Has the “War on Women” Gone Too Far?

by Gloria Feldt on March 5th, 2012
in Activism, Gender, Health Care Reform, Leadership, Media, Politico Arena, Power, Reproductive Health, Women & Politics, Women's History, Women's Rights and tagged , , , , ,

Surely Politico jests. I’m sure you can add to my examples:

Politico Arena asks:

Democrats are raising money with a petition against the “Republican War on Women.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, repeated the jibe Sunday on “Meet the Press” when asked about Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments on contraception.

Now that Limbaugh has apologized, will voters see “war on women” language as overkill? Particularly those who oppose the Obama administration’s contraception coverage policy on moral/religious grounds?

My Response:  You’re kidding, right? There’s hardly even a truce.

Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute as she asked her university to cover hormonal birth-control and the subsequent fury that caused many of his advertisers to abandon him (and his very lame non-apology apology) was one small skirmish in the much larger and ongoing war on women being waged by an ideologically driven minority who would much prefer that women had remained barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Just this past week, Roy Blunt and other Senate Republicans sought to pass legislation that would allow any employer to deny preventive contraceptive health services to their employees on the basis of any religious or “moral” objections. As though women are wanton hussies with no morals or religion.

Senator Carolyn Maloney pointed out the obvious during a House hearing called to discuss Obama’s contraception mandate: “What I want to know is, where are the women? I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning.”

At another all-male hearing on the now-tabled Blunt Amendment to limit access to contraception, Rep Barbara Boxer limned, “Not one man suggested that men shouldn’t have their Viagra, but we’ll put that aside”

When an all-male news crew can un-ironically discuss the all-male panel, women’s voices are marginalized, excluded even from discourse surrounding issues that exclusively affect their lives. In another shocking media moment, Fox news broadcaster Ross Shimabuku suggested that female NASCAR athlete Danica Patrick was a “bitch” because she complained about being publicly called “sexy.”

If more proof that the War on Women continues apace, note that three Democrats voted against tabling the Blunt amendment. So women should be very careful about sending money to the party that allows its members to violate cover values in its own platform. Personally, I’m supporting only pro-woman, pro-choice candidates. Because I’m in this to win, not merely to live to fight another day.

Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

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4 Responses to Has the “War on Women” Gone Too Far?

  1. It’s time to hit the streets! These people, who are so evolved it’s a wonder their knuckles don’t dangle on the ground, are allowed to keep vilifying women for standing up for ourselves instead of being banished from the workplace and reconstituted in the the kitchen.

    NOW members will be asking our sisters to join with us in the We Are Women March on April 28 in Washington, DC and in your state capitols. In addition, I think we need to point out the importance of women’s work and women’s presence with a National Women’s Strike on the Monday following the March – April 30. We haven’t had a Women’s Strike since the 70s, and we need to send the message that we’re not going back to the bad old days!

    • Moira Powers says:

      I want to organize a march on May 11, the day before Mother’s Day, because being a mother is WAY too important to be left to chance. Every woman has the right to be a mother when they are ready to bring a child into this world in a loving, safe, and secure environment.

      None of these men are thinking about the children that will be born in circumstances that are unstable, unhealthy, and can be potentially tragic. Where are these men’s conscience when it comes to the welfare of the children.

      MOTHERHOOD ON MY TERMS!

      Thank you!

      • Gloria Feldt says:

        I’m loving the readiness to march and strike that I’m seeing from women all over the country right now. I’m partial to May 11 both for the symbolism and selfishly because I’ll be speaking in Costa Rica on April 28–and I want to be there!

  2. Aletha says:

    The war on women language is not overkill, not at all. However, I do object to the notion that there is just a Republican war on women. The war on women is very deep and ancient, much bigger than the Republican Party or any particular belief system. The late Marilyn French wrote a book titled The War Against Women, and this is a recurring theme in feminist literature. However, if recent events can serve as a catalyst to get women thinking about how women are disrespected and poorly represented, Limbaugh and the Republicans will have unintentionally done feminists a great service, woken the sleeping giant. Democrats will try to exploit this for their advantage, but if the giant stays awake, Democrats may discover they have even more to lose than Republicans.

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