[Content Note: Reproductive rights; ableism.]
Related to this previous thought about the efficacy of contraception as a wedge issue, I'm also seeing a lot of variations on the argument that conservatives' attack on contraception is really exposing their grody retrofuck attitudes about sex and/or women.
And I keep wondering: Exposing it to whom?
Are there people who really don't know or understand that a significant segment of the US' rightwing are deeply hostile to notions of consent, autonomy, and choice? Are undeterrably anti-choice? Are of the fervent belief that women's primary function is babymaking?
It is my estimation that pretty much everyone already knows that. The problem that led us to this moment is not ignorance; the problem is that the vast majority of the people who don't share the extremists' view did not take them seriously, and did not view this assault on reproductive rights—including contraception—as a logical outgrowth of an extreme anti-choice and anti-feminist position, but instead dismissed it out of hand with smug ableism: They're crazy. They're wackos. They're nutbags. They're batshit nuts. They're the lunatic fringe.
Nope. They're very rational, patient, determined, and methodical actors, who have been quietly waging war on reproductive rights in state legislatures for decades.
They're not insane. They're cruel and they're wrong.
They're also very well-funded, and happy to be ignored, dismissed as maniacs, so they can toil away in the blessed darkness of inattention.
They're also, by the way, extremely appreciative that feminist critics sounding the alarm have been similarly dismissed as paranoid hysterics, as well.
What is being exposed is not their attitude. What is being exposed is their influence—and the regrettable ways in which progressives have actually abetted it.