Tuesday, June 20, 2017

They want women weakened

This afternoon I saw the movie The Zookeeper’s Wife. Antonina Zabinski, and her husband Jan run the zoo in Warsaw in the 1930s. It is obvious that Antonina loves animals and will do whatever is necessary to care for them.

Then the Nazis invade. Mr. Heck, the head of the Berlin Zoo (who seems to stick around Warsaw a lot) tells her the best animals in the zoo will be well cared for in Berlin. After those are hauled away the rest of the animals are shot.

Antonina tells Heck, I’ve got all these pens and workers, why don’t we raise pigs for the Nazi soldiers to eat? We can feed the pigs with the garbage from the Warsaw Ghetto. When Jan collects the garbage he also smuggles out Jews hiding beneath the garbage. They are hidden in the basement of the house. Antonina is a sweet and tender lady in the way she treats her traumatized guests. She also has an inner core of steel in facing down Heck.

The movie is a cat-and-mouse game of keeping their refugees safe from the nosy Heck. The movie is very much about resisting authoritarian regimes.

Of course, I thought a lot of the current American authoritarian regime. Would life in America get as bad as the Warsaw ghetto?

Sarah Kendzior has an academic background studying authoritarian regimes. So when she calls out the nasty guy and the entire GOP she knows what she is talking about. A lot of what she is saying lately is the nasty guy and the GOP really are that bad. They really are displaying a lot of the signs of authoritarianism. Take it seriously! The hidden Senate healthcare bill is one of those signs.

A tweet comments that the GOP being so cold hearted that they would pass a healthcare bill that takes away insurance from 23 million people doesn’t make sense. Kendzior replies in a tweet:
1) Profit 2) Weakened, sick population can’t fight back 3) Plan hurts women most; women lead opposition 4) Helps Russia + other adversaries
In another tweet she links to an article she wrote back in early May for the site Marie Claire that explains in more detail.
The healthcare law is not only a sadistic assault on the sick and vulnerable, but a gendered attack meant to render his most forceful opponents, American women, helpless. Autocracy and patriarchy often go hand in hand; the countries with the highest levels of political freedom in general tend to prioritize women's healthcare, education, and other basic rights.

And American women know it. Since Trump took power, protests against his administration have consisted overwhelmingly of women.

Women, in other words, are a huge problem for the Trump administration. Unable to silence our voices, they've turned to controlling our bodies—and repressing women, whether through biology or social structures, is a characteristic aspect of authoritarian rule. It's meant to frighten us into disillusionment and compliance. When survival becomes our primary objective—when anger about willful denial of climate change is overshadowed by the more urgent need to pay for a critical doctor's appointment—it's harder to organize, protest, run for office, or generally fight back. Instead, we have to live.

Republicans behave as if they do not expect the 2018 elections to be free and fair … When representatives flaunt their disregard for public will this blatantly, they insinuate that public will is irrelevant. It's a classic authoritarian tell: They see their political dominance as a lock.

Targeting women's health is part of this administration's broader autocratic strategy to shut the opposition down. They want women weakened, desperate, and politically irrelevant as public frustration grows.

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