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Why Bold New Messaging May Be Our Best Weapon against the War on Women

Posted on: February 27, 2012

Here’s a short multiple choice quiz every woman should take:

Q: Who should be making decisions about your choice of birth control?

a) You    b) Your Employer     c) Congress   d) Old White Republican Men

If you think any answer choice other than  item “a” sounds ridiculous, then you’re right:  those choices are ridiculous!  Nevertheless,  that doesn’t stop them from being real options.

If Republicans have their way,  any of those answer choices except “a”  could be in a position to decide whether your contraception is “The Pill” or maybe just an “aspirin” squeezed tightly between your knees.

In fact, things have gotten nasty out there in the world of politics as Republicans have stepped up their blatantly demeaning rhetoric against women’s health and reproductive rights. And as a result, women have been forced to fight back in unconventional ways to seize the headlines and drive home a new and counter narrative.

And what is that new narrative? In case you’ve missed the headlines,  here it is: in-your-face, right-back-at-you, and flip-the-script types of strategies that some might consider politically incorrect. Nevertheless, these strategies are proving to be women’s most formidable weapon to date to fight against the latest surge of Right Wing vitriol.

The impact of the new and improved messaging has been nothing less than amazing. Just last week  amid tremendous pushback, Virginia’s ultrasound rule and personhood bill failed. Today, Alabama lawmakers backed down on the controversial trans-vaginal ultrasound measure. And no doubt, considering the backlash they got last week, Republicans in the nation’s capitol will think twice about ever attempting to hold a Congressional Hearing on contraception or any women’s issue without including women.

While some might consider  the bold new strategies “politically incorrect,” the new approach is proving to be quite effective.  For example, let’s take a minute to examine this rather raunchy-looking captioned photo below which has been floating around the Internet recently, arousing tensions and stirring quite a bit of debate in the body politic.

Cleverly and perhaps flippantly mocking the Republicans’ escalating war on women,  this less than discreet message leaves very little to the imagination.  And perhaps that is as it should be.  Last week, Facebook was reportedly forced to remove the provocative posting.

Now let’s look at other, shall we say, less-than-ladylike ways in which women have been fighting back.  The vile suggestion to use an “aspirin” as a method of birth control has been countered by equally colorful comments on Twitter, such as variations of this comment: “They know where they can shove that aspirin…”  And push back against the Catholic Church’s anti-contraception stance  has led to some women  Catholics  to sport “blasphemous”  t-shirts with messages that read, “Keep Your ROSARIES Out Of My OVARIES!.”

Then how about this clever videotaped parody that mocks a Congressional Hearing on contraception—only this time women  get to  flip the script on the men as  they use  some  rather select choice words  in characterizing  the male reproductive organ:

Of course, special props must also go out to Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson and Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal whose very visceral approaches to counteracting the anti-women venom have stolen the headlines from their respective Republican counterparts in recent weeks.

Sen. Johnson recently introduced but has since withdrawn a satirical amendment to her state’s “Personhood” bill, posthumously referred to as  The Spilled Semen Amendment. And Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal (D-75) introduced  the Anti-Vasectomy Act that mocked her state’s Republican-led anti-women legislation.

And of course, let’s not  forget how the hardworking Congresswomen in the  nation’s Capitol  had to call out  that Republican led-Congressional Committee a week ago for  holding a hearing on contraception and failing to include even one woman participant.  See below how Congresswoman Bernice Johnson  makes the point clear that women will not stand back and let a male-only brigade  make decisions about women’s health and contraception choices without the input of women.

So, the fight against the Republicans war on women is just heating up, and the outcome probably won’t be too pretty.  But, thank God, women aren’t ready to toss in the kitchen sink just yet.  There still  appears  to be a need to keep up– if not  step up–the  rhetoric.  After all, tough talk is what pompous, misogynic types understand best.  If that’s the case, then let’s  give them a bit of their own medicine.  A good kick in the groin–literally and figuratively–with a Stiletto shoe won’t kill those old men, but it will certainly weaken their stance.

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