The Honorable Republican woman

By Ann Ivins

Being born a woman (albeit a “natural” and therefore conservatively acceptable one), the prospect of joining a club in which my functions would be limited to possible figurehead, full-time cook and designated dicksucker* baby machine has consistently failed to seduce me. Short version: I’ve never been tempted to become a Republican. It’s difficult to imagine that any female could ignore the patriarchal worldview that is the GOP, no matter how terrifying crime and the shaky economy are… and yet self-identified Republican women exist and thrive here in the steamy crotch of the Bible Belt. I see the bumper stickers in the preschool parking lot. I hear the conversations everywhere from Neiman-Marcus to Target. Several of my friends and acquaintances have an elephant in their closets.  Hell, I love and trust one enough to leave my daughter (Her Majesty in the picture there) with her at least once a week, more often if her grandfather can wheedle hard enough.

Very few of these women have horns or an aura of deadly evil about them (although most could do with fewer shiny silver accessories) but they do seem to have one quality in common: an astonishing ability to ignore the inconvenient, troubling or just plain icky.  Well, damn it, I can do that, too. Maybe I’m missing something here. As a woman, wife and mother living in the Lone Star State, I decided to examine the latest GOP platform to discover exactly how I could become an Honorable Texas Republican, Female.

First I’d have to join up. Fortunately for my conservative prospects, I’m already a white, heterosexual, middle-class stay-at-home-mom and former schoolteacher who co-owns a house, pays her taxes and wears a wedding ring (when it’s not lost in the wash). As long as no one asks about religion or Googles me, I should be good to GOP, baby.

To be on the safe side, though,  my husband and I would need to go back and renew our vows in the form of a covenant marriage, in which I would acknowledge him as the head of our family, he would accept the job title and we would then agree to flay ourselves alive before even contemplating divorce.  In a perfect Texas Republican world, covenants would be recognized by the state as a distinct and superior form of matrimony, which would absolutely not mean the government was “changing the definition of marriage” and would in no way mirror the dastardly machinations of The Homosexual Agenda.

Speaking of those who would “tear at the fabric of society, contribute to the breakdown of the family unit, and lead to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases,” I can only assume that an honorable Republican woman would refuse to support not only their agenda but individual homosexuals themselves.  As a Republican woman, I will join my stalwart sisters in boycotting any business which employs, contracts with or sells the services or products of gay hair stylists, makeup artists, interior decorators, florists, clothing designers or wedding planners and yes, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, I will not join a woman’s softball league… although sweatpants and baseball caps may well be my only remaining sartorial options. Come to think of it, where am I going to get my hair done? I’ll have to ask my conservative mother-in-law; her colorist Sergio knows everyone in town.

Finally, I will forget all of the terrifying experiences of being pregnant: waiting for the results of an amniocentesis, experiencing symptoms which could be utterly harmless or the sign of something devastatingly wrong, feeling the life inside move, then stop moving for what must be far too long, watching the baby’s heart monitor suddenly falter during labor, the constant subliminal mantra of “healthy, only healthy, that’s all, just healthy, oh please” which lasts for forty weeks and then some. None of this will matter to me any longer, for should I again become pregnant, none of these situations will carry any momentous, heart-wrenching decisions for me to make. If the baby will live outside me for only a few agonizing hours, so be it. If a human being comes into this world missing half a brain, so be it. If one or both of us die during a labor which could have been selfishly avoided, so be it. My decisions will have already been made by God, the state and the fundamental Christian values upon which this nation was founded. No choices, no worries.

And if by some unthinkable chance my daughter, flesh of my flesh and owner of my heart, the whirlwind angel whose very picture can twist my worst day into something glad and good, should be violated, made pregnant, put at risk of health and sanity and what’s left of her innocence by the political decisions of people who will never, ever face any part of that horror themselves… I can explain God’s plan to her, too. What a relief that will be.

Sign me up.

*see “The Honorable Republican from Texas”

12 replies »

  1. When I was living in Georgia and struggling to be a more ideal wife (in another life), I used to wonder whether I could suck it up (in the metaphysical sense) and become a Southern Baptist (GOP would have only been a short hop away). I thought, “It would make my life SO much easier.” I could have joyously embraced my housekeeping, felt nothing but happy acceptance at the financial inequality in my marriage, and gladly moved to where ever my “servant leader” chose to move to advance his career as often as he chose to move. I could have given up my “career” in favor of taking work that brought in such wages as he thought suitable.

    Even though I knew I could not ever do that, I struggled with the thought because I just couldn’t figure out how to put the pieces together otherwise. Funny, theology did not enter into my thinking, just the external trappings of the life.

    I really appreciate your take on “covenants would be recognized by the state as a distinct and superior form of matrimony, which would absolutely not mean the government was ‘changing the definition of marriage.’” Every time I hear “covenant marriage,” my brain starts to pull away from my skull (in the same way it does when I hear discordant jazz). Now I know why–I just never put it as succinctly as you just did: it does create a 2-tiered marriage system in which “covenant” marriages are superior to regular church or civil marriages in legal senses. Hmm, something to think about.

    Great piece.

  2. an astonishing ability to ignore the inconvenient, troubling or just plain icky

    Ignorance is ignoring’s enabler. (Or vice versa.)

  3. You’re only thinking of yourself, Ann. Think of your husband. If you take on the classic GOP-woman role, this frees him up to chase women (or boys) to his heart’s content without having to worry about consequences like us poor Democratic males would. Don’t you think it’s a little selfish on your part? (I intended this as high irony, hopefully it reads that way.)

    Also, are you sure Coulter, Cheney and that other woman who’s name I can never remember don’t have horns?

  4. I think I was a baptist once. I know I was on their softball team, until they traded me to the methodists for a shortstop and a six pack of Mello Yello. I’m glad you’re on our team.

  5. I was a Lutheran once. When I was about ten, I asked why women couldn’t preach. Because, I was told, it was wrong for women to teach the word of God to men. I didn’t understand why God was okay with women teaching Sunday School to little-bitty pint-sized not-grown men but not with women teaching full-grown men. I think that’s when I gave up religion and became an Uppity Woman.

  6. Any person that gets married thinking that they are not thier partners designated clitlicker or dicksucker should renounce the position in writting leaving the position open for tryouts. In my commited relationship, it says right in the description “designated clit tickler”. Signed, sealed, delivered baby, I’m yours! The Honorable Wife would be, of course, forced by an asshole, but she could have moved north, or west. Probably honoring her kin through god worship, staying connected to the roots?

  7. Women cannot be priests because they “cannot manifest Christ on the altar.”

    i.e. no male genitals.