So last week’s entry was titled Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics About Planned Parenthood, and Unicorns. But I ran out of space to talk about the unicorns.
You’ll get them today.
But first there’s something very important I need to say before you get them.
I want you to forget the whole idea of conservatives waging an intentional “war on women” and their right to control their bodies. Even though that’s what it looks like from the other side, that’s not what they’re thinking at all. In fact, they’ll probably tell you that that’s not what they’re thinking.
And they’ll be telling the truth.
You see, what looks to many of us like a “war on women” is really the collateral damage of something that actually is important to them.
Morality. It’s the morality stupid.
Yes, I know that used properly, the term “morality” covers a lot of ground…including how we treat the poor and helpless among us. But for some reason, in popular…conservative…usage, it always gets down to sex. And when it gets down to sex, it gets down to none of it before you’re married. The Sexual Revolution may have happened back in the 60s, but these people are still fighting to have everyone maintain the moral standards of the 50s.
And at least, if people insist on not maintaining those moral standards, they shouldn’t have to help pay for enabling other people’s immorality with their tax money.
That’s what it gets down to. It’s not a war on women, it’s a war for “personal responsibility.” The problem is that women are unintentionally the victims of this war. They want “personal responsibility” for everyone equally, male and female. But it’s not their fault that when two people are being “immoral and irresponsible” only one gets pregnant.
And that’s why even if it didn’t deal with any abortions at all, many of these people would still fight to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s not personal. It’s not a vendetta against women.
It’s the morality, stupid.
And now here come the unicorns.
Aside from being the creatures that are so special that they will only approach a virgin, unicorns have been used as a metaphor for totally unrealistic, idealistic, expectations.
And the people who want to defund Planned Parenthood want their own unicorns.
You see, it’s been well established that the programs and services that Planned Parenthood provides help to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies (thus keeping the number of potential abortions down) and reduce the number of people walking around with STIs. You’d think that everyone would like that. But the social conservatives argue that Planned Parenthood and similar organizations do this the wrong way…by enabling people to act immorally without suffering the consequences.
And to the sexual conservatives, as laudable as they are, reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and STIs are only secondary goals. They’re secondary goals that are best met by focusing on their primary goal…abstinence before marriage.
The sexual conservatives want the unicorn of only teaching abstinence…even though it’s been shown that while abstinence is unarguably successful as a method, abstinence-only programs have an abysmal success rate. They want the unicorn of having everyone remain a virgin until they get married…even if they don’t get married for the first time until they’re 48.
They don’t want Planned Parenthood to be part of the game…with “their money”...because they want the unicorn of getting the results we all want the “right way.” And they don’t wan’t “their money” to enable people to keep behaving “immorally and irresponsibly” without suffering the repercusions.
They’re so focused on the idea of finding and riding that unicorn to the land of fewer unwanted pregnancies and STIs that they’re willing to walk past a whole herd of regular horses that can take them to the same place quickly.
But unicorns don’t exist. After all, if they did, their virgins would’ve been on them by now.