Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Ted Cruz on The Condom Wars

Ted Cruz is a brave, brave man.  He has said what no-one else in the Republican Party dares to say:  That there is no Republican war on women!  None.  That it's the Republicans who vote in more and more restrictions on women's reproductive choices is a coincidence, and so is the fact that it's the Republicans who fight tooth and nail against any attempt to disallow gender discrimination in the workplace.  It's also a coincidence that it's the Republican Party who has far fewer women in the US Congress than the Democratic Party.

So many coincidences, and I haven't even had breakfast yet!

The specific message Cruz wants us to take home is that the Republicans don't want to ban people's access to contraceptives.  This is how he put it:

Ted Cruz on Monday offered a spirited defense of Republicans on women’s health issues, accusing Democrats of creating a phony “war on women” based on claims that his party wants to restrict access to birth control.
“The last I checked, we don’t have a rubber shortage in America,” the GOP presidential candidate said during a town hall here, responding to a question about the availability of contraception to women who want it.
“Look, when I was in college, we had a machine in the bathroom. You’d put 50 cents in and voila!” added Texas’ junior senator, who attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. “So yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it is an utterly made-up, nonsense issue.”
See?  Any man can buy condoms in public bathrooms!  Problem solved.

The point, naturally, is that the traditional condoms are not a form of female-controlled contraception*.  A woman cannot protect herself if the man she has sex with refuses to wear a condom.  It's up to him, ultimately, though of course most couples cooperate on contraceptive choices.  Still, Cruz is telling the guys that the Republican Party will let them have as many condoms as they wish.

He's telling something quite different to the gals.  And one of those things is that he hasn't thought about any of this on the deeper levels.  I always find that shocking, the fact that most Republican male politicians don't spend any time thinking about women and their petty issues before opening their mouths.

*It is those forms of contraception that the weirdest pro-lifers (or forced-birthers) wish to ban:  The contraceptive pill and the intrauterine device or the coil.