A piece posted in the Atlantic today cited an ABC News-Fusion Poll showing an overwhelming rejection of electing more women to congress. “Just 23 percent of Republicans surveyed in the poll agreed that “it would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress.” Meanwhile, 60 percent of Democrats agreed with the statement.”
My response? Is anybody SURPRISED? The Republican War On Women has been a recognized political phenomenon for a long time now. Politics USA has even published a comprehensive list of “anti-woman” legislation”. The good folks at the Guttmacher Institute reported in 2012 that,
“By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. (Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.)”
And the situation has gotten even worse since the Guttmacher report. Laura Bassett, writing for Huffington Post noted,
“At least 54 abortion providers across 27 states have shut down or ended their abortion services in the past three years, and several more clinics are only still open because judges have temporarily blocked legislation that would make it difficult for them to continue to operate. Nebraska and Massachusetts have each added one clinic since 2010, and the other 21 states and the District of Columbia, most of which have not passed new anti-abortion laws since 2010, were unable to accurately count their clinics because their health departments do not license abortion providers separately from other kinds of medical providers.”
Of course, we all know that the religious right are notoriously pro-Republican, and the Bible is literally FILLED with anti-woman sentiment. Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” And then follows it up with 11:8-9, “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
And don’t for a second think current religious views on women are more evolved. A Patheos article nails it.
“There are well-defined gender roles within the Christian church and we all know it. The man works, the woman takes care of the children, and you will upset God if you do it any differently.
But I wasn’t just talking about the submission thing. Evangelical church leaders are overwhelmingly male, even though they say women are perfectly capable of taking on those roles. (The Catholic Church, of course, doesn’t believe women should be in leadership positions at all.)
There’s reproductive rights, too. The Catholic Church and evangelical-owned businesses are fighting to make sure they don’t have to cover their employees’ contraception. That’s anti-woman (though it also affects men).
What about forcing women to go through with a pregnancy no matter her circumstances? That’s anti-woman.
And when a Christian bookstore won’t sell a book written by a woman because it includes the word “vagina” (in a harmless context) but sells a book written by a man that includes references to oral and anal sex? That’s anti-woman.
Oh! Can’t forget the whole “purity” thing where women are taught to be chaste and modest in a way that Christian boys never experience, in part because men can’t help their desires. Never the other way around.”
And so it’s obvious under which tent the anti-woman crowd has gathered. It’s also undeniable that there has been a concerted effort and the state and federal level to further constrain abortion rights, led by Republican controlled state houses. The GOP has a big problem and it’s going to have a long-lasting negative effect on the party. But the Republican base is a hard-headed bunch, so I’m not holding my breath.