It is a truth often told that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a giant douchebag. There's even a popular Facebook group to this effect, which clearly establishes the veracity of the douchebag accusation. 34,500+ people on the Internets can't be wrong!
Until recently, I knew one or two reasons to think of Walker as a bag designed to assist in a generally-unnecessary, pseudo-hygienic process. Then he signed over 50 bills on Holy Thursday and Good Friday (that's last Thursday and Friday, for the heathens) and it was as if the skies opened up and actually showered vinegary, Walker-scented douche upon the entire state of Wisconsin.
Actually, ladies, he's worse than Summer's Eve; this guy is the fetid tampon threatening all of Wisconsin with a gnarly case of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Why? Why, you ask? Well, I'm here to tell you. I'm not happy to tell you, but I'mma give you the goods.
Due to space considerations and also the fact that I don't actually want to make your heads explode at your desks, we will ignore, for the moment, his anti-union shenanigans. Feel free to read about this aspect of his douchery at your leisure, for it is potent and highly acidic.
Now: on to his more recent bullshit. As in last Thursday and Friday. As in days when many folks in Wisconsin and around our great nation had already taken off for the holiday weekend, for to celebrate a pleasant hippie zombie and/or the creepy, not-at-all-David Boreanaz-esque Angel who passed o'er Egypt and slew all the firstborns (kind of like how on "A Game of Thrones" they're slaying all of that one dead king's bastards? Except not? OK.)
But while you and your bubbe were preparing to leave a chair empty for Elijah and get crunk on cough syrup masquerading as wine, Scott Walker was busy SLAYING THE RIGHTS OF LADIES TO MAKE THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY AS DUDES.
Here is an informative Amanda Terkel (heart her)-penned blockquote for you to read while I try not to set things on fire:
A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill.
The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court.
Now let's take a moment here to play Satan's Defendant. "But Sara," you may say, "he was doing what the state Senate and Assembly had already done by signing a pre-approved bill into law. These folks are the elected representatives of the people of Wisconsin. He's obeying what are presumably the wishes of the people."
To which I say, "OK, I buy the first part of your argument. But not the second. Because it turns out that in Wisconsin, ladies only make 75 cents on the dude-dollar. And we can assume that of the approximately 5,694,236 folks who live in Wisconsin, around half are ladies. And we can assume that unless they are awful -- which most people from Wisconsin are not, as they are notoriously friendly and enjoyable humans regardless of political persuasion -- the ladies old enough to understand the concept of "work" probably want to make as much cashola as their penis-equipped counterparts right? And if they are denied that right by a stingy employer, they probably want to be able to complain about it and get justice done, right? Right?! What the FUCK is going on with Republicans all over this fucking country this year?!?!?!?!"
OH BUT WAIT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE.
Because guess what else Scott Walker did last week? Why, sign three more bills pissing all over women's health and happiness, of course!
The first bill bans abortion coverage through policies obtained through a health insurance exchange, set to be created under the federal health care reform law starting in 2014. The only exceptions would be in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity.
The exchanges are meant to be a marketplace for small businesses and individuals to shop for health insurance coverage.
This means that in Wisconsin, self-employed women like me (and a ton of your other XOJane writers, and maybe also you!) effectively wouldn't even have the option of purchasing health insurance that covers most abortions. Now, the reason Scott Walker was able to sign such a thing into law in the first place is that, under Obamacare (a thing that I mostly love very much), states would retain the right to ban abortion coverage among plans offered in their respective health insurance exchanges.
This is how I feel about this: a;ldksja;lskfj;lasdkj;fljasljdf. Especially in the context of the anti-equal-pay bill he signed, and (freaking and!) this piece of work:
The second bill requires a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an exam and consult with a doctor alone, away from her friends and family. The doctor must determine whether someone is pressuring the woman into the procedure. Doctors who break the law could be charged with a felony.
So suddenly doctors are endowed with magical powers that enable them to determine the nature of a woman's motivation for obtaining a legal medical procedure? Will doctors also be required to figure out whether a lady is being coerced into having a baby she doesn't want?!? By all means, let's give doctors the power to control our reproductive choices as they see fit.
Also, the decision to have an abortion is maybe kind of a huge deal for some people, and it can be scary and upsetting and guilt-inducing and many other things, and it might help a woman to have a supportive friend or relative to hold her hand or just bear silent witness during a consultation with a doc?
Wisconsin is home to over 1.1 million women of reproductive age, all of whom are affected by the previous shittastic bills. And some of them will also be affected by this doozy:
The sex education bill requires teachers in schools that offer sex education to stress abstinence as the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The bill also declares that sex education teachers do not have to address contraception. That's a dramatic shift from current state law, which requires teachers to instruct students on birth control options.
So, little girl, here's one potential future in Scott Walker's Wisconsin: Learn nothing about contraception in school, start having sex, get a job in a small business where your boss doesn't pay you the same wage as your male co-worker, realize you've got zero legal recourse to deal with that fact, then realize the drunken stupid sex you had on a recent date has resulted in a pregnancy you can't really afford to terminate because your health insurance doesn't cover abortions, decide to put it on your credit card (which is nearly maxed out because, remember, you make 75 cents to your male coworker's dollar), make an appointment, and bring your supportive friend who isn't even allowed to come into the exam room with you.
Oh, and by the way? The gynecologist you're seeing isn't going to give you a referral for an abortion provider, because he thinks abortion is wrong. He's going to insist your friend is coercing you, because last week Scott Walker gave him the right to do that.
Excuse me while I try to choose between punching a wall and setting something on fire.