Recently, a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of the brand-new book, Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America by Nancy L. Cohen. I’m waiting for the book to arrive in the mail, but in the meantime, I’ve been checking out reviews and interviews with the author (for instance, see the one above). The gist of the book can be summarized as follows:
Perhaps if the Pill had never been invented, America politics today would be very different today. The 2012 election was supposed to be about the economy, but it turned into a referendum on sex. In Delirium, Nancy Cohen takes us on a thrilling journey through the confounding and mysterious episodes of our recent politics to explain how we and why we got to this place. She uncovers the hidden history of an orchestrated, well-financed, ideologically powered movement to strip women of personal freedom, rights, and opportunity. Delirium tells the story of this shadow movement, how it has fueled our political wars, and what we can do to restore common sense and sanity in our nation’s politics.
Nationally, of course, we’ve seen vicious battles over a woman’s right to choose, access to contraceptive coverage, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum, Planned Parenthood vs. Susan Komen “Race for the Cure,” LGBT rights…the list is practically endless.
Here in Virginia, as we all know, we’ve seen some of the most virulent expressions of the “delirium” over sex, with craziness like:
*Delegate and Senator Dick Black (R) calling birth control pills “baby pesticides,” “passing out pink plastic fetus dolls to state lawmakers in 2003 in a creepy campaign to win votes for various anti-abortion measures,” and railing insanely about gays in the military.
*Del. “Sideshow” Bob Marshall (R) pushing a “personhood” bill that would effectively ban abortion in all cases, as well as certain forms of contraception and embryonic stem cell research. Oh, and of course Marshall is the coauthor of the anti-gay-marriage “Marshall-Newman amendment,” who also (insanely) claimed that disabled children are god’s punishment for abortion.
*Of course, who could forget Virginia Republicans’ “transvaginal ultrasound” bill, which Del. Dave Albo (R) apparently thinks is completely hilarious!
*Republicans’ rejection of a superbly qualified judge to the Richmond District Court, simply because he’s gay.
On and on it goes, where it stops…actually, we know very well. This will ONLY stop if we replace the American Taliban, theocratic wackjobs with sane Republicans (if there are any left in politics), Independents, and Democrats. Until then, as Nancy L. Cohen puts it, the sexual counterrevolution “delirium” will continue, as a “small group of reactionaries” will continue hijacking our politics, in particular the Republican Party. How long will this continue? As long as we, the people/voters/citizens/etc. allow it, basically. The first chance to slow it down: November 6, 2012. Make sure you vote, and make sure you do NOT vote for anyone who has medieval, fundamentalist, warped views about human reproduction and sexuality.