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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

To Republicans, sexism doesn't exist and the War on Women is just boys being boys

Mixed drink in front of 'Mad Men' logo
Steve Benen ticks off just a few of the reasons why Republican denials of a War on Women are laughable horsecrap:

  • Republicans have gone after Texas gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis (D) over the details of her personal family history. One Texas Republican eventually conceded, “If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up.”
  • Mike Huckabee delivered a bizarre speech to the RNC in which he argued that Democrats believe women require government mandated  contraception access because women can’t control their libidos.
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argued Hillary Clinton can be criticized for Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky affair 19 years ago because “sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.”
  • Republican state policymakers continue to push new restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, including a proposed 30-day waiting period in Louisiana.
  • Sean Hannity suggested yesterday the creation of an “Adopt-A-Woman Birth Control Program” as an alternative to guaranteeing contraception access in federal health care law.
  • Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wrote a book in which he argued wives should “voluntarily submit” to their husbands.
  • Republican Senate hopeful Ken Buck in Colorado explained his opposition to abortion rights by comparing pregnancy to cancer, which is why he doesn’t think a woman should “be in control of her body.”
  • Republican congressional hopeful Dick Black in Virginia opposes making spousal rape a crime and has called military rape “as predictable as human nature.”
All this is why the GOP chose a woman to respond to the State of the Union last night — to remind people that there are some women Republicans too. And Benen quotes New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman — another Republican woman — to explain why that’s not good enough:

It’s hard for me to phrase this politely. Sometimes Republicans think that just putting a woman up front means somehow that women are going to feel good about the party. It is not about the messenger. It’s about the message. And until we figure that one out, while it’s nice that we have a woman as a spokesperson, if the message itself doesn’t get changed a bit, it’s not going to work.
But Republicans are so invested in this anti-woman crusade of theirs that they couldn’t change even if they realize that it’s what’s costing them women’s votes. The fact that they feel absolutely comfortable saying these sorts of things in the full light of day is proof enough of that.

This has somehow become a core principle of modern Republicanism — that women are just children who can’t be trusted to make good decisions for themselves. Republicans can no more drop it now than they could get their arms around the idea that taxes are necessary.

They make the same mistake over and over and over because they think it’s not a mistake. It’s Republican Gospel. And if you find it offensive or demeaning, then they think maybe you should have your husband explain it to you, little lady.

But don’t expect Republican men to change, because they won’t. They’ve got a fucked up idea of masculinity — as evidenced by the religious right, gay panic, and an irrational fear of being “feminized" — so regarding women as fully human and equal somehow seems to mean that they wouldn’t be men anymore. Give a damn what women think and — Which-aa! — you’re “whipped.”

[photo by Lan Bui]

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