Daniel Tilson: Florida men can't let Legislature overpower women

As a Florida man “of a certain age” with a wife and two daughters, I’m sick and tired of pandering politicians putting so many of our beloved women at risk every year during the state’s 60-day legislative session.

I’m fed up with ambitious elected ideologues and wannabes talking tough about protecting individual liberty and personal freedom – except for the freedom and liberty of the women in our lives. I believe you call that hypocrisy; blatant hypocrisy, to be more accurate.

We’ll have several or more examples of that on display in the 2015 edition of the Florida Legislature kicking off this week. Senate Bill 724 and House Bill 633 represent a double-barreled assault on women’s reproductive rights. These companion bills being “fast-tracked” for passage are about nothing more than conservative Republicans bowing to their Christian evangelical base. That, and imposing their will, power and dominance over Florida women.

If passed, SB 724 and HB 633 would force pregnant women who’ve already decided in concert with their physicians and loved ones to terminate their pregnancy, women who’ve already been forced by “big government” to get an extra ultrasound test and “counseling” (thanks to the 2011 Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott), to undergo an extra “delay” before being allowed to do what they’ve chosen to do with their own bodies.

Then there’s HB 247, which seeks to make abortion outright illegal, even in cases of rape or profound fetal abnormality.

Would you Florida men ever in a million years put up with those kinds of restrictions on your own personal reproductive rights? How about being forced to undergo an extra series of tests, counseling sessions and delays in the event you want a vasectomy?

We all know the answers to those questions.

It seems clear to me that beyond pandering to evangelical leaders and Christian conservative voters, the political hacks responsible for this garbage are also pandering to the sick societal trend of threatening women, proving that they’re still somehow second class citizens.

You don’t believe the BS being shoveled so brazenly by these elected hypocrites is setting a terrible tone, perpetuating a deep-rooted problem, and facilitating the manifestation of symptoms such as domestic violence and sexual assault on women and girls?

I do.

Consider the “garbage-in-garbage out” theory. When politicians in power feed young men this kind of power-over-women crap, it makes it easier for young men to rationalize some very bad behavior towards women. Just as with the worst of misogynistic video games, movies, TV, online content, music and more, bad actors in government can do damage on a deeper level than you might have thought.

Thing of it is, that other garbage is all about private, profit-driven manipulation and exploitation of young men. It’s sickening and destructive, but it’s all about money.

Government, on the other hand, is all about public, not-for-profit management and administration of needed services and programs for the general public…or so I hear. Legislating subservience of women is not a public service. It’s a public enemy, a public threat, a disgrace.

And so we Florida men have to show some leadership. We have to stand up to the politicians and preachers. We have to help protect the rights of the women we love. We men of that certain age, we have to throw out the legislative garbage and set a good example for teenaged boys and young men. And we have to protect the freedoms, liberty and reproductive rights of all the women we hold so dear.


Daniel Tilson has a Boca Raton-based communications firm called Full Cup Media, specializing in online video and written content for non-profits, political candidates and organizations, and small businesses. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Daniel Tilson


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