The Republican Party is still reeling from its shellacking in 2012, and has been blindly stumbling around trying to figure out what went wrong. An “autopsy report” revealed what most of us already knew, that the GOP has alienated everyone who isn’t straight, white, Christian — and male.
But the whole thing can’t be blamed solely on Republican men… conservative women have been doing a bang-up job of estranging half the population — the wrong half. The most highly visible women in the party, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, are not exactly female-friendly, being virulently anti-choice, hyper-religious and dismissive of the single and/or childless as a moral threat to society. Even some Republican women are alarmed by this, according to NBC News:
“They and their style give short shrift to other women in the GOP,” said Sara Taylor Fagen, a longtime Republican strategist who worked on Mitt Romney’s first presidential campaign. “And so the risk for the party is when they become the only face. It does have the possibility of alienating groups of women, and that is a challenge.”
Here are five conservative women who are doing their party — and their gender — no favors.
Image: Vervegrrl via Photobucket.com
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press this past weekend, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) explained why women don’t need the government sticking its nose into pay equality — The Paycheck Fairness Act, in her view, is completely unnecessary.
Why? Because women don’t want or need to be paid the same salary for doing the same job as men, says Blackburn. It’s enough to be recognized for doing the work.
“I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies,” Blackburn replied to former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod’s question about pay equity laws. “And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein — that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington.”
Don’t look now, Marsha, but we kinda do.
Video courtesy of Crooks and Liars.
Eternally crazy activist Phyllis Schlafly is a consistent opponent of feminism, calling it “the most destructive element in our society,” and insisting “It has done nothing but damage. It has not done anything good for women, whatsoever.” Feminism, she says, is at war with Mother Nature, “and Mother Nature is still winning.” Remember, this is a woman who once said that there is no such thing as being raped by your husband — saying “I do” is essentially signing a blank check, giving him unlimited access to the account that is your body. “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex,” she said. “And I don’t think you can call it rape.” That should give you an idea of where she thinks women rank on the evolutionary scale.
Recently she went off on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg for committing the cardinal sin of suggesting that women are as capable of holding high positions in business as men. “Sandberg’s feminist arguments and conclusions are at odds with what most women really want out of life,” asserts Schlafly. “A lot of smart women have different priorities and they make trade-offs to order their lives around marriage and children… But smart young women know they will probably want to work fewer hours in order to be at home with their own babies.” Because any woman who doesn’t order her life around marriage and children, and work fewer hours to do that, simply isn’t “smart.”
Feminism doesn’t mean being anti-men, anti-marriage or anti-family — the world is full of feminist wives and mothers. It means not seeing yourself as subordinate or inferior to men. And Schlafly sells all women short by insulting anyone who pursues a career, by declaring “wife and mother” as the only worthwhile path a woman’s life can take. It is merely one of them. Smart women know that.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Believing women should subjugate themselves to men runs in the family… anti-feminist author and commentator Suzanne Venker happens to be the niece of Phyllis Schlafly — and it shows.
Venker believes that men are superior to women, and women should simply “surrender” to this reality. Stop fighting — and here you can tell she’s a regular on Fox “News” — The War on Men. Be a real woman, which entails stepping aside and letting him be a real man.
“It means letting your man be the man despite the fact that you’ve proven you’re his equal,” she says. “In other words, put down your sword. It’s okay if your guy’s in charge. It’s okay if you don’t drive the car. In fact, it’s rather liberating.” Right. Nothing’s more liberating than accepting your second-class place in the natural order of things — as the weaker “equal” in the relationship, while the stronger “equal” takes charge.
Stephen Colbert had some fun with Venker’s inane ramblings, and you can enjoy it above.
Gov. Nikki Haley
The Romney campaign trotted out South Carolina governor Nikki Haley on The O’Reilly Factor last year to pooh-pooh the notion of a “War on Women,” because for heaven’s sake, how could anyone see women as “victims”? Women, she insisted, are “doing well,” and the idea that they’re not is merely a “distraction” created by the president.
“Well” is probably not the best word to describe how woman are doing. According to ThinkProgress:
Women accounted for the entire drop in labor force participation during the recession, and 88 percent of jobs created since the end of the recession went to men. In Haley’s state of South Carolina, women are paid just 76 cents for every dollar a man makes, and own just 28 percent of businesses, despite making up slightly more than half of the state’s population. As with the nation as a whole, women also face higher poverty rates in the state, with 19 percent below the poverty line, compared to 15 percent of men.
Haley, on the other hand, isn’t doing well by anyone’s definition. Her tenure as governor has been fraught with controversy, and her less-than-impressive approval ratings mean that she can’t take a 2014 re-election for granted.
No discussion about anti-woman women would be complete without retiring Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has made a career of undermining her fellow females at every turn, especially with her fondness for anti-choice legislation.
But perhaps the most woman-hating moment in Bachmann’s storied career came in 2006, when she described how she came to be a tax lawyer:
“My husband said ‘Now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law.’ Tax law! I hate taxes—why should I go and do something like that?” she told the audience. “But the Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”
The subject came up again in 2011, when then-presidential candidate Bachmann was asked in an Iowa debate what that meant — most observers at that point would have been forgiven for picturing her husband Marcus making all her decisions, should she be elected president.
“What submission means to me,” she fudged, “it means respect.”
Actually, it doesn’t.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak