The Lovely goes nuclear 

Let's talk about sex. Though The Observer is a happy-go-lucky sort, not prone to being dragged into the hog wallow of political squabbling, we've watched — first with bemusement, and then with growing horror when we realized they were serious — the kerfuffle on the Right over issues that we thought we had agreed to settle already for everyone's communal good: specifically, women's access to birth control, and that a woman who desires to take The Pill isn't a trollop. Being one of that benighted sub-species known as "men," The Observer has sweated over birth control a time or three in our day, the specifics of which we won't get into. The simple, biological fact of the matter, though, is that womenfolk have a lot more on the line (as in: their health and future) when it comes to makin' with the love. Given those stakes, we tend to believe that anything a woman wants to do to prevent pregnancy — from making her beau wear a full-body moonsuit, to dancing a hoodoo ritual around a bonfire made from old copies of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" — is fine and dandy. With nine months of feeling like you swallowed a medicine ball, the agony of childbirth, and a lifetime of stretch marks on the line, who the hell is some club-swinger like us to tell any woman what she can do in that regard? As The Observer's dear ol' Dad used to say: "That's my belief, and to hell with yours."

We read with a smile, therefore, the editorial that appeared this week in that Paper of Record of the Ozarks, The Lovely County Citizen. Published in Eureka Springs, The Lovely County Citizen might be our favorite surviving newspaper in Arkansas (other than our home port here at the Arkansas Times, of course), packed as it is week-to-week with good-natured small-town kookery (in this week's issue, for example, they've got the dirt on a case of public urination on a hotel ice machine, and a group of banjo players — as in a group of congregated banjo players — being asked to tone it down while playing at three in the morning). The Police Beat column is a favorite of ours in particular. Our favorite of the favorite? An item a few years back in which officers responded to a call about a deer struck by a car. "When they got there," the item said, "the deer was gone. The sad kind of gone."

Back to that editorial, though: Former Eureka Springs Mayor Dani Joy took to The Lovely to talk about the issue of reproductive freedom, and did it up right. "When I became mayor of Eureka Springs, I heard over and over I should be home birthing babies and baking cookies," she wrote. "I was told I couldn't make a reasonable decision for the city because I was a woman. I never did make a decision with my vagina." She goes on to decry the "War on Women," and reminds candidates that women vote. It's only at the end, however, that she brings up The Nuclear Option, something that should put a hitch in the boxers of any hetero man, no matter what his political persuasion:

"In the meantime, I have an idea," Joy writes. "Since it appears to be really important to a few men to dictate the reproductive activities of all women, perhaps we should take this one step further. Maybe it's time all women just stopped having sex altogether. I'm sure the men would understand."

We read a play about that once, a little Greek gem called "Lysistrata." Our classical education aside, surely she doesn't mean "all women" as in "all women." Cut off Rush Limbaugh's water to your heart's content, ladies, but can't us fine, upstanding libs get a pass?


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