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50 Years of Frightened White Men, Today the Tea Parties

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Conservative American white men are terribly afraid these days. And rightly so.

They are finally starting to lose their power.

First of all, May 9, 2010, marked the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. On that date in 1960, the pill was approved for use in the U.S. by the Federal Drug Administration. And American women finally had control over our reproductive lives.

It was a turning point, to be sure.

Before the pill was available, a sexually active woman almost always faced the risk of pregnancy. And, prior to Roe v. Wade, a pregnant woman was forced to bear the child with or without the baby's father's financial or emotional support, or else seek a dangerous and illegal back-alley abortion.

For the men, however, there were no official consequences. And they got used to that.

Sowing their wild oats was what men were expected to do. If a woman did the same, she was labeled a slut and allegedly deserved the consequences.

These days, even in the 21st century, women who enjoy sex are still labeled as sluts by men (and even some women) who fear female sexual power. But the joke is now on the men who disrespect their female counterparts, because those men are looking more and more foolish in their whining as they lose more and more of their power in government, in business, and in the bedroom.

After all, we now have our third female U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who was also a serious candidate for President of this country.

And we now have our first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who is next in line for the Presidency after President Obama and Vice President Biden.

In the business world, statistics for the period from 1997 through 2006 showed that women-owned businesses grew at nearly twice the rate of all U.S. firms (42.3% vs. 23.3%).

The misogynistic right can't stand it. And so they resort to kindergarten-style sexist commentary, and sometimes bullying tactics.

Like the men who shouted, "Iron my shirt!" at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in 2008.

Like the House Republicans who preach that Speaker Pelosi should be put "in her place".

To these guys, I guess, a woman's place is still in the kitchen -- barefoot and pregnant, as they used to phrase it back in the day.

And I cringe when I think that this may be what they think is appropriate for their own daughters. Fortunately, however, their daughters today have choices and will hopefully be more open-minded about them. (I hold up the beautiful and open-minded Meghan McCain as a powerful example of conservative offspring gone modern.)

Meanwhile, it gets even worse for the bigoted and insecure American white man. After all, the 1960s also marked the height of the civil rights movement.

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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but the headline...well...I understand this site i... by Sherry Mann on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 8:57:09 AM
Sherri Mann: There is no substance (nothing) to di... by Frank Rommey on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:02:38 AM
While the author is certainly correct on many poin... by Philip Wood on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:07:03 AM
Let's just say my feminine side would happily lay ... by Sherry Mann on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:23:09 AM
Kudos, Mary Shaw, That little ol' pill sure worke... by Sabyl on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 12:43:51 PM
I went to look for the answer to your question (of... by Sherry Mann on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 1:15:16 PM
It's too bad that the alleged agony of childbirth ... by N B on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 9:17:43 PM
Women can have irresponsible sex, 40% of American ... by Dick Thomson on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 12:59:16 PM
And of course those women who have the 40% of babi... by Marie on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 12:19:09 AM
women are at fault. But "women's liberation" and t... by Dick Thomson on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 8:07:55 AM
Your reply is articulate and well-thought out. I a... by Marie on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11:22:08 AM
"Blessed are the peacemakers", as the good book sa... by Dick Thomson on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 6:52:53 PM
Sherry Mann said: "I am no great political analyst... by Frank Rommey on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 1:55:41 PM
What version of the Constitution do you have? I've... by Sherry Mann on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 3:16:01 PM
Clearly I was referring to:The 1790 Alien Naturali... by Frank Rommey on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 5:25:59 PM
Mary Shaw comments on only half of the TEA PARTY e... by Frank Rommey on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2:10:24 PM
I, for one, am not so sanguine as to believe a Wom... by Ishmael1 on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2:19:45 PM
...I am embracing the changes, because they will l... by ProgressiveBum on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2:39:34 PM
Once again that old bugaboo, patriarchy, raises it... by John Reed on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 3:47:16 PM
Mary, you might have explained the appeal of tea p... by Darren Wolfe on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 3:56:59 PM
First the Tea Party Movement was white racist, hom... by Sacceo on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 4:47:17 PM
Comment of a comment. This comment has been flagge... by Frank Rommey on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 5:02:24 PM
Pelosi and Clinton may as well be men, there is no... by MITYOJAB on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 8:34:27 PM
About the pill, abortions and such: Men have been ... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 9:09:20 PM
Bull's Eye as far as Whites are concerned within t... by syed mahdi on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 5:10:10 AM
But sexism is not the sole province of the politic... by Perry Logan on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 5:39:21 AM
and while I agree with you most of the time, you m... by Michael Morris on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 6:51:06 AM
deal with racism and sexist rhetoric. I think she ... by sommers on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 9:44:52 AM
I love it! You hit the nail directly on the head. ... by Roberta Seldon on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 6:39:42 AM