Archive for the ‘War-on-Women’ Category

  • Should Ann Romney, wife of multimillionaire Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, get a pass for her recent political gaffes? Was such a consideration given to Michelle Obama when her husband, now President Obama, first ran for office in 2008?
    These questions have become a source of wide-range debate recently, particularly following Mrs. Romney’s remarks on Monday suggesting that she does “not consider myself wealthy.” Earlier this month Mrs. Romney also joked that she “could just strangle” the press, a remark that received little push back.
    The mainstream news media, including prominent newspapers and major TV networks, have urged the public to put Mrs. Romney’s latest remarks in context. Former CBS News Anchor Dan Rather suggested giving Mrs. Romney a pass because she is only the “spouse” of a presidential candidate and not herself a candidate running for office. The Washington Post suggested reading Mrs. Romney’s remarks in their full context before passing judgement.   But what if it were Michelle Obama who made either of those remarks?
    Some critics–particularly on Twitter–say the spouse of Mitt Romney should not be given a “pass” by the news media since First Lady Michelle Obama was not given EQUAL TREATMENT when her husband first ran for President.  Before becoming the nation’s African American First Lady of the United States and since serving in that role for the past three years, Michelle Obama has faced intense scrutiny by the mainstream news media (MSM), Right Wing critics, and even some liberal Democrats. She has gotten very little public support from prominent women’s groups as the victim of intense criticism and  crude name calling.  In 2008, she was accused of being unpatriotic for comments she made about being “proud of my country for the first time…”  At that time, the news media made very little effort to put Mrs. Obama’s words in context.

    And the scrutiny has not stopped.  Since becoming the nation’s first African American First Lady, Mrs. Obama has been booed by some fans at NASCAR. The news media recently gave credibility to a European newspaper that falsely criticized her lavish purchase of lingerie. When she   vacations or goes on trips with her husband as other First Ladies have historically done, she is called out and even sometimes equated to being Marie Antoinette.
    Following Mrs. Romney’s remarks on Monday, an conversation ensued on Twitter comparing how Mrs. Romney has been treated by the news media  to how First Lady Michelle Obama has been treated.   Here are two excerpts taken from two Twitter discussions on the subject.


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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