From healthcare cuts to cuts to family programs and benefits to entire states taking out women’s programs and defunding Planned Parenthood like it’s a new trendy fashion wave to follow, there is no denying that there is a war on women occurring right now in America. The thing that I haven’t heard anyone really talk about—though perhaps it should be quite obvious—is that it wouldn’t be possible without the men in this country who seem to hate women so much.
I’m a feminist and I’m proud to work for equality, and I think it hurts men just as much as women when women are treated this poorly. The men who do love and support women—which I think are most men, particularly progressive men—get a bad rap from the ones who don’t, sure, but they also suffer when their wives and mothers and daughters are refused services, treated like an inferior species, and are thrown under the bus when it comes to their own personhood in this country.
It’s obvious that conservative men are at the forefront of this war, particularly when it comes to cutting family planning services (and laughably, ignorantly, saying that women can get pap smears at Walgreens), but the less obvious, and perhaps more harmful, actions being taken against women are from the progressives who are supposed to have our backs.
As far back as the Kerry-Bush election, I remember local Democrat men rolling their eyes about “wedge issues” such as abortion, claiming that it—women’s lives, that is—wasn’t important in the big picture. One guy from MoveOn actually came to stand with us at a debate rally when the candidates came to St. Louis, and he didn’t even realize he was mouthing off to a bunch of Planned Parenthood women and men. One elderly woman kindly told him that her mother had died from a botched abortion, and that family planning and abortion rights were very important to some people.
Lately they’ve been a bit better about providing lip service, I think, but everywhere you look the misogyny persists. We all like to rip on Michelle Bachman because she is an a**hole, but so are so many other Republican men and women. The thing is, progressives keep singling her out and calling her things like a “nutjob” when most of the drivel that comes out of her mouth is similar to the drivel being vomited from the mouths of people like Mitch Romney or Rush Limbaugh. So why is she (along with Sarah Palin, actually) consistently singled out, other than the fact that she is a woman?
Don’t get me wrong; I can’t stand either of these women. But their treatment by the left is quite disturbing. This morning I was reading through the dozens of liberal news outlets I use on Facebook and about 3 out of 5 headlines were about what a psycho Bachman is. Really, is that what we’re building progress on?
Then, take the recent scandal about Anthony Weiner’s sexual pictures. He sent them to a young woman who did not want them, which would be considered a form of sexual harassment normally; instead, these same liberal groups are all defending him, telling him to “Stay Strong!” Really? Stay strong, and keep texting photos of your genitalia to young women to harass them? To be fair, I’ve heard women say these same things—regarding Bachman as well—though most of it does seem to be coming from men.
With this mindset, we’re not exactly paving the way toward an environment that’s pro-woman. We could really use the help of you guys, our allies, in stopping this war, and it’s deeply in need of a mental shift as much as a policy change; indeed, the former would greatly help induce the latter.