Behold, our lawmakers.
It's something of an understatement to say that the people in charge have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Especially when it comes to making important decisions about women's bodies, because as the record shows time and time again, many of them have evidently never even met a woman before. Even if they happen to be women. For example ...
In 2013, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg of Texas was outlining a proposal to restrict abortion rights when another representative suggested an amendment which exempted victims of rape and incest from the measures. Laubenberg responded by saying that this wasn't necessary because the rape kits that'd be administered to these individuals (for the purposes of gathering evidence of sexual assault) were, unbeknownst to everyone, pulling double duty as vagina valets.
"In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out, basically like a D and C [dilation and curettage, a type of surgery often performed after miscarriages]."
Laubenberg then compared the kit -- which, again, is used to help catch rapists -- to an abortion, which handily illustrates her convictions both to her faith and to being an abysmal human being. In the aftermath of her gaffe, she clarified her remarks by saying that duh, rape kits don't work that way and aren't equivalent to abortions, and that she only said they were because she was feeling rushed by her opponent. It's a bold strategy, admitting you're an idiot to throw off accusations that you're a different type of idiot. Let's see whether it paid off.
Oh, she subsequently refused to allow discussion of any more amendments to her bill, which wound up passing and causing misery to untold numbers of women. On the plus side, it's going to be hard to top this level of idiocy.
Back in 1995, Henry Aldridge was in a committee hearing about whether to eliminate funding for abortion programs (a hearing that still continues to this day and will forever), when he unveiled that he'd cracked the code of rape legitimacy. But ... how? Ask the victim? Ask the police? No and no. He'd made a checklist.
"The facts show that people who are raped -- who are truly raped -- the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever."
Wow, that's an extensive checklist, and thank you for your follow-up comments (made after everyone lost their minds) about how anyone who gets pregnant as a result of rape must've shown "a little cooperation." Please tell us more, including how you arrived at these conclusions, considering that medical authorities sure as heck don't agree with you. Wait, he's dead. (Oh no?) In that case, we'd like to field that question to Todd Akin, he of the infamous "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Whitney Curtis/Getty Images
Behold, our lawmakers.
Immediately after the invention of the ski jump in 1809, old-timey doctors began panicking about how the stresses and strains of the sport were so harsh that any women who partook risked depleting their energy to the extent that their internal organs would fly loose, thus resulting in their uteri splatooning on the slope like a jelly balloon.
As a result, women were banned from competing in the inaugural ski jump event at the first Winter Olympics in 1924 ... and then again in 1928 ... and then again in 1932 ... and again in- actually, we're going to skip head a little. They were banned until 2014, aka "two-thousand-and-goddamn-fourteen," aka "way too recently," aka "when we really should have known better."
Lars Baron/Getty Images
Earlier this year, the Maine legislature passed a bill giving female prisoners access to free and unlimited tampons, sanitary pads, and menstrual cups. Which makes sense. As anyone who has ever watched Jurassic Park knows, it's not as if nature stops finding a way because of a few bars.
To lawmaker Richard Pickett, however, this bill was tantamount to building the inmates a whole country club just for their vaginas:
"Quite frankly, and I don't mean this in any disrespect, the jail system and the correctional system was never meant to be a country club. They have a right to have these, and they have them. If that wasn't the case, then I would be supporting the motion, but they do."
Country clubs. You know, those places that famously offer guests an exhaustive selection of feminine hygiene products in the lobby and bar areas, all lavishly displayed on the finest silverware.
After a solid round of mockery, it was brought to Pickett's attention that while prisoners do have access to feminine hygiene products at their prison commissaries, they're only ever sold at massively inflated prices, meaning that inmates frequently have to choose between menstrual products, calling their attorney/family, and going without (which means stuffing their underwear with absorbent materials like tissue paper or socks). It's not recorded what Pickett's reaction to this was, but we're guessing it was something along the lines of "Socks? What is this, a yacht club?"
On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. The preparations for this momentous occasion were, as you can probably guess, a whole new adventure for NASA, which had gotten pretty used to sending only dudes into the vast yonder by this point. This meant they had to figure out what a female astronaut needed in her equipment stash. They ... they did their best. According to one profile:
[During preparations] tampons were packed with their strings connecting them, like a strip of sausages, so they wouldn't float away. Engineers asked Ride, "Is 100 the right number?" She would be in space for a week. "That would not be the right number," she told them.
If you or a loved one are using an average of 14 tampons every day, please seek help from a medical professional. You are not having your period; you have been savaged by a chainsaw.
For more, check out If Women's Medication Ads Gained Self-Awareness:
Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.
Follow us on Facebook. Girl power.