Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ten facts on GOP's War on Women unrelated to abortion

Yes, Mike Huckabee's recent statement about women's libidos bothered me, but I was even more perturbed by Senator Rand Paul's statements today in his interview with Meet the Press. I understand that the GOP wants to combat the Democratic Party's accusations about a GOP War on Women, but I'd rather that the GOP defend itself with facts not fantasies.

One such fantasy is Paul's assertions that women have surpassed men in equality. He went farther and said that women have done so well, he's concerned now about how men are falling behind.

Okay. I'll play. Since the GOP would like to pretend many of its policies and political stances don't hurt women, and since they'd like to pretend the Democratic Party is only concerned about women's lady bits or our sex drive, I've made a list grounded in reality. It gives 10 facts on the GOP's War on Women that are unrelated to abortion or reproductive rights.
  1. Cuts to Services to the Elderly Harm Women More: According to the American Psychological Association and other sources, "Regardless of race, older women are more likely to be poor. Recent data reveal that women age 65 and older are nearly twice as likely to be poor compared to older men (Lee & Shaw, 2008)." The GOP, however, proposed cuts to services for the elderly, including cuts to Meals On Wheels, medicaid, and medicare cuts that harm the elderly.
  2. The GOP's Refusal to Pass Equal Pay Speaks for Itself: Well, perhaps one of the reasons more women than men enter old age in poverty is women still earn less than men for the same work. (Divorced women are even more likely to fall into poverty in old age.) Despite the GOP's rhetoric about women and equality--most recently Senator Rand Paul's glib assertion that "if there was war on women, I think they won"-- women still earn 70 cents for every $1.00 a man earns. Still, Republicans voted against equal pay for for women in the workplace; they opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, too. Paul refutes the persistent gap between men and women by citing the success of women in his family. Have you noticed that whenever a Republican leader discusses any topic regarding equality, he or she uses anecdotal evidence to support GOP opposition to fairness? Most likely they do so because statistical data don't support their false claims.
  3. GOP Focus on Planned Parenthood's Abortion Services, Derails Women's Health Services: While the GOP's vote to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood was promoted as an anti-abortion measure, the cuts also prevented funding of cancer screening, treatment for STDs, and family planning services. Abortions make up only three percent of the organization's services.
  4. Refusal to Expand Meidicaid Under ACA Hurts Women: Republican governors around the nation have refused to the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. This GOP refusal hurts not only poor women with children but also many working women without children who earn so little they need help.
  5. GOP is Often Behind Attempts to Weaken Rape Laws: Within the GOP, there's a tone deafness on rape as a crime. Some of this tone deafness has been reflected in a Republican congressman in Virginia arguing that spousal rape should be legal and another Republican legislator's attempt to reshape discourse about rape by changing the word victim to the word accuser in Georgia's rape laws. Such a rhetorical move would effectively cement the misogynistic belief that most rape victims lie about being rape. Why do rape-supportive statements keep flowing from Republicans' mouths?
  6. Slashing SNAP Hurts Women: According to anti-hunger activist Lindsey Spindle speaking to Glamour magazine, "At a very basic level, there are more women who rely on food stamps than men. They rely on them to help them feed themselves, their families, and to take care of their parents." SNAP is the food stamps program and Republicans love to vilify the program and the mythologized women the say it helps.
  7. Approving Access to Birth Control Pills Means DNC Has No Faith in Women's Self-Control?:  No. Despite GOP darling Mike Huckabee's suggestion in his libido statement that birth control pills only serve to disguise a woman's inability to control her sex drive, birth control pills serve other purposes important to women's health that are unconnected to its contraception function. Read this post at BlogHer.com about one woman's health crisis and how taking birth control pills helped her. And to avoid simply anecdotal information, here's an article from a doctor's organization listing the benefits of birth control pill unrelated to pregnancy prevention. This information is easy to find. Why don't Republicans google it?
  8. GOP Is More Concerned About Possible Illegal Immigration Than Domestic Violence: It's understood that women are the primary victims of domestic violence; however, Republicans attempted to weaken the Violence Against Women Act. Read more here
  9. Opposition to Raising Minimum Wage Hurts Women: According to the National Women's Law Center, "Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers — and full-time, year-round work at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour leaves a woman with two children thousands of dollars below the poverty line." A majority of Americans support an increase in the minimum wage, but Republicans ignore them.
  10. GOP-Proposed Voter ID Laws Also Hurt Women:  Surprisingly, these laws may suppress the votes of conservative women more than those of progressive women. We'll see.
WOW! And I didn't even cover the irony of GOP cuts to Head Start coupled with its leaders' beliefs that women should stay home.

Apparently, in a GOP-controlled world, women should have babies and stay home. That's odd since the GOP also works to make sure these women have no home to stay in or food to prepare for their families as women do in the GOP mind. And if these women should decide to defy GOP ideology and work outside the home, then they must face hurdles created by GOP opposition to raising the minimum wage and its resistance to equal pay. You see how that works?

If, as the GOP asserts, it has not launched a war on women or it's not out to oppress women, then I'd hate to see what America would look like if they did. Related: GOP's Running With Scissors

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