Now that we've got the two major party tickets set for the presidential race, I guess it was just a matter of time that the fight for women's votes would resume. This is a fight I am relishing because I think that it has the potential of turning the "women's issue agenda" on its ear.
My friend K sent me this piece from Politico that clearly spells out the battle lines. The piece talks about how the Democrats will go after Paul Ryan as being radically anti-woman and all of the liberal suspects are quoted in the article about how Ryan hates women. The talk is all about the typical Democratic vagina monologues------how anti-choice Ryan is, how he hates Planned Parenthood, how he is going to ruin women's lives, blah blah blah. I have written extensively about these stances on the left and how it is viewed as the third rail of feminism, and I guess I'm going to have to update them.
To review, the entire framing of women's issues IMHO on the Democratic side is calcified. To those who haven't read my blog before, I am an INDEPENDENT, not Republican. The Republicans are put under the microscope here too. Anyways, the Democrats are all about women's issues being about the reproductive rights of women, a battle that has been fought and largely won by technology more than by government mandate. There was a day in my youth when these rights were fought over. It was a worthy battle and it was ongoing. I am prochoice and I am pleased with how things turned out. I realize that there must be some vigilance to retain these rights. But I am completely and utterly opposed to the entire debate STILL being about reproductive rights.
As long as we stay in this mode of women's rights being only reproductive rights, women will stay stalled. And women are COMPLETELY stalled. We still rank #70 or worse in female representation in government in the U.S., we still make 77 cents on the man's dollar. 2.8% of Fortune 1000 company CEO's are women, 12% of governors are female, we've never had a female president or VP. When will all of that change? How will all of that change?
For sure it won't change if our dialogue about women is going to be about women's reproductive issues and not about women's economic issues. Why? Because women are completely divided and powerless (heard of "divide and conquer" anyone?) as long as reproductive issues are the sole frame of the women's agenda. And as long as women are brainwashed into thinking that that is their sole interest and can be scared against thinking otherwise, women will stay as stalled as they have been for the past 30 years or more.
I don't get why women don't smarten up about this. BUT, I really welcome this battle for women between the two tickets because the Romney/Ryan ticket has the potential to wipe this divide off the face of the earth. Winning an election is as much about math as anything, and the R/R ticket needs to peel away some of the women's vote from the Dems. Not alot of it, but some of it, and I am expecting to see some expert blowback from the Republicans on the economic issues facing women.
I expect that fight to be as ugly as the current Medicare and mediscare fight we are engaged in. But the Republicans have a compelling case to make for the women's vote and I am hoping that they make it well and convincingly and break the chokehold the Democrats have on women. If the Republicans are successful, we can look forward to a whole new women's agenda breaking through, one that will complete the work of the 2nd wave of feminism when we were more united in wanting women to power share and for women to make the money men make. Women need to get their attention out of their uteruses and into their pocketbooks. Not only that, but we need to ADVANCE and start running more things in the U.S. We need to be able to truthfully tell future generations of girls that they really can be anything they want to be. We need to advance that thought out of fantasy and into reality.
On Monday at noon EDT, MSBC will be running a one-hour show on why women aren't running anything. From what I can tell, the panel looks to be tilted to the left, but for sure it is a great thing that these ideas are being explored. I'd love to see more of this talk everywhere, left and right. Greta VanSusteren talks about these things all of the time on her show on Fox, 10 p.m. nightly EDT. We must keep this drumbeat going.
I'd like to close with a terrific youtube of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress and the Congressional liason between the Romney campaign and Congress. In it she talks about the economic agenda for women, a great place to start. Sounds woman-friendly to me....