Snow White Doesn't Live Here Anymore

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Paul Ryan Says America Needs Choice: Are Women American Citizens?

Will Romney and Ryan decide what Americans can do with our reproductive systems?

“We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice."

That is exactly what Republican candidate for vice-president Paul Ryan said in his speech this morning: he emphasized the need for America to take back its right to choose.

Americans, he implied, know what's best for ourselves. We are a smart and responsible people. We want the government off our backs and out of our wallets, Paul Ryan's message implied.

Isn't it right to assume that, if we want the government out of off our backs and out of our wallets, we'd also want the government out our wombs, away from our cervices, and out of our vaginal area generally?

If American citizens need to be responsible for our own medical decisions, don't our girly-bits count as part of ourselves? Or are they open for government inspection--like having an emissions test--because they are under the hood?

American women are American citizens: at least until the next election. 

Actually, let's take a vote: Hands up everybody who believes American women are fully operational American citizens. 

Okay, those of you with your hands down are not allowed to decide what happens when we have sex, get pregnant, need healthcare, need a termination, or need a hysterectomy.

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Get your hands away from us; get your probes and your paperwork back to the 19th-century where they belong (but where independent and intelligent women were already challenging men's rights of ownership over the bodies of women). 

If the Republicans get into office--if Romney and Ryan win, the way Bush and Quayle won--will women continue to have choices concerning our own reproductive freedom?

Not if they get a chance to take them away.

And that's because they do not consider women responsibe enough or self-determining enough to make choices.

Choices will not be left up to individual women but will be decided by the government. Yet Ryan announced “We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice."

Surely these guys are smart enough to smell hypocrisy when it's so close to them? When they're not only walking in it but spreading it?

Will politicians--Romney and Ryan first among them-- who want to leave the citizenry to make its own decisions allow women to choose what to do with our wombs? Will women be trusted with choice? Will the Right Wing protect that? 

Gina Barreca, Ph.D., is Professor of English at UConn, and author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.

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