I had never heard the saying “nanny state” until last week. It isn’t that I never listen to Fox News. There have been times when the television at a waiting area has Fox playing. I generally gauge the length of time I have to wait and either wait or cancel and go. I hate to sound prejudiced, but I waited at a doctor’s office where Fox New was blasting intolerance and had borderline high blood pressure 20 minutes later.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a hard time listening to liberal intolerance, too. I rarely think Newt is right, but when he decried rigid thinking on the conservative end as well as the liberal, I found myself nodding agreement. It will probably be his last moderate statement since he started a firestorm with the assertion.
Nanny state was used in a video I watched last week and I had to look up what the words mean. The phrase, usually used by conservatives, applies to anything that protects the environment, health, or welfare of the American people.
For example, we have the most obese nation in the world. We also have a malnourished population despite the fact that food stamps are available to many. It’s been proposed that food stamps not be used to purchase chips, soft drinks, twinkies and other high fat/sugar laden treats. The discussion ends abruptly with the accusation that we are a nanny state. Revised guidelines to the school lunch program result in similar accusations.
In Texas, we openly defy the EPA pollution standards. Why? They are also part of the nanny state. And God forbid that we give the babies we save from abortion a clean environment!
The video where the words were used showed one of our few Texas women legislators, Senfronia Thompson, who called the Texas Civil Justice League to task for a flyer that showed a baby nursing at a woman’s breast. The caption referred to legislation that would turn Texas into a “nanny state.”
Keep in mind that this flyer was passing around the Texas legislature which a few years ago wanted to limit a mother’s rights to breast feed her baby in public. It’s disgusting when a real mom wants to feed her real baby, but it’s okay to paper the Texas House with photos of breast feeding? Let me know if you figure it out.
As a woman who has gone along to get along for too much of her life, I am so grateful for women who are willing to call out the misogynist creeps of the world. It is in sobriety that I’ve learned that silence is agreement and that people pleasing leaves a bitter taste in my conscience. It isn’t the thought that counts. It’s the action.
Hurray for the women who do speak out and the folks who support them.