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Change The Gender of The Face, It’s Still A War Against Women

Change The Gender of The Face, It’s Still A War Against Women

Full confession — sometimes I wish I were a conservative so that I could run for office. I will credit the Republicans for their tireless ability to promote women in politics. In fact, they are so enthusiastic about it that the lack of women in congress in many ways is less a sign that people won’t support women in politics than the fact that there are so few women who identify as Republican, and Democrats are much less supportive when women run for office.

So why do Republicans like women holding office so much more?  It’s simple public relations — having a female politician promote legislation that is increasingly harmful to families, the poor, anti-education, anti-elderly and anti-woman makes the message softer and easier to accept.  After all, it can’t be that bad, can it?  There’s a woman advocating for it.

It’s a trend I noticed often in state politics here in Minnesota.  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann got her start as the Republican woman who pushed every anti-choice, anti-GLBT anti-public school bill in the legislature.  It was another local Republican woman who rallied for the right to conceal and carry guns in our state — after all, if a mom thinks it’s safe, who are we to argue.  The Republican women were the ones sponsoring cuts to the health care system for the poor, or to try and get teachers into performance based pay while shutting down schools in the cities.  If you had unpopular legislation that went against the grain of the good, socially conscious, primarily progressive voters of Minnesota, you always wanted it introduced by a woman.

This is no doubt the impetus behind the national Republican party’s new “I am a Republican woman” campaign.  The GOP has asked their new female freshman to speak out on how good their policies are for the women of America, trying to combat those who are seeing that their agenda is nothing more than a war on women, especially poor women and single women.  The theory appears to be that since there are women who support their agenda, that means their agenda can’t be anti-woman.

So how is that working out for them?

As Jess McIntosh at EMILY’S List explains: “I think Republicans are attempting to replicate the success that Democratic women have had in the Senate. Those ladies are among the most effective messengers we have in Congress today, and it’s quite powerful when they speak as a bloc. But one of the reasons why that was so powerful is because it was women standing up to the anti-woman policies of a party of men. That’s compelling. Women speaking on behalf of the anti-woman policies of a party of men just doesn’t deliver the same punch.”

Still, it’s not stopping them from trying.  New Republican Representative Kristi Noem from South Dakota states, “The Republican agenda is indeed pro-woman. It is pro-woman because it is pro-small business, pro-entrepreneur, pro-family and pro-economic growth.”  And other Republican women are claiming they are pro-woman for wanting to change Medicare into a voucher program to “make it last,” that they won’t let teachers have bargaining rights because it raises taxes on families, despite the fact that most teachers are women and need economic security, too.

But if you take each argument one by one, you realize it doesn’t ring true.  “Pro-business” has to be about more than tax cuts, it’s about wanting an educated workforce, one that gets paid a wage it can live on and has sick pay in order to not lose a job due to a personal or family illness.  Turnover and retraining costs businesses far more than paying living wages do over the long run.  Pro-business is also trying to manage and reduce health care costs, one of the greatest expenses a company faces, something Republicans are fighting tooth and nail.  Republicans are more interested in seeing business owners, and especially share holders, retain their massive profits than make real economic growth that would improve the jobs climate.

And being pro-family is about more than just not letting women have abortions.  It’s about allowing families to decide when to have children and how large their families should be, and giving them the means to support those children, through a healthy job market, with early education, with child care assistance, access to affordable health care and affordable college so they too can become productive members of society and raise their own families if they choose.  Denying assistance to those who need it and leaving them to flounder, and denying access to affordable birth control so families can decide how to best thrive, those are not pro-family policies.

Despite having women promote it, the Republican party is still pushing bad policy, and policy that is especially hurtful to women. That fact doesn’t change regardless of the gender of the face delivering it.
Photo credit: PeacoToons

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40 comments

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9:25PM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

These arguments make so much sense, it's frightening. My only question is how can repub women turn on their sisters? Women are oppressed the world over, and we must stand together so that women have the same equal human rights as males -- it is more universal than race or religion.

1:47AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Women have always been used for many things from selling products via advertising to selling anti-people policies. and the brunt of it all is that these females seem to think that they have been more empowered, are more independant and have a meaningful role to play. When in truth women have always been overtly or covertly used by men to their own ends.

Take a moment to consider that women have been conditioned by women to believe that they need to paint their faces, dress up their hair, paint their nails and wax their legs, then bare their bodies and keep up with fashion if they want to be accepted socially and culturally. if they were to be accepted, they would be accepted for what they are. None of these ever applied to the men who just have to shave their face if they want to. when you have women believing everything might as well have them believe they dont need medicare or shouldn't get an abortion. i think that women are women's worst enemies to begin with.

in truth women have been used like any tool or product as a means to an end. When you believe that nakedness is freedom, being objectified is respectful you need to change your lens and see the world for what it is which is taking you for a ride. It is not freedom, its slavery, it is discrimination, it is a lie masked and masquerading as the truth.

9:21PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Michele G. says, "Behopes there are enough sensible voters in America to counter these efforts come election day."

If American voters, voted sensibly, the repubs wouldn't be there.

7:33PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

I was so surprised to see what Deborah K. wrote: "This needs to stop, but it won't unless women make it stop. To make it stop we have to stand up for our rights, stop dressing with half of our bodies exposed and dump the stupid high heels. I have been appalled over the last ten years to see women's fashion go backwards and super high heels become vogue again. Just disgusting." You and I seem to be the only two women who have noticed that, while men are just as clothed (wrist to wrist and neck to ankle!) as they always have been, women have been propagandized into thinking that the only way they can have any power is to have naked legs and feet bent and pushed into dangerous and demeaning high heels. I always say, how many male lawyers would you trust to represent you if you went into a law firm where all the men had on only their suit jackets and not trousers? Women are still in a precarious and often despised position in society, but then they contribute to it themselves with their acquiescence to media/social norms. BTW, have you ever seen elderly women in sandals with hideously deformed feet and toes from wearing high heels years ago? Remember what they did to women's feet in China for centuries. This really isn't off the subject, it's just another way of seeing the true position of women in society. The Repugs are traditionalists ... do we want more of their high-heeled and pregnant in the kitchen philosophy?


11:16AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

*representatives

7:36AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

I'm still upset they haven't changed it to "all men and women are created equal".

3:46AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Thsese republican seems not to love women....COME ON AMERICANS' WOMEN...LET ALL OF YOU FIGHT AGAINTS THEM....if you need a help...here me are....!!!!!!!!...just call me....from rome Italy...and I'll arrive to help you....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3:29AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

I will not be happy till i see a computer take a politicians job. I'm serious! If everyone else's job can be replaced by computers why not them? Or at least have a serious reduction.. They are way too many of them. And now they are our rulers instead of our elected servants, accountable to a very few, and not to us, giving us crumbs, making us take medicine for their diseases! Letting us tighten our belts while they are loosening theirs. Inheritors of the feudal
Systems. The great prophet bob Marley said 'Never let a politician grant you a favour, or they will want to control you forever!' We need some form of direct democracy, where we vote via computers, lottery machines, phone voting, whatever! Where we vote for policies and not for people. Fewer politicians! Men and women!

1:41AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

we are all one people. we will not be divided. a divided people will fall for anything.

the gov never solves problems.

gov creates problems.

we the people get the bill.

cut all taxes in half of what we paid in 2010.

stop giving away our money, its not yours to give (daniel crockette)

both parties are equally corrupt due top billions of lobbyist money.

what do the parties do with all the billions in lobby money beside demonized and smear the other party?

we the people can elect someone outside of the corrupt parties.

its we the people. a gov for the people and by the people.

12:50AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Women, get a grip. Republicans do not have our best interests at heart.

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