The War On Women is a battle for women’s full and equal standing in the society. Republicans have been signing bills into effect that hurt women, but then say Liberals have made up a War on Women. Is the backlash just political rhetoric or is there something underneath?
Here are 3 recent quotes about the state of women in the US and about the War On Women:
“You could argue that money is more important for men,” said Wisconsin state Senator Glenn Grothman who just supported the governor Scott Walker when last week he overturned the Equal Pay Enforcement Act meant to prevent pay discrimination against women.
“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” “It’s a fiction.“Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told Bloomberg when asked about whether Republicans have a problem with women voters turning against them. He blamed it on Democrats fueling a false narrative.
”The whole notion is invented by Democrats because it turns out the stimulus didn’t work out so well. So in a last-ditch effort to appeal to women voters, they’re arguing Republicans are against women.” Steve Doocy (TV personality for Fox News and journalist) said on Monday April 9th’s show of Fox and Friends about the War On Women.
These are just three examples of people’s dismissal of the War On Women, but there are many more. Why the rejection of the idea and belief that there is an actual war on women and women’s rights?
It’s easy to see laws the Republicans have passed around the nation in 2011 on into 2012 and ones on their agenda to pass that take away women’s rights and healthcare, that pull funding from the Violence Against Women Act which supports programs nationwide who help women victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and that even keep women from being paid equal wages.
We’re not dumb. In fact, women in the US are highly educated. We’re more educated than we’re worth- literally, we are underpaid compared to men even when we have higher education. There are laws being put in place that negatively affect women across the board. We’re not making that up, but Republicans keep saying there’s no War On Women.
The Republicans also keep blaming it on the Democratic party saying that Democrats are fabricating it. But again, anyone can look at bills the Republican politicians have signed into effect and see women’s rights as people are being shot down. So seriously, what’s up?
Certainly, some people are just going along with the Republicans because it’s their party, but there are others leading the way with a strategic plan to force women into a position where they are not such competition for “men’s” power, jobs, money.
We have polarized things in a way that gives us the idea that the world is men versus women, instead of men and women working together to make this world better, to raise families, to help each other grow as people and to foster growth for our children. It has also become Conservative versus Liberal and now in this debate, The War On Women versus a War on Religious Freedom.
We can’t work together when half of us doesn’t have the same rights as the other half. We can’t work together when it is always Us versus Them. But we must work together to make this country better, to continue the greatness of freedom and democracy that we say we are about.
Still we are under a system of Patriarchy which demands men be over women no matter what. This isn’t men’s fault. It was put into place long before the men of today came along, but it is the responsibility of men today to fight against it.
There are many men fighting it, but there are also many who are upholding Patriarchy. Through laws and even by actual violence, men are blatantly saying women do not deserve to be on equal ground with men and are making excuses for why.
As a Clinical Social Worker (therapist), one thing I know to be true is that it is very hard to examine yourself. It is even harder to confront truths about the world that are unfair, dangerous, and biased and to know that you live in a world that allows those truths and that may even allow you to not be affected by them.
Many men don’t see and refuse to see the War On Women because they don’t have to. They haven’t experienced discrimination in their lives and so not only is it not visible to them, they believe it’s just a fabrication like Santa Claus or the Easter bunny. They have not had men stare at their breasts when they talk rather than look them in the face. They have not had their asses grabbed on a bus or in a bar. They have not been called a “bitch” when refusing sexual advances by someone. They have not been ignored when there is a man speaking. They have not been paid less for the same work men do. They have not been hit by a partner for being who they are (women). They have not wanted to have an abortion and been shamed for a very difficult personal decision. They have not been publicly called a slut and a prostitute for being a woman.
This is not their fault, but it doesn’t allow them to really speak with enough information about whether or not there is in fact a War On Women.
They haven’t been able to do the following:
1. Put themselves in someone else’s shoes
2. Listen to women when we say, YES we feel like you are attacking us because you have put laws in place that take away our rights. You have put laws into place that say I can’t make decisions for myself, I don’t deserve equal pay and it’s my fault if someone beats me up. When you take away our rights, it takes away our personhood and dehumanizes us, which keeps us from participating fully in all aspects of the society and makes us more vulnerable to violence.
3. Examine themselves in a world where women have been excelling and gaining equal ground and ask themselves- Why do I feel I must hold women back from making decisions with me and leading this world with me?
Grrl Code: Backlash to women standing up for themselves is the norm, but it shouldn’t be. Women’s voices should be appreciated and celebrated. This is about women’s rights- plain and simple.