Does the GOP Think Every Woman Is Just A Caterpillar Waiting To Transform…Into A Mother?

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Preibus has started a war on caterpillars. Well, no, not really. But he says the claim that the Republican party is waging a war on women is just as ridiculous.

“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then wed have problems with caterpillars. It’s a fiction, said Preibus in an interview on Bloomberg TV.

Many are calling his “war on caterpillars” comment a failed, laughable punchline. But maybe “caterpillar” is a carefully chosen comparison. After all, caterpillars are just little worm-like things waiting until they can be cocooned and transformed into something much more beautiful — the butterfly. Much like many in the Republican party these days seem to believe that a woman should be swept up, protected (or bound), and transformed into their true nature — motherhood.

After all, how many times have conservative women said that by refusing motherhood, especially when it is thrust upon them, they women are denying their own nature? It’s been going on for decades, since Phyllis Schlafly first started campaigning against the Equal Rights Amendment, declaring, “What I am defending is the real rights of women. A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother.”

Even now, the newly anointed “anti-abortion feminist” Lila Rose proclaims, “We are women for whom the idea of artificial birth control as ‘preventive care’ is deeply insulting. We are women who view the intentional killing of profoundly anti-woman and the antithesis of love…We are women who believe that something precious is lost when fertility is intentionally excluded from marriage, a sacred bond and a total giving of each spouse to the other….we aspire to move… toward a time when truly emancipated women embrace their intrinsic dignity and, with it, their authentic womanhood.”

Could it be that what some are calling just a poorly constructed metaphor was really a dog-whistle to the ultra-conservative arm of his party?

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Shel G.
Shel G5 years ago

I am also happily child free - a choice I have never regretted. I am not ignorant of the fact that for many people (not just women!), the most fulfilling thing they'll ever do is raise kids. That's great, and as it should be - but it's not for everyone. I also know people for whom parenthood is a real struggle.

My point is that being a parent is not for everyone - yet we are bombarded with messages about how being a parent is inevitable for everyone, and that those without kids are somehow unfulfilled. There should be more recognition of the hordes of smart, happy people who have made the choice not to have kids, who have had exciting, fulfilling lives because of that choice.

Luda Franklin
Luda Franklin5 years ago

So those are who saying "its my body and my choice" answer this
-It is ok to kill the baby, when?

Amanda M.
Amanda M5 years ago

TWO children BY CHOICE, tubal ligation after the second BY CHOICE. It's MY body, and I should be the one to decide what I want to do with it.

If a woman doesn't want to be a mother or wants to limit/space how many children she has, then she has every right to. Not all women were meant to have kids, and with over seven BILLION people on the planet, there is no reason for all women TO have kids.


Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

Too many mixed issues lumped together. As a woman, a professional, and a mother who adopted 4 children, obviously by choice, I support equal rights for all human beings. Contraception should not be mixed in with abortion. They are two separate issues. Preventing an unwanted pregnancy is an intelligent choice. Killing a defenseless fetus is immoral and wrong. Maturity requires responsibility and accountability for one's actions. The very same who express outrage at the senseless slaughter of puppies and kittens don't blink an eye at the slaughter of the defenseless unborn. Adopt, not abort. In a kinder and gentler world, we will learn to protect the vulnerable and the innocent, not get rid of it when it is inconvenient.

Iona S.
Iona S.5 years ago

Oddly enough, the early feminists - suffragettes - took the same view (at least on abortion) as Lila Rose and Phyllis Schafly.

For example, Sarah F. Norton declared that she "longed for a time when the unmarried mother will not be despised because of her motherhood" and for a time when "the right of the unborn to be born will not be denied or interfered with".

Victoria Woodhull said that "every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth".

Mattie Brinkerhoff sais "when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged".

Gloria H.
Gloria H5 years ago

They could stick me in a display case with pins in my wings, but I refuse to lay eggs!

Alitia K.
Alitia K5 years ago

Wow. I have no idea what this article was about.
I think the writer was reaching when she made expanded on the comparison.
I agree that things are different for women, but I do not believe that there is a legitimate "war on women."

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin5 years ago

I made a video about why abortion should be easily available, and free for any woman that wants one. It’s at my YouTube channel Zarrakan, and here’s the link:

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil anti-abortionists.

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

chant ladies;

Come November, women will remember
Come November, women will remember
Come November, women will remember

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

@Monica D
“I am child-free by choice, and pro-choice.”

So am I, I tell ppl it’s no ‘mistake’ that I am child free.

@Kaitlyn C
“I have wanted either an IUD or to be sterilized since I was 15. At first I was 'too young" to qualify for these medical treatments. Now that I am 22, they declare I am "not in a stable enough relationship" to qualify. Isn't the fact that every year when I come in for my annual exam I ask for these procedures proof that I am not going to change my mind?”

I hear ya, I felt the same way, and it wasn’t until the age of 35 (it was my birthday present for myself) that I was finally able to get a tubaligation. And even then they tried to talk me out of it, go fugure. Up until then I used contraception and later an IUD. I’m 60 now, have never regretted once choosing to be child-free.