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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What Does It All Mean?

Cynthia Ruccia

Let me get this straight: there is a "Republican War on Women"------really???? Rush Limbaugh is a pig. Bill Maher is a pig----so much so that David Axelrod has cancelled his appearance on his show and apparently the Alabama Democratic Party has scrubbed its website of any mention of him highlighting their state dinner. Sarah Palin is still apparently fair game for Democratic misogyny (here, here, and here) . No matter what justifications anyone gives, the visceral need to take her down using any tactic necessary is a reflection of deep deep unwillingness to accept women in any power position. And I just continue to shake my head at the lengths people will go to dump on her. She's become an idol and icon of a sort, a negative one to be sure. No insult is too great, no lie is too dishonest, no assessment of her character is too outrageous. She's become the chosen dumpee, by that I mean that whatever scares people about the political right and also about women, it's an immediate knee jerk reaction to find a new way to dump on Palin to get rid of the dumpers' inner fears. It's such a cheap shot that it has become impossible to give any credibility to any Palin criticisms. Even the ones who hate her the most are developing a little bit of sympathy for her because somewhere in their addled brains this level of vitriol doesn't ring true.

Louis C.K. was run off his gig at the Radio and Television Correpondent's Dinner for his disgusting misogyny. It didn't take much to get rid of him either. Google misogyny March 2012 and you get page after page after page of fresh comments on the subject. Everywhere you look there is discussion from Democratic women about the war on women. And the Republicans aren't really offering up many women to rebut it----only men. I suspect the optics on that may soon change, but the fact that it hasn't happened  yet speaks volumes.

As an Independent, I get to look at this whole phenomenon from a different perch, and I'd like to make a few observations:

1) the "war on women" is a trumped up storyline for this election year.

2) the Democrats are shamelessly using this tactic as part of their strategy to win the White House

3) clearly no one really cares about such storyline because if they did, Obama's poll numbers wouldn't be tanking

4) women who don't make up the Democratic left still haven't figured out what they want and thus are abrogating their potential power to others

I'm glad that the subject of both right wing and left wing misogyny has had an airing and continues to be aired. That alone is significant. We have known all along that the Republicans haven't been interested in building a woman's platform of any kind. But it is good to see people on the right demand that the hypocrisy of the left, that they are for women but support the worst misogynists in town, that this double standard be called on the carpet and put to task. That is a terrific piece of progress.

The Democrats lost the women's vote in 2010 and they are working overtime to get it back. Most of the impetus is coming out of the Chicago Obama campaign headquarters. I am happy to see these tactics backfire because once again, women are not using their voices in an effective way and as such are just pawns in the men's game. What do we want?

Where is the conversation about getting these candidates to commit to putting a woman as VP on their ticket? Where is the conversation about insisting that the next president needs to appoint 50% of his next cabinet heads as women? Where is it? I bring this idea up all of the time and if people aren't agreeing enthusiastically with me (and most do) all I get is a blank stare. No one has much of an argument against this idea. Well, sometimes I get that old saw that we can't appoint someone just because they have a uterus, but you can run that argument away by talking about all of the penis's we appoint.

So women's voices CAN be heard right now. Both parties want our votes. If you're not going to be a puppet being used by the left, then why not stand up and stand for something? If not, we will just be defined in a way that makes us mad-----really really mad. And honestly, I'm mad, but I refuse to be anyone's limp puppet to use as they will. How about we start bombarding the presidential candidates with our ideas that REALLY will have an impact-----------first female VP, first cabinet in history that has female parity. I'm sure that adopting those ideas will cause women to flock to that candidate without getting involved in any ridiculous rehashing of cultural issues that regular people just don't really care about right now. Hillary Clinton said recently that women need to shape our own destinies and give an audacious fight. Let's honor her request!!!!!!!


  1. alot of blah blah blah coming out right now about women. Most of it is making my blood pressure go through the roof. thanks for writing Cyn thia. I thought I was the only one thinking like that.

  2. If I don't see the parties address women's issues directly I plan to vote my local ballot and write in a woman's name for President. I want the candidates to address the women's issues of Equal pay for equal work, Media images of women and girls and parity in media ownership for women. Parity of political representation for women, Equal access to relevant health care for women, Equal opportunity for education and jobs. So far all I see is a bunch of malecentric drama. I am not impressed.

    1. Bes
      You asked the questions? What are you going to do about the inequality? Only women can make life different. We can nor complain about what men do or not do and then expect them to read our minds. Get involved. Are you volunteering for your favorite candidate(s)? Have you considered running for office?
      I ran for school board and won! I was asked to run for state representative, but did not. I have volunteered for my party and my favorite candidates. What an education! Most Americans do not know much about politics or the candidates for whom they vote in numbers of 30% to sometimes 40%. That is a disgrace!!! We need to educate ourselves, Our families,our friends, our neighbors.. Go to a campaign headquarters, make calls from home, Facebook, Tweet, put a sign in your yard, but ,ost of all, learn the answers to your questions by asking the candidates. That straight line of communication is the best.If you cannot do this, go online and read about the candidates and ask your most important questions.
      I have met one of the Republican presidential candidates and his wife. I learned his positions about women from his words, but most of all from his actions now and in the past. Try it!

  3. I'm tired of being in the "pep club". In high school (graduated in 1971) there were no athletic teams for girls at my school of approximately 3,000 students. Not one team...no tennis, swimming, track..nothing. Sooo, over 600 of us athletic girls were in the pep club, which consisted of dressing the same and cheering at the football games to sometimes stupid songs like "Sweet Georgia Brown"...I know. Anyway, last night I attended another pep rally in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, headlined by Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood. It was sooo disappointing! About 400 people, mainly women stood in a small parking lot behind a huge planned parenthood bus across from the capitol listening to a few speakers. Not even a march!! We were asked to text a message to Governor Perry about a recent law affecting women, because they ran out of petitions.. People from the streets could barely see us. I left the pep rally, less than enthused. I don't think this is what Hillary had in mind when she asked us to be Audacious.

  4. I think everyone is getting sick of hearing about all of this phony outrage. Bunch of phony baloney.

  5. I think the obama camp is using Sarah Palin ads bc it is easy money. Also, the Republican base hates Obama so much that they will turn out in record numbers to defeat him even it means voting for the dreaded Romney. I think this is good news bc it gives Romney a unique opportunity to take a hard left toward the center (and give a voice to the forgotten middle) and also take advantage of the historic chance to really get the bulk of women voters. The "republican war on women" meme will serve to make sure Dem women don't stay home like they did in 2010. But indy women don't give a poo. They're looking for economic fixes and Romney has an edge on that front. But the Dems need to counter the Obama hate energy on the left. Well, there's a handy bank of energetic hatred lurking with the hearts and minds of the left. Why should the Dems waste this? It ensures all the lefties supposedly pissed off at Obama for his 1 or 2 nonlefty policies will show up on election day AND they can get some blog noise and fundraising to boot. The Dems are too smart to take the high road on this one.

  6. I think you're right Cynthia. Now is the time to make our voices heard. What do we want from the Republican party? Let's make it easy on them. First and foremost, a woman vp. Once they've done that, then we'll start talking. Romney could say he promises to appoint 50% women to his cabinet. I hate to say it but I almost think that would backfire on him. And if he did say 40% and not 50%, they'd say he lied. Maybe he could say parity in his cabinet is top concern for him - something he would shoot for, take seriously. Or he could say there will be more women his cabinet than in those of the last 3 presidents.

    For me, I would honestly like to hear what ideas Romney has to move women forward. The Dems have always dominated that conversation. Romney has a unique opportunity to be the candidate/president who brings the Republican perspective on how to address gender equality, move women forward, etc. I'm open minded and looking forward to hearing his ideas. He has great ideas on other issues. Let's ask him to offer his ideas on this one. It is a great way for him to get our votes. Personally, I'd like to see Romney or his woman vp be the ones to take the women's movement to the next level. Romney and his woman vp, by offering new ideas on advancing women economically and in leadership, can make the Dems look like a bunch of boys obsessed with women's girly parts. It would be EASY to do. They just need to make it a priority and put the effort into thinking about solutions.

    And I suppose it is up to women like us to convince the to make it a priority.

    Any ideas on how to do this?

  7. We have to start by NOT being such cheap dates that either party is able to take us for granted.

    I have been touting a Mitt Romney/Susanna Martinez ticket for months. All I'm hearing is Marco Rubio, whom I like very much, but he's a man and I'm tired of seeing only men on the ticket. If you want a majority of our 52% to come out and vote for you, at least throw us the bone of a woman on the ticket.

    The fear the left has of a viable woman candidate on a Republican Ticket was all too obvious in their rabid hatred of Sarah Palin. Love her or not, no one deserved what was done to her by men AND women on the left. It was, and is, repulsive.

    I have many issues with Sarah Palin, none having to do with her gender.

    If you didn't see this article I think it's a timely, and interesting one. Especially coming from the right. But then I don't give a damn where my information comes from as long as it's something I can support. I agree with much of this article.

    Fluke and the fall of feminism

    1. That was a great article Kenoshamarge - thanks for posting. We have gone so far off the rails it's just sad!

      I've been watching Susanna Martinez too and I like her very much. She would not be a "pander" candidate. She could stand on her own as a great addition to the team - without regard to her gender - but we get a +1 in the she column. That is exactly the kind of woman candidate I want. That said, Sarah Palin had that too and they tried to rip her to shreds - so we'd better be ready if the GOP candidate does pick a woman. I'm still "hungover" from the '08 election.

  8. And here comes the other shoe: Obama contraceptive rule is already up for revision. Having not been able to browbeat women, he's going to take them back to the time (12 years ago) before the EEOC ruling made birth control for women mainstream, and will continue to subject reproductive health care to segregation. Gender segregation in health care, brought to you by Obama for America. http://peacocksandlilies.com/2012/03/18/so-about-that-war-on-women/

    Is this the change people were waiting for?