Aiming to highlight the hypocrisy of forcing women to mold their sexual behaviors to follow Christian ideology, Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar (D) last week introduced a bill that would fine men for masturbating and require counseling before they can acquire a prescription for Viagra.
The cleverly-worded bill would mandate a $100 civil penalty for “masturbatory emissions” outside of a woman’s vagina or a hospital, regarding each act as “an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life.”
Just as bills restricting access to birth control and abortion send the message to women that they should only be having sex if they want children, this bill (satirically) tells men the very same thing. Texas HB 4260 follows a similar, bill introduced in Kentucky last month that would require the married men of Kentucky to obtain the consent of their wives before purchasing Viagra. Men in Kentucky would not only have to be married, but also visit a doctor twice before being prescribed medication for erectile dysfunction.
Both bills’ requirement for spousal consent to obtain Viagra parallels recent very serious legislation in Arkansas and Oklahoma requiring consent of a woman’s male partner in order to have an abortion, which essentially asserts that women and their bodies are the property of their partners.
Farrar has made it clear that two wrongs don’t make a right, and HB 4260 is strictly “satirical.” But, she notes in a Saturday Facebook post that while it may be comedic, “there is nothing funny about current health care restrictions for women and the very real legislation that is proposed every legislative session.”
— Marimar Miguel (@MarimarMiguelTX) March 11, 2017
Referring to a recent influx of bills rendering abortion geographically, economically, and legally inaccessible to women — whether it be through forced traveling fees, waiting periods that render the procedure more expensive, costly fetal burial requirements, or bans on abortion prior to fetal viability — she continued:
“Women are not laughing at state-imposed regulations and obstacles that interfere with their ability to legally access safe healthcare, and subject them to fake science and medically unnecessary procedures. Texans deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect when making healthcare decisions, regardless of their gender.”
— Jessica Farrar (@JFarrarDist148) March 11, 2017
As Farrar points out in her Facebook post, there needs to be discussion of the discriminatory nature of restrictions on women’s healthcare. Hopefully, attempts to distribute this discrimination more evenly, whether serious or not, will help to finally move the dialogue around women’s rights forward.
Featured image: Jessica Farrar (harrisdemocrats.com)