Republicans may be pretending to learn how to talk to women, but don’t get the idea they really care what women think. Nothing with regard to the substance of Republican policies toward women is really changing.
The GOP has spent all of 2013 trying to prevent women from having access to contraception or access to accurate medical information about abortion – let alone access to an abortion itself. Just look what they did in Kansas early this year if you must have an example.
For Republican men, women are still the second-class citizens, the inferior humans, they have been historically. Pretend the Nineteenth Amendment never happened: When Republicans want an opinion out of a woman, they’ll give it to her and then tell her to “shut her hole” and let the cranky old white men govern as God intended.
Any woman who thinks that is going to change is just fooling herself. For the conservative male establishment, all women have the potential to be Sandra Fluke – or worse yet, Wendy Davis – or, God forbid, Elizabeth Warren – a possibility that frankly terrifies them.
Women should not talk back to men because they do not have the intellectual powers to operate on the same level. Look at Wendy Davis, whom they call a “retard Barbie” or Alison Grimes, whom they dismiss as the new “Obama Girl”, and an “empty dress” who babbles.
And this is what Hilary Clinton is to them:
If they will say this about these three prominent women, do you think they really care about your opinion?
Anyone paying attention to the history of the past few years will see that the GOP is indeed waging a war on women – a war that shows no signs of abating. A couple of recent events also point us in this direction.
Look at Fox News host Anna Kooiman being told by Phillys Schalfly’s niece, Suzanne Venker, to essentially reject the modern world and go back in time to the 50s, where she is unemployed, pregnant, and “thanking men” for making her that way.
Venker (who says women still need husbands because “you can’t take your paycheck to bed with you”),told Kooiman,
My advice is, as the years go on and you find that you want, if you do, to get married and settle down, to understand time is going to be your greatest enemy. Not your husband, not men, not the government, not your employers. It’s time, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything.
So if you learn to embrace that side of yourself that isn’t about work. In other words, the nurturing side, the motherhood, all of that. It’s okay to let your husband bring home that full-time income so you can have more of a balanced life.
And we should really be thanking men for this, not saying they’re in our way or not doing enough.
Tucker Carlson, Kooiman’s co-host, apparently thinks Kooiman should go home and hop in a bed with a man to make some babies and let him get on with the show: “I’m confused why this controversial.”
That is how Republicans talk to women.
Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, on the other hand complained in October, “Women are not fooled by the hide-and-sneak tactics of John Kasich and his pals who want to push us back to the 1950s. Make no mistake, the politicians who keep waging this outrageous war on women will pay a price at the polls next year.”
Somehow, I suspect there is more to this whole “outreach” program than learning how to talk to women, but then Republicans have a very low opinion of female intelligence. But there is more at work here than simply despising the female brain.
Which brings us to our other example, Ohio’s former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Ken Blackwell – a Republican – who came right out and told CNN’s Candy Crowley Sunday on State of the Union, that his party doesn’t actually “have a problem talking to women” because his party is right about abortion and contraception:
Improving communication skills to a variety of groups is always important. At the end of the day, Republicans don’t have a problem working and talking with women. We control 30 governorships, we control 26 state houses and senates chambers. You know, we, in fact, know how to speak to women on their policy issues.
As long as it’s about improving the art of communication and not abandoning policy, I would think it’s a pretty smart move.
This is the same Blackwell, by the way, who in 2012 told Fox & Friends that Team Obama “overplayed their hand in thinking that women were only concerned about abortion rights and contraception when many women in Ohio are worried about jobs and the education of their children” right before, as The Guardian put it, women “sen[t] more women than ever to Congress in powerful snub to conservatives’ ‘war on women.'”
And yet Blackwell is still convinced the GOP has no “female” problems. It’s just a matter of convincing everybody else, he says, because that’s what politics is all about.
And here we thought politics was about governing.
The sad thing is, he will still be singing the same tired old tune in 2016 when women again vote overwhelmingly Democratic and the GOP refuses to learn from yet another rejection that the problem is not the media but their own antiquarian attitudes.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.