The alleged GOP “war on women” narrative being woven by Democrats including Obama can better be described as a Democratic manipulation and demeaning of women. Personally, I have always felt it was insulting to women in general to define “women’s rights” around abortion or, more generally, “reproductive rights.” Despite the alleged liberation of women, it is like saying that childbirth- or the decision to have or not have children- is what exclusively defines the “political woman.” It ignores other aspects of the modern woman such as job seeker, wage earner, family budgeter, and care taker of and occasional teacher to children. Yet, liberals and Democrats seem to believe that this broad concept of “reproductive rights” is what defines women. As a result, in their insulated and closed minds, any expression by any female that runs afoul of the liberal/feminist agenda is denigrated. In their minds, it is antithetical to be both a woman and a conservative.
The new flash point in this “war” was the great contraception issue started from an Obamacare mandate from HHS. Liberals are still ignorant that this objection was and continues to be one of religious liberty. That aspect has been conveniently swept away under the rug in classic “don’t waste a ‘crisis'” philosophy of the Obama Administration, especially when you are running for reelection. There is no doubt that the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke flap added fuel to the fire. One has to think whether this fire was deliberately set by the Obama Administration deliberately. The man and the campaign is not above class warfare; why not start a gender warfare campaign?
Since that time, feminists and liberals are starting a catalog of “sins” being perpetrated against women by Republicans. Besides the contraception issue, we are hearing about terms like transvaginal ultrasounds, equal pay laws in Wisconsin (since the reviled Governor Walker is there), proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood funding and “personhood” amendments. On closer examination, many of these indictments are simply devoid of controversy. For example, the law in question in Wisconsin involves access to state courts for equal pay disputes. It says nothing about access to federal courts, complaints with the EEOC or the state’s own counterpart, not to mention the many possible resolutions to grievances such as arbitration, review boards and internal corporate dispute resolution mechanisms. But because the evil Scott Walker signed the law into effect, he must obviously be on a campaign to deny women in particular their day in state court. They are ignorant of the fact that this will alleviate the burden on an already over-burdened state court system.
Regarding the transvaginal ultrasounds and such, one would have to see if these laws pass constitutional muster as they may run afoul of Planned Parenthood v. Casey and represent an undue burden on women seeking an abortion. That remains for the courts to determine and it is certainly preliminary to declare it such. However, it is interesting to note that liberals are very much in favor of truth-in-advertising laws and disclosure laws and labeling laws in the area of commerce, cigarettes and campaign contributions, but they fight tooth and nail against women making informed decisions regarding an abortion. It boggles their mind that maybe, just maybe that “blob of tissue” in the uterus might look like actual human life. And the last time I checked, a state constitutional amendment defining a person as beginning at conception was disapproved by voters in a fairly conservative state (Mississippi). If the idea is really that bad, make your case and let the voters decide. Again, this hardly represents an attack on women; it is more a defense of innocent human life.
Regarding funding for Planned Parenthood, the federal government should not be in the business of making expenditures to private health care providers in any guise. If they, or anyone, wants to provide contraceptive services, mammograms, or even abortions for women, great. Nothing is stopping them or any other entity from doing so. However, to expect federal funding for doing this is ridiculous. The government can get out of this business financially altogether and that goes both ways. If the federal government is not going to fund Planned Parenthood, then they need not fund pro-life entities either. If federal dollars flow to states in the form of block grants for public health programs, the states should be free to spend those dollars without mandates or dictates from Washington that reflect a political/feminist/liberal view, or a political/conservative view.
Liberal writers are ablaze with stories of the “gender gap” between Obama and Romney and that this will cost Romney the election in 2012. Of course, they fail to mention that their “evidence” is a single poll. Furthermore, even if we take the results of those polls at face value, it is difficult to say that this “war on women” dating back to the contraception controversy is the reason. At the beginning of the year in January, Romney’s approval rating among women stood at about 39% and Obama’s at 50%. After that flap, Romney’s rating is 37% and Obama remains at 50%. Thus, the flap hardly hurt Romney (the drop is within the margin of error) and it certainly has not helped Obama. A similar poll taken in early 2000 showed that George W. Bush had an approval rating among women at 37%, but he won 43% of the female vote that year in November and the Presidency.
This is classic knee-jerk liberalism that treats women as, well, objects. If they have a uterus, they must, in their minds, approve of abortion in all cases. If they have a uterus, they must be for Planned Parenthood. I think that is great- let Democrats think and talk that way. It simply more evidence of their denigration of women. Women are and have been the great budgeters in the family. Today, women worry more about making that shrinking pay check last longer as more and more of it is eaten by gasoline and food purchases, not to mention increasing energy prices. They worry more about their children’s education and the fact that many simply do not get a quality education and Democrats and their union allies among teachers believe the only solution is more money, not more choice. There is an irony for you: pro-choice when it comes to abortion yet not pro-choice when it comes to education. They worry more about the debt their children will be saddled with given the spending of this Administration and the fiscal trajectory they set this country on with no realistic solution. They worry that they, like their male counterparts, are finding it increasingly difficult to find meaningful work. Of the 740,000 jobs actually lost under the Obama Administration, 683,000 of them were women, or 92%. That is the real war on women.
Since 1980, it has been clearly demonstrated that issues that rally feminists to the polls- abortion, reproductive rights- do not rally women in general. If Romney can clearly make the case that his policies will help all Americans- male and female alike- I have more confidence than any liberal that women have the capacity to make informed decisions come Election Day. Let them continue their warfare talk, but ignore it because at the end of the day, that is all it is- talk. Let them denigrate women in general by portraying them as the modern day proteges of bra-burning feminists from days gone by. Republicans would be better served staying out of that gutter and sticking to the issues that concern all Americans.