Although I enjoy receiving information regarding the ideological slant and praxis of the Democratic Party from a plethora of sources, I think the data disseminated in e-mail format (and paid for by the Democratic National Committee) may constitute the most interesting and informative modality through which the organization communicates with its base. In several concise paragraphs meant to provide the reader with quick political updates-generally about the recidivistic realities Republicans are trying to put in perpetuity-the e-mails enable me to stay informed. Recently, Democratic Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent a fiery e-mail about the resurgence of antagonism towards women’s reproductive rights being exacted by the Republicans. Because this issue is very important-and because the language Schultz used to describe the Republican maneuvers was clever-the e-mail warrants discussion.
As many men and women who want to understand our government’s disposition towards the ostensibly weaker sex know, the Texas Senate approved an omnibus abortion measure that will make it illegal for women to have an abortion once they have passed 20 weeks of pregnancy. In discussing the efforts of Democratic representative Wendy Davis and other supporters to preclude the measure from passing, Schultz noted that Rick Perry and the Republican-controlled Texas legislature were still attempting to “ram it through.” This phrase seems like a very fitting piece of dark humor. Because the words function as an allusion to rape (whether intentionally or unintentionally), their application to the political maneuvers of Republican representatives create interesting-and, in my opinion, accurate-assessments regarding what the party is attempting to do. In short, a measure precluding women from attaining abortions constitutes a violently intrusive bodily violation because it precludes them from making decisions that are directly related to the physical component of their beings. In essence, then, the Republican measure is indeed a rape metaphor. (And personally, I don’t want the bill to be rammed through.)
Although intriguing and appropriate, Schultz’s tell-tale linguistic significations regarding the intrusive nature of Republican legislation was not limited to the rape-laden language she used to demonstrate opposition to anti-abortion ideologies and their resulting praxis. In condemning both, Schultz refers to such activity as a manifestation that Republicans may want to “turn back the clock a few decades.” Although Schultz did not elaborate on this statement in her provocative (and very progressive) e-mail, it seems to be a reference towards the era that preceded the Roe vs. Wade trial. Polemical and problematic on numerous levels, the trial disallowed a plethora of state and federal restrictions on abortion. Amongst other things, the law enabled women personal freedom in choosing whether or not to terminate their pregnancy up until the third trimester, at which point states retained the right to regulate or prevent abortions. On the other hand, the Republican law would make it illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks, thereby decreasing the time in which a woman has the ability to determine whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. Because this is the case, the measure indeed does appear to constitute a temporal backflip that renders all the work done to advance women’s rights through the reproductive and judicial sectors null and void. Having turned back the clock to a profoundly patriarchal era where a mostly male group of legislators are able to deliberate about (and decrease) the depth and scope of power that women will retain over their own bodies, the Republican measure is a sure-fire indication that the party opposes forward movement for the historically subjugated sex.
As of late, I’ve grown intrigued with the progressive ideas submitted by a plethora of political outlets. And, as always, I am very fond of the views espoused by liberal political pundits such as Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher. Nevertheless, there is something uniquely efficacious and entertaining about the e-mails paid for by the Democratic National Committee. Let’s keep these lovely little letters coming.