Theocracy: n., 1. government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. 2. a state governed by a theocracy.
Let's Start with Happenings Right Here at Home.
The New York Times reports today that the FDA Commissioner, Lester M. Crawford, has chosen to delay making a decision on Plan B. According to the article,some democratic senators were under the distinct impression that allowing a vote on Crawford was an exchange for a decision on Plan B prior to September 1, 2005. I can't say what agreements were made by whom and when, but I do know that the FDA's stated reasons for pushing off decision time are asinine. 1. They need "more time to gather public reaction to the plan and to figure out how they could enforce it." 2. The "agency had decided that the science supported giving over-the-counter access of the drug to women 17 and older, but that the agency could not figure out how to do that from regulatory and practical standpoints without younger teenagers' obtaining the pills, too."
Let me help the geniuses at the FDA out a little bit. Gather round, wingnuts. For lo, I have much accumulated knowledge that I wish to share. You see, there are several substances within these United States to which access is controlled by age:
1) For instance, liquor of any kind must not be sold to people under 21 years of age.
2) This is similar to cigarettes, which must not be sold to persons under 18 years of age.
3) Pornography also is limited to those over 18.
4) Hell, I couldn't buy my mother a dozen eggs anywhere near Halloween until I was 18.
5)The sale of cough syrup, in light of its newfound recreational uses, has been restricted to those over 18.
6) The bagel shop near the high school I taught at briefly would not sell to school-age children between the hours of 7 AM and 2 PM.
Are any of the purveyors of these fine products people who have gone through many years of schooling, and incurred massive debts in order to be licensed in their chosen fields? Are they 'professionals' we can trust to keep our children safe from poor choices, school-skipping, and their own seasonal inner vandals? Well, no. They are fairly unskilled, minimum wage clerks at grocery and convenience stores throughout our fair land. Do we imagine that pharmacists, the very same people whose consciences the right wing trusts to override decisions made by a woman and her doctor regarding her own health, are not responsible enough to card a kid? Pharmacists are the folks we let dispense all manner of addictive medications. They aren't good enough? I'm afraid I'm going to have to call bullshit on this one, Sparky.
And what do the concerned citizens of the right have to say about this? Why the big brouhaha over a pill that must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex in order to prevent the fertilization of an egg? What a shock! It's the same argument as they use against all birth control, and even sexual education. This pill, it seems, would encourage teenagers to have sex. And we all know that people who have sex are bad. (Burn the sex-having witch!) Incidentally, I was under the impression that puberty encouraged teenagers to have sex, but I am also one of those godless freaks who took health class in high school.
Freedom marches right past Afghani women when it comes to gaining positions of responsiblity and power. Also in The New York Times , there's this article that reports that Afghani women will not run for office, because they have no control over their money; that's a man's job. Apparently, the "many women" who came to vote in Afghani elections forgot to vote for less scumbaggy husbands. Or, could it be theocratic, misogynistic principles still in action in Afghanistan?
And, Finally, That Great Bastion of Freedom: Iraq
Still the NYT, (it's early, and I can only read one massive paper in the middle of the night. Sue me.) there's this op-ed piece concerning the Iraqi constitution that isn't. Despite all the grumblings about freedom for the three groups that make up Iraq, and all the struggling for safety for them, the provisions that seriously jeopardize women's rights in Iraq have been left firmly in place. So, like women in Afghanistan, Iraqi women can expect to be kept in a life of penury by legal restriction, unable to divorce, inherit, or in any way choose their own paths. But, I'm sure that won't affect their ability to assert basic human rights for themselves. As long as their human rights don't interfere with their husbands' rights to treat them like chattel "in God's name," that is.