From Mitt Romney’s blasé declaration that he would just “get rid of” Planned Parenthood to Sally Kerns’ claim that women don’t work as hard as men there are volumes of examples that the War on Women does exist and it is being waged by the Republican Party.
Of course, if you watch Fox you might hear the denials before the projections. Republicans have denied that there is a war on women. Then they denied that reproductive rights were about women’s rights, but rather about religious freedom, according to Darell Issa and his all male panel . Their denials turned to embarrassment when it came to equal pay, as Jason Easley reported on May 1.
When the denials failed, Republicans turned to projection.
Here’s an example from TPM:
“On Tuesday, Romney surrogate Bay Buchanan, former treasurer to President Reagan, pushed back aggressively in a call with reporters, suggesting that the “real war on women” is reflective in President Obama’s handling of the economy. The impacts of his policies, she said, have been “frightening,” “unsettling” and “an outrage.”
It’s clear his policies have failed women miserably,” Buchanan said. “It has set women in the workplace back 20 years and we certainly can’t afford it, nor can the children of these women, afford to continue in this direction.”
Try as they might to deny they have a war on women, their words and policies betray them. Whether they identify themselves as Republicans or members of the Koch Brothers’ Tea Party; Conservatives have said the darndest things about women in the recent past.
If there was a conservative man, who epitomizes the attitude reflected in Republican it would be Reverend Jesse Peterson – proud Tea Party member and friend of Fox’s Shawn Hannity.
When TRS reported on the Reverend’s encounter with Kirsten Powers’ confrontation with Reverend Peterson during the Hannity Show, their report offered a little taste of the Reverend’s attitude toward women:
“I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote,” Peterson says. “We should’ve never turned this over to women. And these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil who agrees with them who’re gonna take us down this pathway of destruction.”
“And this probably was the reason they didn’t allow women to vote when men were men. Because men in the good old days understood the nature of the woman,” he adds. “They were not afraid to deal with it. And they understood that, you let them take over, this is what would happen.”
Watch the encounter between Kirsten Powers and Jesse Lee Peterson on Hannity’s show here:
That pales in comparison to Peterson’s other comments during a Sermon called: How Women are Building a Shameless Society, published on youtube on March 5, 2012.
Here are just a couple of little nuggets of Peterson’s rational thinking about women.
“My America is gone… and short of God intervening, I don’t see any turnaround… I realize that one of the primary reasons… that it is over for America is because women are taking over… Most cannot (make sound decisions).
One thing I know for sure, without a doubt, women cannot handle power. It’s not in them to handle power in the right way. They don’t know what to do with it.”
Maybe these comments are not meant to be about a war on women. Maybe, the good pastor is auditioning to be president of Rush Limbaugh’s Fan Club. We all know how classy Rush during his commentaries on women.
“Rush Limbaugh called her a slut (Sandra Flute) and she didn’t realize that she looked like a slut sitting there making that type of confession…
How did we get to a point where women think we should pay for them to have sex?
They want to force us to buy them birth control.
No one’s saying, ‘Where’s your shame, woman?’
Rush Limbaugh called her… “a whore and a slut” and I agree with him. And I heard this morning that he had apologized for it… Men would have stood with Rush on this. But the women, because they’re so emotional and they don’t know how to handle things, they don’t want to hear any truth about anything.”
Don’t you just feel the logical analysis and good old fashioned manners in that tirade?
Peterson’s comments sound like something right wing politicians would say if they thought they could get away with it. Republican politicians may not use the fire that comes with Peterson’s hateful rhetoric toward women. The Republican War on Women, or as Peterson puts it, men being tough, is reflected in statements and policy enacted in state and national legislatures. Unlike Peterson’s sermons, you can’t just turn to another video or read a book to make these policies go away.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson’s Dirty Thirty post gives an idea of the sheer volume of radical laws through which the Republican Party is waging its war on women’s reproductive rights. It doesn’t end with social policy. As Rmuse explains, the Republican War on women includes cuts to programs that benefit women, as well as the poor and anyone other that the GOP’s corporate sugar daddies.
The legislative war on women’s reproductive rights is radical with rhetoric to match.
Indiana State Rep. Eric Turner claimed that women lie about rape and incest in the name of getting an abortion.
“I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now I want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.”
Chuck Winder, State Senator for Idaho shares Turner’s concerns. Nope, there’s nothing disparaging at all about suggesting that women lie about rape or incest to get an abortion.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett gushed about his state’s transvaginal ultra-sound bill, a.k.a. state sanctioned rape. But hey, you’ll be glad to know that this doesn’t mean a woman will be forced to look at the monitor directly in front of her while she is undergoing this humiliating process. As the Governor points out women can “just close their eyes”.
Something just tells me he and Reverend Peterson would get along just fine.
Further evidence of the Republican Party’s war on women is reflected in their opposition to women being paid the same as a man for doing the same job.
Here is Peter Hockstra on the Ledbetter Act:
Will, you know, will repealing it be a priority? If you came back and said, you know, that’s really the thing that’s hurting my business the most. My guess is there are other things that we can do that have a higher priority in terms of what I, what I believe might need to be done. I think you know we need to create — that thing is a nuisance. It shouldn’t be the law.
Republican opposition to the Violence Against Women Act amounts to a nod and a wink to domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you just might get some comfort out of knowing that House Republicans have proposed their own version of the VAWA because they are so very concerned about violence against women, unless the woman is a Native American, an undocumented immigrant or a member of the LGBT community. According to Lamar Smith:
Fraud and abuse in the U.S. immigration system must be stopped,” Smith said. “Immigrants who perpetuate fraud in order to get visas or U.S. citizenship devalue U.S. immigration laws and hurt legitimate victims who are the intended beneficiaries of the generous programs we have established.
The Republican War on Women is real. No amount of spin or denial will change that. Their policies and rhetoric speak as loudly, if not louder than their denials.
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Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.