How the War on Women Ties Into the War on Islam
It’s been a strange few months for American women. Though we long ago grew accustomed to the Right’s regular attacks on our reproductive rights, the nature of this season’s assault has left many women nonplussed. While the debate over abortion makes a certain amount of sense, it strikes one as bizarrely medieval to go after contraception.
Why would the Right walk into a fight over something upon which 99% of American women rely? Are they actually trying to lose the women’s vote? If nothing else, it is extremely imprudent politics. What’s more, from the point of view of abortion prevention, it has long been a point around which both sides could agree: if you want fewer abortions, avoid unwanted pregnancies.
So the current uproar over contraceptive access, combined with the traditional right wing demand for abstinence only sex education, clearly puts the lie to the idea that the Right is primarily worried about the rights of unborn children. Rational analysis would lead to the conclusion that it’s really more about sexual morality.
“Ah ha!” you say, “They’re not about protecting the innocent, they’re about legislating morality, and enforcing religious norms!” Well, yes. That is absolutely true. No argument here. But could there be something else?
After all, why would the Right allow this kind of battle to break out at a time when they could be poised to regain the White House and the Senate? Why do something so incredibly self-destructive? I believe it goes much deeper than sexual morality. It’s about fear.
Just like their politically ill-advised attacks on immigrants, this war on women may be rooted in the most basic of human evolutionary biology: the need to survive, dominate and thrive. The Right these days is experiencing a type of psychosis, triggered by plain demographic reality. The United States is graying as the birth rate has hit an all-time low. Meanwhile, population growth in Islamic countries is supposedly on the rise. (Never mind that this is itself a myth, Americans, especially American Christians, believe it – and that’s all that matters.) And so we end up with the inevitable conclusion: we need more babies. More American babies.
In other words, if the Netherlands, and many other countries in Europe and around the world, manage to prevent abortions by preventing pregnancy, that is not considered an acceptable strategy, partially because the resulting low fertility rates allegedly leave such countries open to conquest by Muslim immigrants.
This hypothesis, sometimes awkwardly referred to as “Eurabia” (most Muslim immigrants, like most Muslims in general, are not Arab), has become a staple of right-wing rhetoric in the past decade……
Indeed, such fears are not only misplaced, they are comprehensively wrong across the board. The numbers regarding fertility and immigration patterns, as well as the social and political beliefs of many Muslims in Europe, do not even remotely support the hypothesis of people like Steyn, and yet their ideas have stuck in the minds of many. Anders Behring Breivik and the English Defence League share these concerns. Perhaps more importantly, so does the American Christian Right, the most bellicose demographic in America, and the same one responsible for the wave of legislation targeting contraception and abortion.
This is not to say that the war on women is entirely Islam – - but it is to say that the Right wants to see more babies, not fewer abortions; and part of the reason for that is that the wrong people are having babies.