I feel like Kanye West.
You know, the moment where he stood on national television and said: “George Bush hates black people.”
And though I’m not convinced that the entire GOP hates women, I wonder about their current political strategy considering the multiple attacks on women’s rights over the past few weeks.
How about a recap?
1. There’s this mashugana Fox pundit who thinks women in the military should “expect” to be raped.
2. “Why can’t you just make the best out of a bad situation?” ala Rick Santorum‘s spectacular quote about what he’d say to rape victims who want abortions.
3. Virginia just passed a new law which requires a mandatory
vaginal ultrasound. As Dahlia Lithwick reported in Slate last week, one sensitive Virginia lawmaker basically said, Hey what’s the big whoop? A woman opting for an abortion had already been “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” Because if you’ve been penetrated once, then it’s just like riding a bike anytime after. Virginia lawmakers changed their minds last minute so that ultrasounds would still be mandatory before abortion — just not vaginal. In the words of Erin Gloria Ryan: “Virginia is for haters.”
4. Oh yeah, remember that Planned Parenthood thing?
5. Lastly, there’s the spectacular showing of Issa’s all-male congressional panel on contraception.
Feministing founder Jessica Valenti says this is nothing new–and that it’s not just the men! In her column in The Nation, Valenti writes:
Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that this is just a problem of men attacking women’s rights. Conservative women’s rights groups, always eager for a patriarchal pat on the head, have long thrown other women under the bus under the guise of protecting them from their own wanton sexuality. The Independent Women’s Forum—who oppose the Violence Against Women Act, Title IX and who don’t believe pay inequity exists—started a campaign years ago to get the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues banned from college campuses, arguing that it’s pornographic and reduces women to their body parts. (Specifically, the one they’d rather not think about.) The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, another right-wing women’s organization, launched a campaign and contest in 2008 to “Bringing Back the Dowry and Hope Chest.” The winner received a “cedar-lined hope chest filled with $1000 worth of dowry items” as well as $500 toward her future wedding. Retro-chic!
Given this long history of paternalism and efforts to rollback women’s rights—I think the calls that the GOP is launching a “war on women” are right on, but years late.
When I brought this idea up to my head-strong republican father recently, he tended to agree. So we’re not just talking about a liberal (me) bitching and moaning about the GOP yet again. No, this is a serious assault that even my staunch GOP father agrees with. My dad’s response: This is a Christian-based country and that the ideologues are always going to have a say because that is how this country was founded.
Sean Hannity brought up this very argument last week in his all-male panel on women’s reproductive rights. He asked, “Is this a war on religion?”
No darling, Hannity. This is a war on women’s rights. And we’re not giving up the fight. Jon Stewart brilliantly gives it to Hannity in this video below.
For a laugh on this subject (if you can?), watch these hilarious women make a go of an ALL-FEMALE congressional hearing on balls. Why aren’t they on SNL?