What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Women----This Week's Political Football

Cynthia Ruccia

One of the tags lines on this blog is "what women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric," and we have just witnessed a week or two where the subject of women's rights are being used shamelessly to manipulate women all over the United States. Both parties are doing it, and to some extent it is probably proving effective. I am so disgusted with this display of manipulation I could spit. I want to shake everyone involved and say "where is your brain????????"

All of this bandying about of "women's rights" is being used at the service of party and presidential politics trying to get an advantage of one faction over another. And it still all goes back to what my friend T says------and I repeat "I AM NOT AN OVARY AND WOMB WITH LEGS!!!!" What I'm trying to say is that the men in power who run the campaigns seem to think that all we women care about is our reproductive rights. Period. That there is nothing else in the world that defines women except our uteruses. And so they insult us by ginning up phony controversies to manipulate us, corral us, and make us cower in fear that our rights are about to be taken away, and then to try to score points against the other side.

Let me elaborate. For anyone who hasn't read this blog before, I am pro-choice, verging on 60 years old, and I DO care about women's reproductive rights. HOWEVER, I am much, much more concerned about  women's lack of economic progress, a subject of dire importance that both the left and the right have ignored in favor of keeping the reproductive rights fight going.

We saw this week a birth control controversy spinning out of control (also more here, here, here and here). In my eyes, what this tempest in a teapot amounts to is another point of contention in the new health care law that both sides can distort to play into their memes and get their bases all excited. I am so tired of hearing all of this garbage!!!! And according to my inbox, comments on other blogs, and even from  recent polling, people aren't putting reproductive rights on anyone's list of issues this season.

However, the screaming match between the left and the right continues. No wonder people are so disgusted with the parties. And women should be doubly disgusted. Why as women should our interests be totally defined by reproductive issues? That apparently is what the men in charge think because they think they can gain an advantage by trotting out these tired arguments and that we will always respond as blithering idiots and screaming hysterics right on cue. THIS example is one of the reasons women need to run more things and run them in proportion to our numbers. If there had been more women around to comment, we could have told both sides that this debate isn't where they are going to score points. The really easy points that they could score is by committing to running a woman as VP and by committing to appointing 50% of their cabinet members as female. A simple act such as that would send women flocking to the polls voting for their candidates. Instead we are pandered to by the extreme elements in both parties licking their chops for another fight to score points using women as political footballs and making erroneous assumptions.

Lastly, I'd like to comment on one of the grossest sexists hypocrisies I have seen in quite a while. On Friday, I was watching Morning Joe while putting my time in on my elliptical, and these were the segments juxtaposed one against the other:  first of all, the 5-man panel on Morning Joe had a field day talking about the hypocrisy of the all-male clerical panel going in front of the Republican dominated Congressional hearing on birth control. If you'd been following that one, the optics were pretty disgusting-----a bunch of men talking about the morality of birth control for women. You can imagine the commentary on that show, especially since Joe Scarborough, the strong conservative voice, wasn't there.

Well, after much smirking and alot of "aren't these people stupid" kind of arrogant remarks, the all male panel pivoted into talking about the Massachusetts Senate race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown. Inevitably it came up about how Massachusetts hasn't been able to get women elected. So what happens next? The frat-boy panel starts dissing all of the women (except Warren who they like) who have ever run in Massachusetts saying what awful candidates they have been and naming some by name, and smirking and laughing and wink-wink----"see me? I'm one of the in crowd." How different is that from the all male panel talking about birth control for women?

The final analysis of this whole scene is that if there was ever a week that showed that we need more women running things, this was the week. If 50% of the legislators, and 50% of the TV journalists, and 50% of the pollsters, and 50% of the (fill in the blanks) were women, the conversation would be much much more respectful of where women REALLY live. And the conversation would be much more relevant. And yoo hoo fellas-------where is the talk about jobs, the economy, the debt, the deficits, entitlement reform, etc???????? Stop using women and their uteruses as your plan to corral us and control us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. my sentiments exactly. I didn't see the Morning Joe segment. I never watch MSNBC. They are the most women hating on cable. But as for the rest of it, I also felt disgusted.

  2. I'm right there with you. I am so sick of this "reproductive rights" issue being used to stir up trouble among women and then we are patted on the head and sent away if we want to get into any other issues we care about.

    As for Morning Joe, every time I see those all male panels discussing the only issue we chicks are apparently aloud to be involved in - it really makes me want make Megyn Kelly watch it, then put her in a gunny sack, shake her up really good, and then ring the bell and leave her on MSNBC's doorstep. I actually watched the two above and I'm just so furious I'm almost speechless.

  3. Why are we having so much trouble getting the message out there that we women also have other concerns?

  4. Amen, Cynthia! I've about had it with the faux kindness from the paternalistic party leaders "protecting" our reproductive rights.

    Newsflash! We've got other issues, too. Not the least of which is the utter lack of representation in political offices, boardrooms, etc., as well as the fact that we need to have two more academic degrees than our male counterparts to get the same job, yet we still make less!

    Shut up about reproductive rights, party boys. We've come a long way, baby, and we care a heck of a lot about many, many other things than just having babies.

  5. And just as a side note, if they were going to have an all male panel to talk about contraception either in Congress or on Morning Joe, how about addressing the fellas on the issue a little? Men have a role to play in safe sex and contraception as well. Yes it's a shocking thought I know...

    1. Good point, Thia. Its similar to the conversation where they blast "welfare queens" for being single moms/having babies, but conveniently ignore that those women wouldn't qualify for welfare if their children's father paid adequate child support......

  6. we need a new Gloria.

  7. Of course, the whole birth control controversy comes from--religious men--who refuse to allow women to lead their religion. Because if women were true leaders in their religion, birth control would not be a problem.
    Hey, if women were allowed to marry those men, birth control would be ok too.
    But, too bad about all that. Just give me some good women to vote for. Lots of them.

    1. Just give me women to vote for. I have voted for lots of uninspiring men. I would be perfectly happy to do the same for women. I am interested in equal representation before any other issue.


    2. count me in. all kinds of women, the ones I agree with and the ones I don't. Why do all of the people I disagree with have to be male office holders?

  8. You said it Cynthia. All the men in Congress and over at MSNBC are obviously ED drug abusers and as a result haven't had an adequate supply of blood to their heads in a good long time. I sick of these morons in government and in TV. I also would like to cancel MSNBC but am forced to subsidize it with my basic cable payment.

  9. Bes----I am waiting for the day when those cable news shows are "just so yesterday" and another model wipes them out. They are becoming boring and repetitive

  10. Points well taken, Cynthia. Yes, those cable shows are so obsolete. I listen to NPR in order to get REAL news on a daily basis. Agree wholeheartedly, as well, with Morning Joe crew. I just have to vent a bit on that one... The all-guy panels have been a source of my disdain since 2008, when this all began to take shape. What I am furious about is Mika B. I have written to her numerous times. This is an extremely highly-talented woman who had to wayyyyy tone it down in order to just be around Joe. "Yes, Joe. No, Joe. May I speak now, Joe? "May I just get in one little word in, Joe?" are just some of her favorite lines. It seriously grates on my nerves, and most definitely sends the wrong message to ALL -- male & female.

  11. I have Tweeted and FB this! As usual you have hit the nail right on the head! And as Carolyn Maloney asked- "Where are the Women?" You and I and others like uds know where they are - they are polarized behind one party or the other. Great job politics has done- now its up to us to break out and fly!
    Third party now- The Majority must unite!Clearly these buffoons are not smart enough to run this country.

  12. Gina----I know what you mean about Mika. I just cringe when I see what she puts up with and I suppose she wants to hang on to her job so she puts up with it too. Like lots of women on their jobs. It's sad. Another reason we just need more women in that profession.

    FreeMeNow----right on!!!!

  13. Here's the truth in this situation:


    WaPo wonders why birth control controversy it helped create is an election issue
    Posted by William A. Jacobson Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 11:04am


    Being the mainstream media means making birth control an election issue, then wondering aloud why birth control is an election issue.

    Disingenuous Tweet of the Day:

    The tweet links to an article titled Birth control as election issue? Why?

    The issue of birth control has suddenly become an obsession of the 2012 presidential campaign. To many observers, it seems that the clock has indeed been turned back.

    Birth control is not an obsession of the presidential campaign. As Ed Morrissey explains, it is an obession of the mainstream media, which took an issue of religious freedom and tried to turn it into a supposed threat by Republicans to ban contraception.

    It started in earnest with the George Stephanopolous grilling of Mitt Romney on the subject at the New Hampshire debate in early January, trying to get Romney to say states have the right to ban contraception. Even as to Rick Santorum, the issue was simply a hypothetical states’ power issue, not a public policy argument that states should ban contraception.

    Since then, WaPo has run dozens of articles focusing on the contraception issue, and both its left (Greg Sargent) and (allegedly) right (Jennifer Rubin) bloggers along withWaPo columists, have brought up the issue almost daily.

    The mainstream media, with WaPo in the lead, created a phony controversy regarding birth control, and now is shocked, just shocked that it has become an election issue.

    Don’t think for a second that in this election cycle anything has changed.