Republicans have reportedly seen the writing on the wall and realized they need to change their ways to appeal to women. Most of the suggestions that have been made public are of course cosmetic and have little to do with changing policy. While thus far this election cycle there hasn’t been a “legitimate rape” moment, conservatives and their allies in the media have found ways both big and small to reveal what they really think of women.
You’ll vote if it reminds you of planning your dream wedding.
Most women are too busy sitting on the couch drinking box wine and mainlining reality television to realize there’s an election going on. Apparently, that’s what Republicans thought when they put out an ad that compared voting in the November gubernatorial election with an episode of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. If they compare casting your ballot to your life’s sole purpose of having the perfect wedding, then surely you and your stock sassy black friend will be persuaded to vote against your self interest. It’s better to vote for a governor who eviscerated unions or attacked abortion rights than an opponent who is like some dowdy old dress that your mom wants you to wear.
You think Barack Obama is your (abusive) boyfriend.
Did you vote for Barack Obama because you share his views on economics, reproductive rights, or marriage equality? Be honest, you spent hours drawing hearts around his picture and thinking about what you would name your dogs. According to a new ad by Americans for Prosperity, if you’re upset with him now, it’s probably not because of his lack of initiative on immigration reform or his dragging us into another protracted Middle East conflict, it’s because he’s acting like a frightening abusive boyfriend. He strung you along with promises that your fragile lady brain believed, but now you’re ready to vote his “friends” out of office for spite. No one in these organizations had the modicum of self awareness necessary to realize these ads were a horrible idea?
You’re bait to get men interested in politics.
At the Value Voters summit, a panel of women got together to discuss how to get young people and women more active and invested in conservative politics. Amongst a slew of offensive and out-of-touch comments, they focused on what of course must be the top priority for a panel of women: how to get more men involved. And the answer is to use women to lure them in. “Young pretty girls are the greatest communicators” to get men on campus involved. Do your duty, ladies, and flaunt it to get that critical male demographic on board.
Whatever your accomplishments, you’re still a pair of boobs that doesn’t know how to operate a motor vehicle.
Fox News almost doesn’t warrant a mention because they’re so ludicrous, but their antics clearly resonate with a large number of Americans. They gave a shining example of how their right-leaning network views women’s accomplishments when covering the story of the UAE’s first female fighter pilot. Eric Bolling made the truly hilarious joke that this groundbreaking achievement reduced to “boobs on the ground.” His cohost made a joke about how she couldn’t park the plane. Hacky jokes are bad enough, but they reveal a telling attitude toward women, and I think it’s clear we should take their disregard for women seriously.
A fetus needs a lawyer to defend itself against your poor decision making.
Even more pernicious than the sexist quips and the tired stereotypes are the actions that belie any claim to caring about women’s welfare. Sadly, there are numerous examples, as with the draconian anti-abortion laws in Texas that have left a mere 8 abortion clinics to serve 27 million people. But one recent example takes the cake and sends an unmistakable message about where conservatives’ priorities lie. Alabama’s extreme new parental consent law includes a judicial bypass process involving calling all manner of witnesses against the young women seeking an abortion, thus revealing her pregnancy to a slew of people. She also has to contend with a lawyer representing the fetus she is carrying inside her body. A lawyer who says things like “You are not worried about being haunted by this? Here you have the chance to save the life of your own baby…. And still you want to go ahead and snuff out the life of your own baby?”
It’s not difficult to paint a damning picture of bungled outreach to women; these examples all come from just the last few weeks. As Amanda Marcotte wrote, “At this point, it’s hard not to wonder if the people being hired to do outreach to women on behalf of Republican candidates aren’t all a bunch of Democratic moles.” It’s satisfying to watch these morons reveal their true colors. But an important lesson we must take from this is not to let the Democrats gleefully watching this get complacent. It’s easy to take women voters for granted when the other side treats them like idiotic baby-making machines. So while we must use the gifts these Republicans are handing us to get them out of office, we must push our allies to deliver–not just on beating back attacks but putting forward a proactive, aggressive agenda that improves women’s lives.