The Far Right loves to get all heebety-jeebety upset about how Democrats say there is a Republican War on Women. Wherever would they get that idea? How dare they?
Mind you, Republicans don't do themselves a whole lot of good when they...well, talk. Merely typing words doesn't get much better. Like when a Virginia State Senator wrote on Facebook last week a defense of his anti-abortion position, referring to the woman person in the equation as the "host."
"I don't expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it."
This week, on Monday, the good fellow finally edited his his post and now has it reads as saying the "bearer of the child" rather than "host."
Because that's oh-so-much better...
By the way, I have specifically avoided mentioning the state senator's name because it would put an unfair hilarious twist on the whole story. His name is Steve Martin. O Lord Above in Heaven, Thou dost have a great and Almighty sense of humor. And no, after all the outrage hit, State Sen. Steve Martin (R-VA) did not reply, "Well, excuuuuuuse meeee!!!"
But that's only the tip of the ludicrousness of this tale. Because, you see, Mr. Martin isn't just some random, anonymous state senator with his mind-wrenching views. No (and I'm not making this up!) -- he's the former chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee. In other words, this is who Republicans in Virginia specifically chose to lead their views on "education and health."
To be fair to Sen. Martin, he says he was just quipping, and how in the world could anyone not have gotten his joke. "I don't see how anyone could have taken it the wrong way. It was me playing their argument back to them. Obviously I consider pregnant women to be mothers."
That's true. Yes, he does consider them to be mothers. The problem is that he also says he considers them hosts. Or perhaps, "the bearer of the child," which is much warmer and endearing.
By the way, since a child is considered a gift from heaven, might not the state senator have been better off describing mothers as "the bearer of good tidings"?
There's no word, mind you, on what he considers the fathers. Perhaps they're "the start-up deliverer of the child." Or maybe "He who provides sperm for the creation of the child."
I do understand that Mr. Martin considers "bearer of the child" a better term than "host." I also understand that it took him days to come up with an alternative to "host." And that that's the best he came up with. I want to see his wife's expression's when she opens her card from him on Happy Bearer of the Child Day.
Mind you, I'm not sure that he should have been so quick to change "host." (Or so slow, depending on your perspective.) After all, Johnny Carson was host of the Tonight Show for 29 years and was beloved. Ellen DeGeneres is going to be the host of the Oscars, and people seem to like her. Though some on the Far Right do have problems with her, so being a host can be controversial. Just ask Seth MacFarlane.
I might suggest that if Mr. Martin doesn't see how anyone could have taken his comment the wrong way -- referring to mothers even supposedly jokingly as "hosts -- then he either wasn't looking very hard, or doesn't have it in him to look beyond his nose. In which case, Republicans making him chairman of the Education and Health Committee doesn't seem like a great idea in retrospect. Though if it does fit in with their viewpoint, which it appears to, then I suppose he at least does make a good poster boy for the war front.
I might also suggest that Mr. Martin meant exactly what he wrote in the first place, referring to the mother as merely a "host," and there was no whimsy involved, especially given how long it took him to change the phrasing, and given how it fits with everything else he said condescendingly and thoughtlessly about women. In fairness, the truth is that he probably is correct in saying that doesn't understand how it could be seen as ignorant or hurtful. Which is one of the main reasons it was ignorant and hurtful, condescending and thoughtless.
(It's worth noting, too, that State Sen. Martin says he is merely talking about once a child does exist in a womb. The question I always ask such people is -- okay, so what is the sex of that "child"? Can you tell? Can anyone tell? And if the sex can't be determined yet -- which it can't -- then how in the world is it a child, rather than a zygote?)
In the end though, the issue at hand isn't abortion, that's a separate debate, but what the former Republican Chairman of the Education and Health Committee in Virginia thinks of women. Quippingly or not. Whether merely the "host" or (better) the "bearer of the child". The woman means next to nothing in the that world view.
Of course it's understandable that Republicans get all heebety-jeebety upset when someone points out they have a war on women. So too did that man behind the curtain when Toto pulled it back to reveal there wasn't a Wizard of Oz after all, just a little man. A very little man. Pay no attention to him.
Who wouldn't be upset when the world can see your tricks?
One question, though. When there is a surrogate involved in a pregnancy, does that make her the guest host?
And what happens if Jay Leno wants to come back?
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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