If you had to add up all the things the Religious Right blames women for you would quickly run out of breath, but here are a selection of just four stories from the past month that have been particularly ridiculous.
1) “Welfare Moms” Are to Blame for Gun Violence
Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), fifth-ranking of House Republicans, during a meeting with constituents earlier this month, said that he agreed with an audience member that kids today being on psychotropic drugs were likely contributing to gun crimes, but maintained the true problem is greedy welfare moms trying to get more Social Security money:
Where are we on all those psychiatric drugs? We’ve overmedicated kids. Quite frankly some of the overmedication of kids are because welfare moms want to get additional benefits and if they can put them on SSI through maintenance drugs, they can also put them on Social Security disability and get a separate check. That is wrong on every single level. Not only is it fraudulent to the government, but it also tells a kid with great potential, “don’t try because you’re disabled.”
2) Women Having Abortions Deprived the World of a HIV Cure
Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel, a legal group determined to defend religious conservatives from reality, said this week on his radio program that it is very likely that HIV/AIDS would have been cured if women weren’t having abortions:
Well, you know, there is probably a really good chance that whoever it was that was going to find the cure for AIDS … that person has already been slaughtered in the womb.
In other, less ridiculous news, we may be one step closer to an HIV cure.
3) “Awful Looking Women” To Blame for Marriage Decline, Men Drinking
This the wisdom of Christian Broadcasting Network chairman Pat Robertson speaking on the network’s “The 700 Club.”
Prompted by a story about a 17-year-old boy writing to Maxim magazine to ask how he could get his dad to pay more attention to his mom, Robertson declared:
A woman came to a preacher that I know, and she was awful looking. I mean, her hair was all torn up and she was overweight and looked terrible, clothes bad and everything. And she said, ‘Oh, Reverend, what can I do? My husband has started to drink.’ And the preacher looked at her and said, ‘Madam, if I was married to you I’d start to drink too.’ We need to cultivate romance, darling! … You always have to keep that spark of love alive. It just isn’t something to just lie there, ‘Well, I’m married to him so he’s got to take me slatternly looking.’ You’ve got to fix yourself up, look pretty.
Oh, sexism. Just charming.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this isn’t a first for the 82-year-old. In the past he’s “joked” about wife-beating and has blamed women for when their men have a roving eye.
4) Guru: Indian Rape Victim Has Herself to Blame
A woman brutally raped on a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16 was to blame for the gang rape that ultimately cost her her life, this according to India’s prominent Hindu leader guru Asaram Bapu.
The 71-year-old said in a video to his followers, “Those who were at fault [of the gang-rape] were drunk. Had she taken guru diksha and chanted the Saraswati Mantra, she would not have boarded any random bus after watching a movie with her boyfriend. Even if she did, she should have taken God’s name and asked for mercy.”
“She should have called them [her rapists] brothers, fallen at their feet and pleaded for mercy. Had she said, ‘I am a weak woman, you are my brothers,’ such brutality would not have happened.”
He also called the gang-rape an “error” that God could have prevented if only the victim had prayed.
This is a sentiment the gang’s lawyer also agreed with at trial, saying “respected” women don’t get raped.
This case has prompted an Indian government panel to recommend robust changes in law enforcement procedures to help protect women from this kind of violence.
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