Do Republicans Hate Women?
It seems that the more I read up on Mitt Romney and the Republican party, the more I see a worrying disregard for the rights of the women they hope will vote for them. In the interests of honesty, I am not and will likely never be a supporter of Republican politics, and the following post is my own commentary on some of their policies. I have no doubt at all that other parties in other countries may have been guilty of similar views, but I have chosen to address the Republican party as they have a fighting chance of actually coming to power in the USA, and that could be a seriously negative turn of events for many women.
As the women above sum up, these aren’t made up statements. These are real things said by representatives, members or supporters of the Republican party. It often seems to me that many members of the party have a complete disregard for women’s rights- for human rights, even. It seems odd to me that “corporations are people”, but half the time, women don’t seem to be.
In what world is it moral to force a victim of rape to have a child conceived through assault? It seems that when Republicans profess to being pro-life, they don’t mean the life of the mother. The mother who possesses conscious thought, emotion and the ability to feel pain- she is disregarded entirely in favour of the life of the unborn child. Abortion is never an ideal circumstance, but forcing a woman to keep an unwanted pregnancy is not what I would define as pro-life. The victim should “honour this gift”- but what if she can’t? It could have a hugely detrimental effect on herself and on the child- not just after it is born but throughout the pregnancy. The immense insensitivity of those who adhere to this view is frightening, and the idea that a major party may support it is even more so.
Oh wait- I forgot that, according to Rep. Todd Akin, women can block pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape“. Like, when a woman’s house is “legitimately burgled”, she can stop her things being stolen. In cases such as this, it’s not just a disregard for women- it’s complete and utter ignorance as to how our bodies even work. And if they don’t get how it works, do you want them making laws to regulate it?
And what about birth control- Republicans as a whole are decidedly against it. At the start of the year, Republican-controlled Arizona fast-tracked a law which would make it legal for employers to refuse to cover women for birth-control pills. This is not a subtle bill- it’s a blatantly unconstitutional violation of the right to medical privacy. Not to mention- it’s just plain discriminatory. If an employer could find (find, through searching an employee’s medical records) any evidence that the pill was being used as contraception, they would have a case. If there was proof their male worker ever used a condom, would they be similarly discriminated against?
Rush Limbaugh, ultra-conservative talk show host, effectively characterises women who use birth control as “sluts”. This makes the fatal mistake of assuming that birth control pills = sex. Due to the hormones in the pills, they are used to treat such a wide range of medical conditions such as:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Absence of periods (for various reasons)
Heavy menstrual periods
Prevention of anemia
Yeah. All of the women taking the pill for these reasons, they’re sluts. Should it even matter if a woman is taking the contraceptive pill for its main use? I would argue not- just because a woman has sex and doesn’t want to get pregnant, it doesn’t make her a slut. Amazingly nothing does- because women, like men, have the right to do whatever they like with their bodies.
And most recently, in a deliciously dumb turn of phrase, Romney referred to his “binders full of women” he wanted to appoint to places in the Cabinet. You know, a gaggle of geese. A pod of whales. A binder of women. In the interests of fairness, he was talking about increasing gender equality in his staff- which admittedly he did until two years into his term, when the figures slid to less than what they had been initially. The real problem here wasn’t what he was talking about- it’s the way that he reduced independent working women to a “resume in a binder”. Also, this song is funny.
If you want to read what the other Teen Skepchicks have to say on similar matters, here are blog posts by Lux/Elly, Mindy and, well… Mindy again. Because seriously, this post doesn’t address the half of it.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons