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An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

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An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby Sonic# » Fri Mar 30, 16:29 2012

I hope this counts as ALP instead of MLP: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-o ... underpants

Favorite quote:
The thing is, though, before you send off your report I wanted to ask you about what I should do regarding this wonky ovary. Now that you’re an expert on all things Unspeakable and Girly, I have to defer to you, Tiny White Man in My Underpants. This son of a bitch ovary hurts. As you know, the doctor wants me to take these birth control pills, but I’m no fan of pills. I prefer wonky ovaries and getting as many abortions as my federal government punch card allows.

Just kidding!


So, with the most recent debates about whether women should have access to reproductive health care, there have been several alarming practices:
1. shutting women out of the discussions about health care for women.
2. discrediting the experiences of women who advocate for insurance to provide for birth control.
3. ignoring sites of hypocrisy, like where men easily get coverage for erectile dysfunction.
4. ignoring the absurdity of some rules, where women can get birth control if it's not used for birth control.
5. overstating the effects of birth control or skewing facts in any number of other ways.

Certain lawmakers, usually Republican, have been so persistent with these attacks that it's nothing short of policing women. Or, in the case of this post, planting a hall monitor over women's health. It's quite a vivid and potent metaphor, here played to great humor, but elsewhere used justly as a call for women to have ownership over their own body, their own health and well-being.

I guess what I'm most curious about is whether y'all think this piece is effective at ridiculing the present debates. I like it, love it even, as it makes the debate excessively visceral. Oftentimes, these debates both emphasize and avoid women's bodies: women's bodies are something different, something fleshly or special, the second sex, but the particulars go unmentioned. This doctrine is mainly problematic because men's health as a consequence becomes something general and expected, whereas women's health is the thing to be accepted or excepted instead of assumed, a problem unsolved, a terrain unexplored. (Forgive me for cursing, but fuck that language.) I think that the linked piece is able to mock that discourse (a discourse used by the white men in her pants) without falling into the trap of exoticizing the body, but I wish that there were a way to... I don't know. Make men's fleshliness or special requirements for health just as apparent while making the case that every person should be addressed? Successfully do away with this idea that reproductive health is particular to women and particularly controversial for women? I guess if we could do the latter, then this entire discussion would be unnecessary. What do you think of the linked material/the debate/your place in it?
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Re: An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby monk » Fri Mar 30, 22:03 2012

I just don't know anymore. The article you linked to seems a perfect little humorous anecdote type device to help bridge the logic gap that the Republicans have on the whole health care issue.

This week I have been watching the coverage over the Supreme Court discussions on the Presidents Health Care Mandate. Since there are no cameras in the Court, most of the visual footage is of clips of the protestors on both sides who are outside the courthouse. One of the clips from what I'm assuming is a republican who opposes the Presidents plan keeps sticking in my head. This woman says she opposes mandatory insurance because she believes in freedom. What I really want to know is if this woman also believes people should have the freedom to choose an abortion. My guess is no, and that's where I'm stymied.

How can one party say they think a woman should be denied the right to choose an abortion but at the same time insist they they have the right to choose to be insured or not?

When a group does not follow what I think is simple logic, I seriously doubt they will be able to grasp satire.
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Re: An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby Hufflepuff » Sat Mar 31, 3:42 2012

*raises hand*

I'm not familiar with McSweeny, and I can't understand a word of the article. Seriously, I just read through it three times and took in absolutely no information. Can someone translate for me?
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Re: An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby rowan » Sat Mar 31, 12:18 2012

So you don't know the words "salt 'n vinegar chips"? Seriously what words are you having trouble with?

What I’m saying is: if you can’t approve birth control for the sake of bajingo health, then do it for the penises, man.

ahahahahhaha.

Will it work, no. Does it make good points, yes. Obviously they're not listening, or they would already know that BC is good for men as well as women and reduce abortions and make overall health care less expensive, etc.
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Re: An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby Hufflepuff » Sat Mar 31, 19:37 2012

rowan wrote:So you don't know the words "salt 'n vinegar chips"? Seriously what words are you having trouble with?

What am I hav--?! The entire thing!

"Dear Tiny White Man In My Underpants,

Hey! How’s it going today? My guess is: verging on ovulation, potentially cyst-y. Ha! No seriously, I’m sorry about the bloating. I know that makes the waistband on my underpants tighter than usual, thus restricting your movement, and I apologize for that."

What the fuck does that mean? Okay, first off, who is "the tiny white man in my underpants?" A penis? But penises don't ovulate. Usually, anyway. I have no idea the sex of the person, what they're talking about, what point is being made or what's being argued against or what. I mean, if it's a woman writing, how would her being bloated from her period (if that's what she's talking about) restrict the movement of a "tiny white man in her underpants?" Is she intersexed and has a wang down there, too?

"It has to be difficult to get a desk and a lamp and a humidity-resistant Windows machine in there already, without the extra pooch."

What? Just "what?" I...this sentence makes no semantic sense to me.

"It’s just that sometimes a girl has to eat a bag of salt n’ vinegar chips entirely on her own, you know?"

No. No I really don't know. I literally have no idea what that means. I could go on but I'll stop here.

It's the "dear whatever" style that's getting me, I think. I think the author thinks he/she/whatever is being pithy and clever and artsy, but he/she/whatever's just being oblique and confusing.

Just plain "what?"
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Re: An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby monk » Sat Mar 31, 20:20 2012

Okay, I am going to take your obtuseness as serious for 30 seconds.

The author is writing a fictional piece to an imaginary very small white man living in her underwear. The man represents symbolically the men in our government who are legislating birth control, and reproductive rights.

The salt n vinegar chips is a reference to the fact that women sometimes get cravings for certain foods when they ovulate etc.

it's funny but your not getting this kinda reinforces my point about how the republicans can't be swayed by satire since they are not being swayed by logic.
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Re: An Open Letter to the Republican in Your Underpants

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Sun Apr 1, 17:50 2012

Um, ok. So you know how recently many government officials are trying to remove women's rights to reproductive healthcare, yes? And you are aware that the people trying to push through these laws are mostly white men, thereby leaving women- the people these laws will affect- completely out of the decision-making process? So, it follows that white men are attempting to control the reproductive organs of women, something they clearly have no right to do.

This article is taking that idea and putting it into a literal format. The author (someone who is biologically female) feels that her reproductive rights are being policed SO HARD, that there may as well actually be a small, white man living in her underwear, in charge of everything she does with her own reproductive parts, much as a beurocrat would be in charge of everything that goes on in an office (thus the references to a Windows computer, memos, etc). She is talking about the fact that men are making decisions about women's bodies, specifically their reproductive capacities, exclusive of what women want and believe is fair. The white men are, literally, taking control of our bodies. We have to get their permission before we can do anything with our own reproductive systems. She has put it in this format to show how ridiculous and unfair these actions are.

I hope that helps.
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