Monday, October 27, 2014

Calling a Spade a Trowel

Here's how the ACLU defines "The War on Women":
The "War on Women" describes the legislative and rhetorical attacks on women and women’s rights taking place across the nation. It includes a wide-range of policy efforts designed to place restrictions on women's health care and erode protections for women and their families. Examples at the state and federal level have included restricting contraception; cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood; state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasounds; abortion taxes; abortion waiting periods; forcing women to tell their employers why they want birth control, and prohibiting insurance companies from including abortion coverage in their policies.
I guess I would include voting against equal pay somewhere in there. If it's only about reproductive rights, let's not pussyfoot around; let's call it "The War on Reproductive Rights."

At last week's debate, our Congressional candidate made the national conservative press by getting laughed at for accusing Tom Reed of being part of the War on Women. Tom did not vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and he voted against the use of federal funds for Planned Parenthood. He may pal around with his sister in his television ads, but he is not a friend to women when it comes to laws that protect specific rights.

CNN suggests that the War on Women sobriquet isn't working anymore because unlike in 2012, "this time around, there aren't any candidates talking about 'legitimate rape' or 'binders full of women.'" That would be acceptable if we'd actually made any improvement in women's status other than in pushing the really stupid candidates back into their holes. Politicus is keeping score, although their list is outdated. It's pretty obvious that rights are being chipped away at the state level.

But we can't call it the War on Women anymore, because the Wall Street Journal calls that "gender-pandering" and because candidates for Senate tell us that they are women who've been to war and therefore they know there's no War on Women.

So nothing has changed, but we can't use the name we've been using. Heck, it was at best a euphemism, anyway, like calling a spade a trowel. It doesn't roll as trippingly off the tongue, but how about "The Republican Attempt to Keep Government Out of Wage Decisions but Inside My Uterus"? Or maybe "The GOP 'Control Your Damn Libido and Dress Appropriately' Initiative"?

Maybe War on Women is now as defunct as Silent Majority, but we need a new name for the fact that reproductive rights are under attack and income parity does not exist. I'm open to suggestions.

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