Posts Tagged Segregation
Governor Corbett from Pennsylvania Wants Women Who Have to Undergo Transvaginal Ultrasound to “Just Close” Their Eyes
Yeah, another man violating a woman and telling her to just close her eyes and take it while he’s giving it to her and looking to codify that behavior into law while he’s at it.
During a discussion of a far-reaching mandatory ultrasound bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett dismissed off-handedly the insinuation that the measure goes too far, saying, “You just have to close your eyes.”
Republicans and the few Democrats that support them have taken the notion of misogyny and violating a woman to new heights, all beautifully wrapped in obfuscating language that makes being vaginally probed and humiliated sound like a trip to the spa and personal salvation, all at once.
The transvaginal ultrasound bill is misleadingly called the Woman’s Right to Know Act and its introduction reads like a dream come true for all lovers of humanity and especially all those who hold women in high esteem:
“An act providing for ultrasound test requirements to determine gestational ages of unborn children; establishing the right to view ultrasound image and ultrasound video of unborn child and the right to observe or hear the fetal heartbeat.”
Note how it refers to the fetus as a child already, implying personhood.
Also note the reversal of language they use: establishing the right to view and hear as opposed to shaming a woman into carrying a pregnancy she doesn’t want to full term, which is really what this bill really is about.
The bill goes on to say that
“A woman considering an abortion has the right to receive complete and accurate information regarding the development and health of her unborn child.[...] In recognition of the importance of a woman’s dignity in making an informed choice, the factual information provided by an ultrasound test should be provided to a woman as an integral part of the informed consent necessary to undergo an abortion.”
According to the bill, a woman who has been patronized regarding her decision making abilities and who is being forced to undergo an invasive procedure under the guise of “informed consent” should take whatever dignity she has left – and which the State of Pennsylvania generously grants her according to the bill – so she can make an informed decision. One which lawmakers apparently believe a woman is really incapable of making unless they spell it out for her.
Instead of describing this bill as what it really is, namely violation of a woman’s body and insulting, they call shaming a woman into a pregnancy she never wanted as protecting her rights.
So ladies, this is all for your own good and protection. Lean back, take a deep breath, close your eyes and take it.
Segregation, Jim Crow Laws and the Woman’s Right to Know Act
This all sounds suspiciously like another epoch of our history; a dark epoch called Segregation and the Jim Crow laws that followed it. Back then, the same rationale of “this is done for your own protection” was used to justify de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with a supposedly “separate but equal” status for black Americans. One rationale for the systematic exclusion of black Americans from southern public society was that it was for their own protection. An early 20th century scholar suggested that having allowed blacks in white schools would mean “constantly subjecting them to adverse feeling and opinion“, which might lead to “a morbid race consciousness“. This perspective took anti-black sentiment for granted, because bigotry was widespread in the South (Murphy, Edgar Gardner. The Problems of the Present South. 1910, page 37).
History repeats itself over and over again and yet we don’t learn our lessons.
Corbett’s comments are disturbingly offensive and yet just one of the many hits agaisnt women and women’s rights in honor of Women’s History Month. Yep, no one knows how to better honor and respect women than men who legislate them to get unnecessary and invasive procedures as a means of getting a government permission slip to undergo legal medical care, who shame them by shoving an ultrasound screen in their face and who casually dismiss their concerns regarding it by advising them to just close their eyes.
Speaking of respect for women: in another totally non-intrusive way in the finest tradition of non-government interference that is so dear and near to Republicans, Ayatollah Santorum has vowed to ban hard-core pornography when elected into office, stating that “pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.“
I am going to get into Santorum’s epic misinformation about porn in another post, but it is good to know that pleasure fucking, and not something like mandatory vaginal probing for a legal medical procedure, constitutes misogyny in the bubble unembarrassed, supposedly righteous, pious and god fearing hypocrites like Santorum live in.
“Corrina, Corrina” is a really wonderful, sweet, from the heart movie that tackles the issue of love between two people from a different angle. It takes place in 1959 America, and thus during segregation and before the Civil Rights Acts. It is about a young white man, Manny Singer (Ray Liotta) who loses his wife and has a seven year old daughter Molly to take care of. He needs a nanny and so after several interviews with very inappropriate white candidates, he choses Corrina Washginton (Whoopie Goldberg).
Corrina is a college graduate and completely overqualified for the job, but because she is black, she has to settle for what she can get. She is repeatedly rejected for jobs and colums she wants to write because of her race and her sister tells her to stop trying.
Manny is closed-off and just like anyone who loses a loved-one, he is mostly on auto-pilot: doing what he needs to do every day but finding no joy in it.
Molly has stopped speaking ever since her mother passed away and is also closing in on herself. Manny is desperate and sad about his daughter’s situation but does not know how to get to her.
All this changes, at least for Molly, when Corrina comes into their lives. Soon she is able to win Molly’s trust, who starts speaking again, and she also surprises Manny as she is not only warm, witty, and sensitive but also educated, cultured and well-rounded, able to have the kind of conversation most white folks probably didn’t think a black woman could have with her corporate-world boss.
A sort of family-dynamic between the three develops, and Corrina even takes Molly to her sister’s place and has her play with her nieces and nephews. Over time, Corrina and Manny grow closer but because this is 1950s America and racism pretty much institutionalized, a romantic relationship seems out of the question. This movie explorers these themes of racism, love and romance as well as loss in a very delicate way.
I must say the best part of the movie is toward the end, when Manny just doesn’t care anymore about what other people think and hugs Corrina right in front of the house, in public. It is a warm, tight, meaningful hug in which he holds on to her. Their love for one another, or Manny’s love for Corrina, is sincere and the fact that she is played by Whoopie Goldberg, as opposed to let’s say Halle Berry or Vanessa Williams or Jada Pinkett-Smith, really is what makes Manny’s love for Corrina believable.
If Manny had fallen in love with some gorgeous ex supermodel turned actress type, no one would be surprised. I mean segregation or not, who wouldn’t fall for Halle Berry, right?
But the fact that he falls in love with someone like Whoopie Goldberg, who is not a beauty icon, really is evidence to the fact that he has fallen in love with her as opposed to her looks primarily. And that is where the strength of this movie lies: it is sincere.
The producers and writers did a great job casting Goldberg for this role. Had they cast any other black actress for the role, like those gorgeous types, the story and feel of the movie would just have come out very differently.
Unfortunately they don’t make movies with such substance anymore. Most actors cast today, even in genre and time-specific pieces, just are not real anymore. No matter what they play, you can see the Hollywood starlet in there still.
Not in this movie and that is why it is so special: it draws on and projects real feelings people can identify with as opposed to just coming across as another far-fetched, glamorous and mostly unrealistic Hollywood romance between two pretty, fit, happy people who….surprise, surprise…find each other.
Corrina, Corrina is a warm movie that never feels forced, acted or sappy – even though the theme could easily go there. Personally I find Whoopie Goldberg nothing but pure delight. If I was a man, I would totally fall in love with this amazing woman.