Are Women Awake or Asleep at the Switch?

This is the question of the 2012 elections – from the local to the national level. Scott Walker managed to get himself reelected in Wisconsin because he outspent his Democratic rival by a margin of 7 to 1 (see graphic). In fact, he raised $30.5 million (with 66% coming from out of state) to his Democratic rival’s $3.9 million. On a national level, it is expected that the GOP and its super PACs will spend up to $1 billion to take control of the House, Senate and White House. It is highly unlikely that the Democrats will be able to overcome the dark money flowing from the corporate sugar daddies to the GOP.

Regardless of that, the GOP has been transparent in their intentions since taking control of the House in 2010. It wasn’t about the economy and jobs, as they promised. They lied. Since 2010, they have done not one thing to improve the lot of working-class Americans. Instead, they’ve spent their time taking care of the wealthiest Americans and attempting to legislate morality. And the GOP has literally declared a jihad on American women.

In 2012, women voters will outnumber men. Let’s hope women are awake, alert and aware of the GOP’s ultimate intentions – and not asleep at the switch – because women can make or break the election. The GOP has been all up in our uteri for a while now, telling us we’re not capable of making decisions about our own bodies and denying us health care. But the GOP hasn’t stopped there. The GOP is now telling us we shouldn’t make as much as men. We are apparently second-class workers as well. On Tuesday, every single member of the GOP – including Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins – voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In simple terms, that means that women will continue to earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, even for the same job. It also means that a woman has no legal recourse if she is being discriminated against in the workplace. Think about that. In today’s world, many families need two working parents to make ends meet. In many cases, women are single mothers working to support their children. Yes sir, America is indeed the land of opportunity…if you’re male, white and wealthy.

Here’s the reason Susan Collins gave for voting against the Fairness Protection Act:

“We already have on the books the Equal Pay Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which I did support,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told a few reporters in the Capitol. “And I believe that they provide adequate protections. I think this bill would result in excessive litigation that would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses. So I think existing laws are adequate.”

This is a piss poor excuse. What Collins is really referring to here is “frivolous” litigation. There is already a mechanism in place to eliminate such frivolity. If a lawsuit has no merit, a judge will not allow it to proceed. The GOP claims to have a deep belief in the legal system. If that’s the case, there should be no problem with the Fairness Protection Act. If there is merit, the legal case should go forward. The burden will be on the employer to prove that a woman is earning less because there is a difference in the job, not because there is a difference in gender. Simple. If women are getting screwed, they should have their day in court. What’s the issue here? I suspect a lot of lobbying on the part of corporate America killed this legislation.

The GOP has been telling you that the war on women is being conjured up by a vast left-wing conspiracy. Our esteemed Republican legislators have gone on record saying that it’s a figment of our collective imaginations. It is not. It began in 2008, and it escalated when the GOP regained control of the House in 2010. It’s very real and it cannot be denied. We are accusing the GOP of waging a War on Women because, well, they are waging a war on women.

It doesn’t matter if you are a woman who would never have an abortion. It doesn’t matter if you are a woman who does not use birth control. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman who does not work outside the home. What matters is that the GOP is intent on rolling back the rights we have fought so hard to attain. What matters is that the GOP is marginalizing us and telling us we are second-class citizens. It is a matter of self respect and self determination. It’s a question of standing up for other women. The graphic below shows that, when it comes to women’s issues, most of the media coverage is given to men and organizations. Not women. What’s wrong with that picture? What’s wrong is that they think women aren’t important enough to speak out on issues that directly affect them, like abortion, birth control and Planned Parenthood funding.

We must change the conversation because nobody is going to change it for us. If you are not registered to vote, get registered and become part of the process. Flex your muscle at the polls by casting your vote against the GOP and its War on Women because is not likely that the assault on our rights will stop here.

Categories: Elections, GOP, Reproductive Rights, Right-Wing Ideology, War on Women, Women's Rights

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. In my area, the South, something that troubles me is the unwillingness of left leaning liberals and progressive voters to discuss politics out of fear of reprisal from the rabid right. I think that is the primary reason why they don’t get out the vote and the GOP is successful. There’s certainly plenty of self-identified, independent voters to make a difference if presented with the facts, but no one does. That has to change!

    • Hi Memphis, I think that certainly is a factor. There are others, though. First, the Democrats or liberals/progressives go at things haphazardly. The GOP sets a plan and sticks with it. The message never changes. They are in it for the longhaul. The Democrats look like adults with ADHD. I think they also have organizational problems. In Wisconsin, I believe – yes – Tom Barrett was outspent by Scott Walker, but the bottom line is that Scott Walker is a known scumbag and he managed to survive a recall. I think the Dems were poorly organized in Wisconsin. Also, the DNC did not fund the recall, leaving it up to the progressive groups to fund raise via email. That’s crazy. They try to put a spin on it by saying that the Dems took back the Senate there, but the fact is that Scott Walker should have gone down to defeat. They had plenty of time to get their shit together. A lot of things need to change on the Democratic side by November, or we may be talking about President Romney.

      • I agree! Democrats do act like they’re suffering from ADHD. (and dementia) They need to get focused, because if they Let the Republicans take full control, it’s all over!

  2. Women are not asleep at the switch. It is just that men, the GOP and corporate “Citizens”have it so covered up with money and bullshit and no one can find it.

    Memphis is quite correct: liberals in many areas are afraid of the rabid rigt because they shoot people and act inhumane and uncivilized. The rabid right has become a hate group.

    And dems are haphazard because they have naive stars in their eyes; they think that if they are just good enough, just long enough, they will triumph over evil. It Never works that way. You can’t only bring slingshots and popsicle sticks to a gun fight.

    Wisconsin is the first domino.BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID.

  3. I am afraid, Ivan. No question about it. But the War on Women has been very evident and women must get out and vote in this election. The women I am most concerned with are the women in the 18-24 age range. This is about them as well. Some of the issues may not affect them right this minute, but this is about their future. I’m not convinced they “get it.”

    And Democrats, in general, need to wake up. The liberal/progressive voters can’t sulk. They need to organize, organize, organize. They need to get off their collective butts and vote. They need to get ANGRY like they did in 2008.

    And then they need to do something about it, like take back the House and increase their hold of the Senate.

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