GOP Men Getting “Schooled” on How to Talk to Women

Although the final results of the Virginia governor’s race ended up being much closer than originally expected, the spread between candidates when it came to female voters and especially those of color showed that the GOP still hasn’t managed to make much progress in appealing to women. It’s an ongoing problem for the party, which saw easy wins slip from its fingers in a number of senate races in 2012, primarily due to candidates that saw no problem telling women “facts” like being forced to carry a pregnancy from rape against your will is actually a gift from God.

The Republican party is determined to make things different in 2014. To help them achieve this, they have proposed tutoring their male candidates, teaching them how to, among other things, talk to their female challengers.

Yes, the men of the GOP are being sent to school to learn how to not offend women.

“Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn,” a Republican staffer who attended the session in Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office told Politico.

That’s quite an understatement indeed. In fact, despite the fact that the 2014 campaign season hasn’t really gotten into swing yet, there’s already been copious signs that major Republicans need some serious one-on-one tutoring. The Kentucky senate race, which is a neck and neck battle between sitting senator Mitch McConell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has already been fraught with sexist missteps on the part of the GOP, from the National Republican Senatorial Committee promoting blog posts with a sexualized, photoshopped Grimes as an “Obama Girl” to referring to her as an “empty dress.”

“The NRSC should stand for Notoriously Repeating Sexist Comments,” quipped Grimes.”They cannot relate or connect with the women of Kentucky or our country.”

According to Politico, there will be at a minimum 10 federal races in 2014 that will pit female Democratic challengers against male GOP incumbents. The races are likely to have the fight over Obamacare in the foreground, with many of the Republican males having staked their careers on wanting to eliminate health care reform and affordable, effective insurance.

That’s before we even start on the no copay birth control issue. The GOP continues to see itself slide among women and allies of women who believe that birth control is not a divisive issue, should be easily available, should be a decision made by those who are sexually active or their families, and shouldn’t have coverage denied because some bosses wrongfully believe that it causes abortions or simply think family planning should be up to God.

The “train the candidates to be more sensitive to women” push in reality continues the agenda set right after the 2012 losses, when Susan B. Anthony List and other far right groups announced they would help their endorsees better talk about things like why abortion when the pregnant person is a victim of rape still shouldn’t be allowed. The question is, will it be at all successful?

No, writes Laura Colarusso at The Week. “Whether Republicans can win over female voters just by refining the way they talk about women remains to be seen. Indeed, where they stand on issues like access to contraception and fair pay are probably more important to female voters than whether they are on message at a debate.” She then notes a number of their problematic platform planks, including opposing equal pay, blocking expansion of Medicaid and Medicare, recklessly standing in the way of renewing the Violence Against Women Act and others that are far more hurtful to female voters than their sexist comments.

If the GOP needs help training GOP men to be “a little more sensitive” as Speaker Boehner suggests, they can find plenty of assistance on Twitter via the #howtotalktowomen hashtag. “Have a female opponent? She’ll love it when you refuse to use her title. Refer to her by first name as often as possible,” jokes activist Shelby Knox.

One piece of advice should be taken literally:”The first step is that you stop talking TO women, and start talking WITH women.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago


Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago


Karen H.
Karen H4 years ago

Like one woman of color (Aretha Franklin) said: R - E - S - P - E - C - T.

Cathleen K.
Cathleen K4 years ago

While this won't help the GOP with their wider 'women problem' one whit, it might help them with the only women who do vote for them: married suburban or rural white women. When they say incredibly stupid things, as Todd Aiken did about women being unlikely to become pregnant as the result of rape since our bodies have a way of 'turning that whole thing around', these women will pull the lever for Mitt Romney but then pull the lever for Claire McCaskill, since they can't deny that the candidate from their preferred party is a crazy moron.

Jody B.
Jody B4 years ago

Who cares HOW they say it, their message still sucks.

Leia P.
Leia P.4 years ago

screw them. it isnt just what they say, it it the policies they propose

Carole L.
Carole L4 years ago

Putting frosting on a turd doesn't make it a cupcake.

Carole L.
Carole L4 years ago

Joe V
”Really. The Democrats are such sacrosanct personable and loveable people. I'm LMAO at this garbage article.... Once again a stereotypical article by Care2....”

so who's doing the stereotyping now.

Jacob R
“But I guess it would go against the grain for Robin Marty to mention them in her continuing petty attacks on the GOP.

Wake up Robin, there are good and bad in both parties, and it does not become you to be unfair and biased....”

that's right Jacob, it does happen in both parties, and when we see it in democratic party we point it out, unlike the lockstep gop steppers.

Rob B
“Thank you Joe although I am not laughing at how the Democrats have sold women a bill of goods to think that all that matters is free birth control and abortion on demand.”

yes of course Rob, women only care about “free birth control and abortion on demand”. you've certainly 'mastered' the gop 'Understanding Women' course. You could be the Poster Child for the republican party.

Judy Apelis
Judy A4 years ago

Thank you