Friday, February 17, 2012


If you listened carefully, you may have heard a collective "WTF!?!" coming from women (and men who have progressed beyond caveman status) across the country this week. Miss out on the action? Let me bring you up to speed.

It all started when the Obama Administration came up with new rules requiring health insurance plans -- including those offered by Catholic hospitals, universities, and charities -- to provide birth control to female employees free of charge. The question was whether it is appropriate for government to require a religious institution (that may oppose birth control in its teachings) to pay for the coverage. Many people said no, so a few days later, the Obama Administration announced it was altering its policy and requiring the insurance companies to cover the cost instead.

You still with me? Good.

Never to miss out on an opportunity to mix sex and politics, yesterday, the House of Representatives convened a hearing to rehash the whole birth control kerfuffle. Take a look at the 'experts' they called for the hearing. Notice anything missing from this picture?

If you answered 'a uterus,' you are absolutely correct. Apparently, the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa, didn't feel it was necessary to include any actual women in a panel discussing birth control coverage for women. Because middle-aged men have so much experience with all of that getting pregnant and delivering a baby stuff.

Sidenote: If this isn't a case study for why there need to be more women elected to Congress, I don't know what is.  

Anyhoo, about the same time this was going on, Foster Friess, a financial backer of the Super PAC working to elect Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, went on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports with his own WTF!?! view on contraception:

"Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."


Yep. That just happened. Friess has since apologized for his comments.

By the way, anytime you find yourself on national television suggesting the key to preventing unwanted pregnancies is for women to just keep their legs closed, you need to stop talking.

But this week's coveted WTF!?! prize goes to Fox News pundit, Liz Trotta, who accused the Pentagon of spending too much money supporting women who are being "raped too much" while serving our country in the military. She also suggests that women who volunteer to serve in some of the most dangerous jobs (i.e. front line combat positions) should expect to be sexually assaulted. Not by the enemy, mind you, but by their sex fiend fellow soldiers who can't withstand the "close contact" combat sometimes brings.

Naturally, this leads me to question how it is I ever managed to wedge myself onto a Metro train during rush hour and avoid sexual assault for nearly 9 years. I'm just lucky I guess.

Happy Weekend!

{Images via Houston Press and Planned Parenthood}