Tom Corbett’s “Close Your Eyes” Comment Wasn’t That Offensive

Well, maybe it was. But the Republican war on women is so exhausting that I can't bother to feel enraged anymore.

There go the Republicans again—insulting women. In case you missed the most recent idiotic thing to come out of a GOP member’s mouth, on Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett insulted the female population by responding to  a question about a bill that would require ultrasounds for women seeking to have abortions. He said, “I don’t know how you make anybody watch, OK? Because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it’s on the exterior and not the interior.”

Sigh. Another week, another foot in the mouth of a powerful Republican leader.

As you may have already guessed: This didn’t go over so well with the liberals, the feminists, the Democrats and just about anyone else who has two brain cells to rub together.

On Friday, Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said the comment was taken out of context by liberals “trying to make this into a political issue instead of stating the facts.” Democrat Patrick Murphy called for Corbett to apologize for his statement. “It’s unthinkable that he would so casually dismiss this by advising women to just close their eyes,” Murphy said. “It’s not something we can just close our eyes and look the other way. And we certainly don’t want our governor to be treating women’s health care in that way either,” said U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz.

I agree with Murphy and Schwartz. Corbett said a stupid, offensive thing, and I hope he’s ashamed of himself. An apology would be appropriate and appreciated.

But I just can’t find the energy to work myself up into a lather over this. I’m disheartened about the future of American health care. A proud supporter of Planned Parenthood and an all-around fan of the ability to make my own choices about my own body, I am worried about what could happen to me if a Republican wins the presidential election. But you’ll have to excuse me if this latest idiotic example of Republican word vomit doesn’t have me pounding my chest and tearing out my hair in disgust and fury. With all the dumb things Republicans and their supporters have been saying about women, I’m feeling more exhausted than enraged.

Here’s a sampling—emphases mine:

“This contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s [so] inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” —Foster Freiss, Rick Santorum supporter, February 2012

“Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created—in the sense of rape—but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.” —Rick Santorum, January 2012

“What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. Can you imagine if you’re her parents how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope.” —Rush Limbaugh, February 2012

“”We are giving money to corrupt organizations like Planned Parenthood that are committing crimes and enabling young minor girls and covering up issues I don’t even want to talk about it because it is so disgusting.”  —Michele Bachmann, June 2011

All of these comments—Corbett’s included—disgust me on a variety of levels: personal, political, sociological, factual. But while I will continue to hope for an apology from Corbett and a complete change of heart from the Republican party, I’ll support politicians who don’t want to treat my body like some shameful science experiment. I’ll also continue to feel beaten down and exhausted by a party that wants to treat me like a second-class citizen. But I won’t get upset anymore. Because, frankly, getting worked up about these comments is a waste of energy. And I have a sneaking suspicion this won’t be the last time I hear something stupid come from the mouths of Republicans.