... and Mike Huckabee's genitalia.
"We can help you find just the right gift for that little woman," the Albia radio station announcer said not long before Christmas, overheard while driving around town. He was reading a home-grown advertisement for a jewelry store and golly, for a minute there it seemed like instant transport right back into the 1950s.
I mean, how long has it been since you've heard the female half of humanity referred to collectively as "the little woman?" Except by some Republican men, of course, on a fairly routine basis.
Take Republican Mike Huckabee, for example, portly failed presidential candidate from Arkansas and Southern Baptist preacher turned right-wing pundit.
In all fairness to Huckabee, he really wasn't suggesting in comments last week regarding "Uncle Sugar" and women's libido that women couldn't control theirs. It just sounded that way to some, primarily because the statement was not well thought out or carefully phrased.
What he actually was trying to do was shift the conversation about mandated insurance coverage for contraceptive devices away from the health-care needs of women and back to sex and the implication that all those "little women" are the aggressors, triggering the raging hormones of helpless males like Huckabee, held hostage by their genitalia.
No mention of the health-care benefits of contraceptives beyond the prevention of unwanted or hazardous pregnancies. To Huckabee's way of thinking, those lusty women are entirely capable of controlling their libidos, if they really cared to, thus sparing the weaker male sex the trauma of unwanted fatherhood. All that's required is effort --- not insurance.
And then there was that poor woman down in Texas --- and her family. Killed most likely by a blod clot, Marlise Munoz's remains were hooked up to "life-support" devices at a Texas hospital because she was some 20 weeks pregnant --- as required by state law.
The implication here is that, in Texas at least, once an egg has been fertilized the mother's body --- dead or alive --- has value primarily as an incubator, regulated by the state legislature.
In the end, after doctors had concluded the fetus was not viable and in fact so badly deformed it was impossible to determine for sure the sex of the infant it might have developed into, it took a judge to order the hospital to free the woman and her family.
Women, due principally to their own efforts, certainly have claimed a good deal of territory in recent years, but obviously not enough.