Honor Thy Mother

Mar 27 • NEWS & VIEWS, ViewsNo Comments on Honor Thy Mother

I didn’t see commissioner Jason Thompson spit on at the Riverfront Park rally on Thursday, March 15th, held to protest the county commissioners’ March 12th vote to reject contraceptive funding. I heard a woman offer facts about women’s health care. Mr. Thompson’s response was abrupt, condescending, dismissive. The articulate gray-haired woman could have been Jason’s mother.

Commissioner Thompson’s verbal smackdown distracted me. Not just that: It’s politicians bringing women’s health care issues from the doctor’s office, through the pulpit, by way of the 11th century, to today’s public forum. (Education, energy, economy, employment, all solved?) It’s the theocracy-driven effort against Roe v. Wade. It’s opposition to universal health care that would clearly be a boon to women. Women on average earn less than men and carry the burden of primary parent and part-time employee—with associated part-time health and retirement benefits. It’s a panel of Congress“men” silencing a woman. Should we listen to generals when fighting wars, but turn a deaf ear to women when fighting unplanned pregnancies? It’s years of Rush Limbaugh’s blatant misogyny.

I’m no radical feminist—whatever that is. If women held 90 percent of the world’s corporate, religious, political and military leadership spots, our hells might smell better, but they would still be hot. Imbalance fuels their fires.

Still, I figure I better ask my questions before next week’s re-vote, and before the county commissioners approve a witch-burning statute.

Why do women vote GOP?

Beneath family-values’ rhetoric are policies that systemically hurt 99 percent of families, send children to war, and enslave women. Does the GOP have a form of VD? (A debilitating phobia rooted in the old myth of “Vagina Dentata”—vagina with teeth; the more power women have the more Viagra men need to keep up. They fear women.) Members of this party frequently prove they can’t govern their own penises. (In this sense, many men have at one time been members of this GOP and may even have slight or untreated cases of VD.)

Why do women vote for any man?

We don’t typically have your interests in mind when we work, play or lie next to you. Few of us know whether you’re going or coming. Most of us don’t care. Good for us is good enough. Although I believe Commissioner Barfield, the last true “abstinence guy” I saw was laid out at Andrews Mortuary. He was still stiff. It’s mostly true that bad boys really are bad and good ol’ boys are worse.

Should women resurrect the old goddesses? Maybe this Easter it’s time to resurrect Demeter and Athena, and pray their fertility and wisdom balance Zeus and Ares’ capriciousness and aggression. Women fare poorly in monotheistic myths. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are male. The ever-obedient Virgin Mary carries a teen-pregnancy to term so she can watch her son crucified. Mary Magdalene is fit to wash Jesus’ feet with oil and tears, but not be his equal “partner.” Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt. Eve is blamed for the fall of man. The Koran is worse. Need we ask why so many men have “God complexes” and so few women have true hero roles in literature and Hollywood?

Many of our male politicians advance “Will of God” arguments to explain their ambition. Suppose, when they were 15 years old, Gabriel asked these sons of Narcissus to carry this coitus-free teen pregnancy to term, raise the son of God on a carpenter’s wages, and watch him crucified? “Thy will be done?”

Yeah, right.

It’s really “honor thy father and abandon thy mother,” isn’t it? Maybe it’s or. Maybe we get to choose which parent to honor, to glorify. It can’t be honor thy father and mother. Otherwise, Mr. Thompson wouldn’t have verbally smacked down a wizened elder woman of the tribe. Otherwise, these questions wouldn’t burn my soul.

I’m going to visit my mom at her nursing rehab. She’s no wizened elder. She’s a high priestess of chaos, goddess of confusion. Sometimes she remembers me; her flawed faithless son, an oarsman on Charon’s ferry. A son who will help row her to the other shore, like he helped row his father. A son who will honor her when others abandon her.

And I remember her. Honor thy mother.

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