How to Talk (or How Not to Talk) to Women in 2014
Heading into the 2014 elections, the GOP has been working hard on rebranding themselves as women-friendly. The plan was simple: avoid talking about equal pay, sidestep abortion and birth control issues and focus on their families or how less government will help them fulfill their highest aspirations.
Sadly, it hasn’t been going well for them. For every victory they have in getting a woman to run for office and put a more female-friendly face on their policies, they suffer a major defeat from a flashback like anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly or spokespeople who simply cannot fathom the economic issues women face.
Of course, the original plan, get all women married so they will vote Republican, hasn’t managed to catch fire yet. Their classes on how to talk to women don’t seem to be doing the job, either. So, here are a few tips on how to talk (or how not to talk) to women.
Don‘t tell them they are whores for using birth control. Yes, we need to remind people about this, sadly, despite the fact that over 99 percent of all women will use birth control at some point in their lives. With the birth control mandate oddly still a debate, opponents to contraception have been reveling in their moral judgements. One pastor in Arizona blames the entire “whoredom” of the United States on those who use birth control. “It promotes promiscuity, it promotes whoredom!” said Arizona Pastor Steven Anderson, according to Raw Story. ”Do not prostitute thy daughter to cause her to be a whore, lest the land fall to whoredom and the land become full of wickedness!…A land can call to whoredom! And the United States today, fits that bill. If anybody has ever fit that bill, it’s the United States of America.”
Don‘t tell them they shouldn‘t be allowed to vote. It hasn’t even been a full century since women won the right to vote, but there are some still actively arguing it should be taken away. The latest comes from David Barton, the founder of Wall Builders, which believes there should be no separation of church and state and that the concept is a myth. According to Barton, denying women the vote is necessary to promote family harmony, since it could cause strife if a wife voted for someone her husband didn’t approve of, and as the head of the family the husband should make the decisions. “[Y]ou have to remember back then [in early America], husband and wife, I mean the two were considered one. That is the biblical precept. That is the way they looked at them in the civil community. That is a family that is voting and so the head of the family is traditionally considered to be the husband and even biblically still continues to be so.” Barton then calls the dissolving of the family “anarchy” where everyone is free to make their own decisions and not “be chained down.” Of course, you don’t hear of any suggestion that a man without a family should give up his right to vote in elections.
Don‘t talk about rape. Really. Don‘t do it. This one, appropriately enough, is a word of warning from the GOP to their own candidates. One female Republican politician in Washington state has advice for the members of her own party when it comes to how to engage women voters, primarily by trying to turn the “war on women” talking points back on their Democratic rivals. When doing so, however, state GOP chair Susan Hutchison warns, avoid any mention of the topic of rape. “Please don’t mention the word ‘rape’ in any way,” Hutchison says, in a video captured on the site HA Seattle. “Also, let’s not talk about anything to do with women’s reproductive cycles or um, um, women’s sexuality.” She then suggests changing the subject if it does come up. “Talk about the Seahawks.”
There you have it: Don’t call us whores, don’t say you want to stop allowing us to vote, and avoid any mention of reproductive rights or sexual assault. In other words, if you can’t stop making dismantling our rights your biggest priority, you at least need to stop talking about it while you are doing it.
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