I’ve got a lousy cold and a lot of work – and ideas – backed up but I cannot endure one more column headline opining on why there’s a gender gap between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

The gap exists because of reality: when women look around and on an every day occasion, see and experience where we aren’t included or even thought about, or, when we are included or thought about, how we’re treated – whether in real life (Ginni Rometty) or fake life (anything on Mad Men) – we don’t like it. And we see the statements and policies of conservatives as, in general (yes, there are exceptions), upholding, supporting and keeping in stasis what we don’t like, while we see the statements and policies of moderates and liberals as, in general, seeking to change, alter, take down and improve that which we don’t like (though of course there are plenty of exceptions there too – start with any sex scandal).

And, as if to underscore how clueless the men are, US Senator Mitch McConnell claimed that his female colleagues certainly would support him in calling out the “war on women” as being manufactured. Thanks, Mitch, for demonstrating how completely you haven’t heard a word your female colleagues have said and how thoroughly you expect them to follow you in lockstep, to wit, from that link:

“Talk about a manufactured issue. There is no issue,” McConnell said. “Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (from Texas) and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say—and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska—’we don’t see any evidence of this.’”

However, three of those female GOP lawmakers whom McConnell cited— Snowe, Hutchison and Murkowski—have specifically spoken out against Republican measures they believe are aimed at women.

Then, there’s the whole gaslighting aspect to what McConnell and others like Republican National Committee Chair, Reince Priebus, are saying – Priebus analogizing his belief that the notion of there being a war on women is as far-fetched as suggesting there’s a war on caterpillars.

We’re not being gaslighted – reality bites. And no amount of optics of Republican female spokespeople on the trail or a strong spouse, daughter-in-law or mother will begin to cut into the reality.

JILL MILLER ZIMON
Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
Sort by:   newest | oldest
Robert P. Coutinho
Member

I just read a piece from Susan Brown. As flabbergastingly stupid as the column was, I was stunned into an incapacity to answer it. For those who don’t know who Susan Brown is, go to Darryl Cagle’s site and read some of her articled. She, of course, had insisted that not only did the Republicans NOT have a war on women, but that the Obama administration was actually the one putting women down and hurting them. I think I may go back to the article to rebuff it–by simply linking this article.

dduck
Member

Yes, Virginia, there is racial, economic, social status and gender “gaslighting” in America.

zephyr
Guest

Republican political leaders are not only out of touch with women, they are out of touch with worthwhile priorites in general. To all intents and purposes they’ve decided honesty and decency (some of us still remember those good old fashioned character traits) are dispensible as well. It only remains to be seen how the GOP will spend insane amounts of money to skew public perceptions of who and what they really are. It’s no surprise that more women vote for democrats than for republicans, but given the current attitudes and cluelessness about women it’s hard to see why that gap isn’t even more lopsided. Maybe it will be this time around..

Kim Ritter
Member

Its really a shame that GOP women in Congress are forced to vote for these measures and then get bashed for voting for them at home. If they vote against them, the TP will run a more cooperative and well-financed candidate for their seat in the primary

Slamfu
Member

Typical type of sexism/racism in the GOP. If you were to grill him no doubt he would not say he is a sexist because his views are so ingrained he thinks he’s not. That’s just the way his world works. Very typical of the GOP these days. So sad.

IndyGuy
Guest

My stepson and his wife, who are in the US Army in Korea, do not like President Obama too much and were planning on voting against him in the next election. However, now that the Republicans have vastly overreached on women’s reproductive rights, they are going to vote for the President. This one issue, which is crucial for both of them in their early 20’s, on which they could no longer support the Republicans.

I just heard Limbaugh say yesterday that it was in fact the President who is waging war on American women. These people are so out of touch, and may have lost my stepson and his wife’s support for their cause. They are so arrogant that they can’t see the damage they have caused. So be it!

CStanley
Guest

Jill said:

“what are the conservatives offering?”

Ostensibly (and hopefully), conservatism.

CStanley
Guest

What specific iterations are those, Jill?

roseyrey
Member

CStanley — really? C’mon. Even if you want to sidestep the entire issue of reproductive rights due the conservative choices you personally say you prefer (too bad for those of us who are different than you, but let’s put that aside), and instead just stick with the whole work equality thing, there’s a pretty easy list of why many popular iterations of conservatism are bad for women.

roseyrey
Member

Anyway, Jill — good article, thanks. The topic of gaslighting in general, and how it’s a tool used against women and people with disabilities so often, and to great effect, is one I find fascinating and scary. I hadn’t been thinking of the overall recent push against women’s rights in terms of gaslighting, but it’s an interesting thought. It is appropriate, though, I think. The idea that all of us who are pissed off are just over-reacting, that we’re hysterical (ahem) over these laws being passed that the GOP is slipping through the cracks, making them out to be totally business-as-usual — it’s pretty infuriating, and it’s designed to make many of us complacent in blithly giving away our rights without making a stink.

StockBoyLA
Guest

What’s sad is that the Republican Party used to fight for things such as Civil Rights and it was the Southern Dems that wanted to keep things status quo. Now the Republicans seem to be mostly out for the rich. Even my “non-rich” Republican friends think the Republicans should insist on tax cuts…. precisely so the rich can earn more money and hire more money (and guarantee others’ the opportunity to work). They view the rich as being the economic engine in this country. Even though most business owners are anything but rich.

Kim Ritter
Member

I think conservatives have ceased to act conservatively. Their actions are much more radically regressive and reactionary than even Reagan-era conservatives can accept. There are too many laws against women in too many areas of the country to ignore their actions as isolated happenings.

Conservatism by definition means keeping things the same– or slowing down change. I agree with Roro that conservative women may not balk at their party’s meddling with women’s reproductive choices– they may not even care that women are left out of the process or even worse, shamed for having a normal sex life, but even THEY should feel affronted at losing a third of their paycheck, because “men probably need the money more.”

CStanley
Guest

bluebelle,
the reason i asked jill for specifics is that when you look at the specific real changes that have occurred, it’s almost always true that the conservative opposition actually was doing exactly what you say they were not doing; that is, they have been opposing the changes by which progressives have tried to move the country to the left on these issues. The recent birth control insurance mandate is the most obvious example of that, because it wasn’t Republicans who wanted to change the status quo. Same for the debate which broke out over changing the Hyde Amendment- a compromise which had kept at least an uneasy truce in the culture wars for a generation.

CStanley
Guest

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with any of you holding the position that the changes that progressives have made and seek to change on women’s issues are good or needed…that’s your prerogative and I simply respectfully disagree. And if you think it’s important enough to prevent you from considering a vote against Obama strictly on that basis, well, that’s your prerogative too if you choose to be a one issue voter.

CStanley
Guest

Um. stock boy maybe your Republican friends also know that the majority of business owners aren’t rich and that’s why they also know that corporate taxes are influential in whether or not small businesses feel confident to hire?

CStanley
Guest

And bluebelle…yes, most of us who identify as conservative also agree that conservatives have failed to govern conservatively. That is why i initially responded to Jill’s question with the qualification that conservatives will hopefully offer conservatism.

dduck
Member

“KUALA LUMPUR — Leading global market intelligence firm Synovate today released results from a new study on women and financial independence, which found that nearly six in ten (58%) women across 12 diverse countries believe themselves to be financially independent.”

That’s certainly encouraging,

roseyrey
Member

“when you look at the specific real changes that have occurred, it’s almost always true that the conservative opposition actually was doing exactly what you say they were not doing; that is, they have been opposing the changes by which progressives have tried to move the country to the left on these issues”

CStanley, that’s just not true, unless you count law that’s been settled for long periods of time. It’s very rarely true. On the abortion front, absolutely the GOP has been pushing the laws far to the right — in the form of mandatory waiting periods, medically dubious or outright inaccurate speaches written by lawmakers to be delivered by doctors to women, mandatory ultrasounds, parental notification/permission laws, cutting back medical exceptions, ramping up regulations and restrictions on clinics, allowing false advertising and tax-paid support for “Pregnancy Crisis Centers”, further cutting down the legal period of gestational maturity, etc etc etc. Conservatives have also fought against equal pay laws, domestic violence laws, sexual harassment laws, and privacy laws, all of which were not meant to push the agenda left, but to close loopholes by which employers were taking advantage of female (and LGBT and disabled and racial minorities) workers. Even in the case you site, it’s not hard to see that the law requiring employers who provide health insurance and prescription coverage to their employees to do so in a manner that does not discriminate based on gender had a big loophole, and that loophole was coverage of birth control.

CStanley
Guest

Jill, I think what that state official said is ridiculous but I wouldn’t hold Romney accountable for it any more than I think we should hold Obama accountable for Marion Barry making obnoxious statements about getting rid of Asian shopowners in black DC neighborhoods. I really don’t see why people get dragged into the weeds over the outrage of the day instead of looking at actual policy.

DaGoat
Guest

My understanding is that Walker did not repeal the equal pay law as the article states, but rather signed the repeal of the law allowing women to bring equal pay lawsuits to state courts instead of federal. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Kim Ritter
Member

CStanley– As far as the mandate goes, its my understanding that about 27 states already have this in place– the GOP treated it as some radical new intrusion into religious liberty. It is not.

There have been over 1100 laws passed in the last year limiting or imposing conditions on the choices of women as far as their reproductive health, as well as a pattern of actions nationwide that would close down Planned Parenthood clinics. If you consider the laws that redefine rape and those that remove protection for equal pay, that constitutes more than one issue for female voters. The Ryan budget would likewise hit females harder as they are more dependent upon entitlements.

Of course some conservative women will still vote for Romney– but it WILL effect the way Independents vote.

dduck
Member

Is there something out of the ordinary in politics to say your opponents are waging a “War”on _________.? Women are getting the shitty end of the stick, it’s true, and has been true in the past. No need to deny it, just say it is the other guy waging war and roll in the voters for your side. OK, with me, I just wish the Reps could have a catchy war phrase for the the Dems.

Very difficult since the Dems have never, and never are wrong about anything (snark over). But some liberals actually believe that is so, not so much moderates and independents.

So all is fair in politics. Not so sure about love as the Reps are probably at war over that.

CStanley
Guest

Jill, that’s a list basically of state laws relating to abortion. So as far as I’m concerned the guy you brought up making an asinine statements about pay inequity being OK is still a one off, unless you can show me who else is saying that.

I honestly don’t know the details of the Wisc law that was repealed. The optics of repealing it right now are probably bad politics, but since I can’t find an unbiased source reporting on it, I don’t know if I think it was wrong on principle to repeal it or not. My general opinion on pay inequity is that it historically has been a real problem but real gains have been made and there are also reasons other than discrimination that can contribute to inequity. I generally think that the ability to sue should be protected so that disputes can be sorted out, but I don’t know what the real effects of this law were so can’t say whether the repeal was a big deal or just election year hype that neatly fits a narrative.

DaGoat
Guest

As far as I know equal pay for women has been federal law since 1963 and there is no way a state can reverse it. What Wisconsin did is make it harder for women to sue by taking away the option of suing in a state court and forcing them to use a federal court. You could debate that decision but what I see is a probably deliberate attempt by some to paint this as somehow repealing equal pay for equal work. FWIW the justification given for the reversal was on a pro-business basis, namely since it was made easier to sue a lot of frivolous lawsuits were brought to the state courts.

CStanley it’s not surprising you don’t know the specifics of the Wisconsin law. I tried over the weekend to find the details but Google was flooded with a ton of opinions and few facts. Even the mainstream sources didn’t say much.

Archangel
Member

dear JillZ, nice to see you always and hope y ou feel tip top soon…

the comments system has been acting up lately and sometimes you can edit your own comment and sometmes have to sign out and sign back in then most often, it’s ok again.

hang in there. we’re working on it.

archangel/ dr.e

epiphyte
Member

@Cstanley… So what do you think, dude? Do women deserve the right to equal pay and equal healthcare, or not?

EEllis
Guest

Cstanley isn’t a dude and she has already stated her opinions on the issue.

CStanley
Guest

As far as the mandate goes, its my understanding that about 27 states already have this in place– the GOP treated it as some radical new intrusion into religious liberty. It is not.

The majority of those states allow for religious exemptions, and previously there was the federal option of self insuring for institutions that weren’t provided an opt out in the state law. So yes, the federal mandate is a radical departure from previous policy.

dduck
Member

EE, is correct, but more than that, she is a reasonable person.

CStanley
Guest

Thanks EEllis. Epiphyte, if you have any specific questions about my views I’d be glad to answer.

CStanley
Guest

LOL, thanks for that as well, dduck.

CStanley
Guest

Jill, I get that you aren’t a partisan Democrat but your stated goals, both in the ends and the means, identify you as fairly liberal. That’s fine but just recognize that the reason that you don’t see the GOP offering what you are looking for is that Republicans don’t agree on those ends and means. There’s nothing radical or devious about that, it’s just how things work in our system.

CStanley
Guest

CStanley,, that’s just not true, unless you count law that’s been settled for long periods of time. It’s very rarely true. On the abortion front, absolutely the GOP has been pushing the laws far to the right — in the form of mandatory waiting periods, medically dubious or outright inaccurate speaches written by lawmakers to be delivered by doctors to women, mandatory ultrasounds, parental notification/permission laws, cutting back medical exceptions, ramping up regulations and restrictions on clinics, allowing false advertising and tax-paid support for “Pregnancy Crisis Centers”, further cutting down the legal period of gestational maturity, etc etc etc. Conservatives have also fought against equal pay laws, domestic violence laws, sexual harassment laws, and privacy laws, all of which were not meant to push the agenda left, but to close loopholes by which employers were taking advantage of female (and LGBT and disabled and racial minorities) workers. Even in the case you site, it’s not hard to see that the law requiring employers who provide health insurance and prescription coverage to their employees to do so in a manner that does not discriminate based on gender had a big loophole, and that loophole was coverage of birth control.

OK, Roro, so when liberals push for laws they think are needed, they’re “closing loopholes” rather than “pushing the agenda left” but when conservatives push for their policy preferences it’s to push the agenda rightward.

Again, as I said to Jill, what’s wrong with seeing all of these cases as the normal push and pull of two factions in a pluralistic society? And on your complaints about the abortion restriction laws, it doesn’t really matter what your specific criticisms of those laws are because in reality you won’t accept anything other than complete access and public funding of abortion- and that is not how the SCOTUS justices ruled in Roe or subsequent cases.

CStanley
Guest

And thank you, Jill, for a very reasonable response.

And honestly – just using those as examples, I’m sure there are plenty to point to going in the opposite political direction. Just reiterating that the disagreement isn’t radical or devious, but ends and means selected to further either side certainly might be characterized that way.

Yes, and I could give dozens of examples but I’ll choose one that is recent and relevant tot the topic of the post: the testimony of Sandra Fluke. In response to critics, much was made of the fact that she was mainly testifying on behalf of women who needed treatment for medical, not contraceptive needs. But the status quo is that these needs are already covered, and no one disputes that or has any moral misgivings about such use. The whole issue boiled down to complaints about the process involved in showing a medical need for a covered expense- and yet that same process is what all of us have to go through whenever a doctor’s preferred prescription or treatment differs at all from the insurance company’s standards (I personally have had to go to be for at least a dozen prescription preauthorizations for my son in just the last few months.) so at the very least, it’s disingenuous to insist that this is a battle for parity when what some women are asking for is actually a preferential treatment for insurance companies to cover these drugs without question. And that’s to not even mention that the mandate insists on no copy- is there any other drug for which that’s the case?

CStanley
Guest

Ugh, my kingdom for an edit button….

That should say that I’ve had to go to “bat” for prescription preauthorizations and that the mandate specifies no “copay”.

CStanley
Guest

Also Jill, the fact that abortion opponents are using what you consider devious means to put restrictions on abortion has a lot to do with the fact that Roe was a judicial rather than a legislative decision. By arbitrarily defining a limited right to life for the fetus at certain stages, the justices insured that the will of the people in more conservative states was thwarted and the people who want more protections for fetal life even at early stages are trying to find any legal means possible to do so.

CStanley
Guest

I agree that anything can be politicized and that it often turns quite ugly. Thanks for the film recommendation- I’ll check it out if I get a chance.

CStanley
Guest

BTW Jill- from what I understand about that Arizona bill, it was an issue with being poorly written. It sounded as thought he employer was to review that health information when the intent was for the insurance company to do so (it was simply written as “the corporation” I believe.) so it’s fine that opponents pointed this out, but there too you see this hyperventilation which has blown it all out of proportion. I think the Obama campaign’s capitalization on this dustup, for instance, was ridiculous.

wpDiscuz