“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee argued that Democrats “think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”
“The fact is the Republicans don’t have a war on women, they have a war for women, to empower them to be something other than victims of their gender,” Huckabee said.
And this is how he defended his comments later:
My whole point was that the women I know are intelligent, thoughtful, educated, capable of running things, capable of making big decisions – and they didn’t need the government to hold their hands. They were not victims of their gender. (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/25/huckabee-defends-comments-as-miley-cyrus-cosmo-weigh-in/)
Let’s agree, shall we, that there are a few problems with his line of thought (birth control doesn’t work like that, Uncle Sugar sounds like a nightmarish cartoon villain, that’s not how apologies work, biology was taught in his school district, yes?, etc) the one that really caught me was the last line.
‘To empower them to be something other than victims of their gender.‘
That, right there. That’s the real kicker.
Because this implies a worldview where my gender, by virtue of it being a girly one, might attack me. Might sneak up and bludgeon me with a candlestick, smother me with a pillow while I sleep, make me snuggle a kitten, do all manner of unspeakable things to me.
But it definitely renders me less-than, second-class, vulnerable, somehow. I must fight my gender, lest I become a victim of it.*
In Mike Huckabee’s world, if you weren’t born a man (or white, or straight, or rich, or any number of things), then you’re already a step behind, you’re already a problem, and you better fight like hell not to fall entirely victim to your unfortunate lot in life.
And the minute you say it out loud, you should hear the problem here. (If you’re not Mike Huckabee, whom I’ve decided was wearing earplugs during this speech.)
If women all might fall victim to their gender in your mind, then there’s no way women are created equal in your mind. Especially when compared to men, who, curiously, are not described as needing to corral their gender.
Women are then just imperfect, incomplete men–It’s Thomas of Aquinas’ theory, back from its medieval casket–and as such, they can’t be trusted or treated as equals.
Why, oh why, oh why, does this nonsense get trotted out by modern-day Christians? Mike Huckabee is a Baptist pastor. He should know better, in at least 17 different ways.**
I understand that Thomas “T-Bone” Aquinas is amazing, and well-loved. He was very smart. But a.) He was one guy. b.) He lived in the Middle Ages. Picture what he would have done with an iPhone. c.) Even he was aware that he was frequently wrong.
Which brings me to my final point.
God created male and female in the image and likeness of God. All genders. Everybody. God wasn’t working through some issues, or working out some kinks in the system. God is God, and doesn’t make trash. (And I’m surprised I have to point that out to folks who rely on that EXACT POINT when it comes to evolution, but irony is fun for us all, I suppose.)
If you’re convinced that 51% of the world’s population is made faulty in some way that they must be on guard against, then that’s a really awful slander against their Creator. I mean, yikes. Either God is really bad at his job in your mind, or God is just getting a bit sadistic with a whole lot of people.
No God I know would do that. No God I read about in the gospel does that. No God whom Jesus describes would do that.
The God I know made me as I am on purpose: an opinionated, sarcastic woman who is very fond of shoes and waves her hands around too much. The God I know makes each of us, like a different fingerprint, on purpose, because this God is tickled by variety. Each different person, a new facet of God’s image. Like a new side of a prism, shining in the light. And each side, a gift.
I wrote last week that nothing convinced me more of an all-powerful Creator than being reminded of the diversity of people.
To flatten this variety into ‘better-than’ vs ‘less-than’ is to flatten God out, too.
So, while Gov. Huckabee is worried about women being ‘victims of their gender‘, he should be worrying about God falling victim to his poor theology.
*I’m not sure what this entails in Mike Huckabee’s mind. Buy a switchblade? Stop wearing heels? Take up kickboxing? He doesn’t elaborate. HOW SHOULD I DEFEAT MY GENDER, GOV. HUCKABEE?!
**and that’s not counting the fact that in any local church, women have kept everything running since Jesus learned to walk. Seriously, Mike Huckabee. Cross the Altar Guild or the ECW one day and see what happens.
They are the ones who knock, Governor. Mark my words.