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In the words of the great Tammy Wynette, sometimes it's hard to be a woman. This week has been such a time for many of us out there, what with the impending prospect of seeing yet another sex predator who wants to take away our reproductive rights getting confirmed to the highest court in the land. Oh, it's almost like we, and our bodily autonomy, don't even matter at all.

Thankfully, several conservative columnists have graciously taken the time to explain to the rest of us why we should stand by their man. Not for his good, but for our own. Because it will be empowering. So come on gals, let's switch out our sneakers for pumps like the the working gals in 1980s movies, set up our desk salads, and just really lean in to see what they have to say!

First up, we've got Catherine Glenn Foster over at The Federalist, who wants us to know that losing our reproductive rights will empower us beyond our wildest dreams, according to the actual title of her essay.



How will it do this, you ask? Well, Foster explains, in his 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, noted woman-empowerer Chief Justice William Rehnquist suggested that it was simply condescending to suggest that women had "reached their 'places in society' in reliance upon Roe, rather than as a result of their determination to obtain higher education and compete with men in the job market."

Yeah, you go girls! You can totally have an unwanted pregnancy and kick ass on the job! Who says you can't? Not William Rehnquist, that is for sure!

Except the thing is, no one is saying that isn't true. Well, except for the employers that pay mothers less than their other employees. They are totally saying that. Everyone else? Well, we're just saying that it ought to be up to the woman if she wants to do that or not.

Foster also claims that abortion has made women poorer. She's not, like, toooootally sure how, but she knows there are more poor women than there were before Roe was passed, and she's pretty sure it's because of that, and not because of Reagan's economic policies or the decline of unions.

One factor may be Roe's transfer of all responsibility for children to women. By teaching uncommitted men that the proximate cause of a baby is the woman's decision to give birth and not to abort—rather than the proximate cause being intercourse—women are the decision makers and therefore the cause of any child born. Since men have no rights regarding their unborn children, too many believe they have no responsibilities either.

Except they do, legally. As one can learn from nearly any episode of the Maury Povich show, men are still required to pay child support. Granted, women still have to be the primary caretakers in these situations, but that is fucked up and should change as well. There is, however, no chance that making abortion illegal would change this. Men are not sitting around thinking, "Well gee, I would have taken care of my child, but women can have abortions so whatevs! Who cares!"

Making abortion illegal, Foster continues, will also empower women by making men feel obligated to marry them. Because who is going to buy the cow when they can get the milk for free? According to scholars, that is.

Scholars have further conjectured that abortion has negatively affected the marriage market by limiting women's bargaining power in the marriage choice. The availability of abortion as a "contraceptive" option has helped to make premarital sex more universally casual, and cohabitation frequently preferable to marriage. In gaining the option of abortion, many women are finding it more difficult to achieve the option of marriage.


Truly what is more empowering than a beautiful, traditional, shotgun wedding? Who among us has not dreamed of the day that some dude would marry us just because it is the only way he can have sex? #ROMANCE, amirite? Otherwise, you might end up married to some dude who is just marrying you because you are both in love with each other and want to make it official/save money on your taxes. Like suckers!

Oh, and also -- once you give up your right to abortion, Republicans and the business community will become suddenly cool with all the workplace protections for parents, and cool with parental leave. Surely!

Legalized abortion has also forestalled balance and flexibility in the workplace because women are expected to use the right to abortion to prevent any conflict between work and family. These expectations, whether latent or expressed, are found in every sector of business and are deeply detrimental to women's well-being, as well as to that of their families.

I cannot tell you how many interviews I have been on where I have been directly asked, "So, if you get pregnant you will have an abortion, right?" It is just expected!

Clearly, this is a very good argument, with no holes in it whatsoever. But what of the fact that Kavanaugh is being accused of attempted rape? Is that empowering? According to Dennis Prager, it sure is!

In an essay for the National Review, Prager explains that your morals are like a bank account. So like, if you do good overall, you can totally rape someone, and it is fine and should not count against you. Which is why it is totally cool when priests do it.

Every one of us has a moral bank account. Our good deeds are deposits, and our bad deeds are withdrawals. We therefore assess a person the same way we assess our bank account. If our good actions outweigh our bad actions, we are morally in the black; if our bad actions greatly outweigh our good actions, we are morally in the red.

By all accounts — literally all — Brett Kavanaugh's moral bank account is way in the black. He has led a life of decency, integrity, commitment to family, and commitment to community that few Americans can match. On these grounds alone, the charges against him as a teenager should be ignored.

I know that if I get raped, I sure hope it is by a decent family man!

Prager then explains that the truly empowering thing for women to do is to be like his wife, who was very chill about how her manager at work used to grab her breasts all the time.

When my wife was a waitress in her mid teens, the manager of her restaurant grabbed her breasts and squeezed them on numerous occasions. She told him to buzz off, figured out how to avoid being in places where they were alone, and continued going about her job. That's empowerment.

You go girl! That is some real good empowerment right there! Nothing more empowering than having to avoid your boss who is going to grab your boobs if you are alone together. Empowerment isn't knowing you're not going to get groped, it's getting groped and being chill about it and not doing anything that's going to ruin a good family man's life.

So, just to recap here -- should Kavanaugh get a seat on the Supreme Court, women will be super empowered by losing their reproductive rights and possibly gaining a husband who is marrying them out of obligation and because that is the only way he will be able to get his dick wet, and they will be empowered by realizing that men trying to rape them isn't that big of a deal after all. That is definitely just as good as being sure that you will not be forced to give birth against your will, or getting justice for crimes committed against you. #LeanIn!

[The Federalist | National Review]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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