Ladies, good news! There may have been a war on women, possibly. But don’t worry, it’s over now.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says you won.
You would think that “winning” the war on women, we would have walked away with a few prizes. You know, maybe equal pay for equal work? Gender parity in representation in Congress or in our state legislatures? A few more female CEOs at the helm of the country’s Fortune 500 companies? More generous and flexible parental leave policies so we and our partners can be equally committed to our work lives and our families, and the ability to access the medical services we need to ensure our families are exactly the size we want?
Even, dare we hope, a female president someday?
No, Sen. Paul is fairly certain that women have achieved true equality. After all, the women in his family are doing just fine.
“This whole sort of war on women thing, I’m scratching my head because if there was a war on women, I think they won,” the Tea Party Republican told Meet the Press, according to Think Progress. “You know, the women in my family are incredibly successful. I have a niece at Cornell vet school, and 85% of the young people there are women. Law school, 60% are women. In med school, 55%. My younger sister is an OB-GYN with six kids and doing great. I don’t see so much that women are downtrodden. I see women rising up and doing great things. In fact, I worry about our young men sometimes because I think the women are outcompeting the men in our world [...] The women in my family are doing great. That’s what I see in all the statistics coming out. I have, you know, young women in my office that are the leading intellectual lights of our office. So I don’t really see this, that there’s some sort of war on women that’s, you know, keeping women down.”
First off, it’s wonderful that the women in Sen. Paul’s family are doing so well. I’m sure that being a political, wealthy family with an enormous amount of financial, power and racial privilege had absolutely no bearing on any of the opportunities or successes that they have experienced. Sadly, not every girl in America is born into such fortunate circumstances, making it much more likely that she will fall into the vast percentage of those who experience wage discrimination, find themselves unable to finish their education because of lack of funds or an unplanned pregnancy, are unable to access jobs in politicians’ campaigns and offices because they are called upon to care for their siblings, parents or children making them unable to further their careers.
Sen. Paul may not be able to see gender discrimination in his family, but he doesn’t need to look too far to find it, even in his own privileged political sphere. And that discrimination is being committed by the Republican Senator himself. In that same Meet the Press appearance where he declared the war on women is over, and that we won, he then also stated that 2016 presidential hopeful, former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton is unfit for the White House because of her husband’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky while he was serving as president. He even argued that former President Clinton’s “predatory behavior” reflects on his wife because “sometimes it’s hard to separate” Bill and Hillary Clinton.
It’s outrageous that Sen. Paul would in the same media appearance say that women have ascended and exceeded their male counterparts, then turn around and use a potential female candidate’s husband’s actions to call her unfit. Even better is the idea that Sen. Paul is actually, with a straight face, condemning former Secretary Clinton for a “predatory” husband, considering his own questionable past. After all, what is kidnapping a college co-ed, removing her from her room blindfolded and bound, attempting to force her to do illicit, illegal drugs, and then taking her to a creek to “worship” a made up fraternity deity if not “predatory” behavior as well?
The idea that Hillary Clinton should somehow be disqualified from the office of the presidency because of an act committed by her husband on its own is absurd. That she be condemned by someone with his own obvious issues with women and control, someone who obviously considers himself a sterling example of what a presidential candidate should be, is even more ridiculous.
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