceptives but a ‘slut.’ Former GOP Representative and 2012 senatorial candidate Todd Akin from Missouri said,

From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Akin made no mention of the woman unless you implied it. In his view, any woman who claims they are pregnant due to rape is either a liar or welcomed a violent attack. It takes a very short search to find sexists and anti-women statements, particularly from Republicans. Courtland Sykes was a would-be candidate for the senate seat contesting then-incumbent Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in 2017. When asked on Facebook about women’s rights, Sykes responded:

[My fiancée] Chanel knows that my obedience comes with a small price that she loves to pay anyway: I want to come home to a home-cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives …. I don’t want them grow(sic) up into career-obsessed banshees who forego home life and children and the happiness of family to become nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she devils who shriek from the tops of a thousand tall buildings they think they could have leaped over in a single bound – had men not [been] “suppressing them.”

Life has changed, and a sect of conservative thinkers will not let go of the idea that the world was better when the “little woman” knew her place. Fifty years ago, the MSNBC morning news and affairs program Morning Joe, with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, would have been called Morning Joe w/ cream and ‘Sugar.’ Sure, for a halcyon audience, it was cute when Ozzie kissed Harriet goodbye to go to a nonexistent job, and June packed lunch for Ward and Wally. The thought today of the dutiful wife of the sixties vacuuming in a Mayfield Department store dress and pearls would make the Beave heave.

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