The Democrats, in this election cycle, are claiming that the Republicans are waging a war on women. This is projection – the Democrats are in fact waging a war to enslave women to their own purposes and needs. Ideally, the Democrats want women to feel trapped into voting for them. In order to do this, they are using a number of very, very old tactics – the sorts of tactics that historically have always been used to entrap women.
The first and most obvious tactic is fear. Women are told to be afraid because government under the Republicans won’t be able to take care of them. They are told to not trust the men in their lives; men will fail them. The Republicans, they are told, will not protect them from violence; special legislation must be passed to ensure women are safe. Special legislation must be passed to ensure women are treated fairly and equitably in the workplace. If we don’t legislate everything concerning women, this line of argument goes, women will be cheated by those lousy, stinking Republican men. Even women’s health, they are told, is something Republicans don’t care about.
The Democrats, in most of their arguments using fear, are also infantilizing women; that is, they are treating them as if they have to be cared for like children. Because women can’t control themselves sexually or protect themselves from situations where they might be sexually victimized, they must be provided with free contraceptives – so they won’t be “punished” with a baby. Because women don’t have a voice for themselves at work, they must have Daddy Government legislating equal pay. Obama’s Life of Julia is a perfect example of cradle-to-grave women’s infantilization – at every stage of her life, a female viewer is told, she must be protected and supported by government.
Notice there is no equivalent presentation to the Life of Julia designed for men. Why? Because men don’t need the kind of protection women do? Because men owe it to women to pay for their government services? I’m not sure, but the lack of a Life of John is certainly uncomfortable. Sorry, but I don’t need government services more than a guy does. Just because I have a uterus does not make me less capable.
Men have used flattery on women to get what they want since words were invented. The Democrats have taken up that tactic and expanded on it. This is perhaps easier to illustrate than to describe. Here’s an example:
In an article for CNN, Jack Schlossberg makes the following statements: “[Lilly] Ledbetter, the face of the fight for women’s equality, reminded us all just how far we have come in the last four years. . . . my sisters would scoff if my work was ever called equal to theirs. . . . Michelle Obama reminded Americans that her most important title is still ‘Mom in Chief.'” In her groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan lambasted men putting women on a pedestal and adored by men. It led, she said, to women being viewed as something other than human. Schlossberg does precisely what she said not to do: flattered women for working harder than men, set “mom” above and beyond men, included men in the fight for women’s equality as if that feminine glory would rub off on them. It was naked flattery, and women should find it offensive rather than attractive.
Lies are the simplest form of manipulation. The Democrats tell women that the government will always be there for them, if they just ensure the Democrats always win. Sensible people look at the debt and our budget deficit and our downward-spiraling economy and say “Oh, really?” For some reason, however, women who plan to vote Democrat are not doing that. They are not questioning clearly-fallacious statements. They are instead blindly, faithfully following.
Love was a surprisingly common word at the Democrat National Convention this year. Over and over, the speakers told women, “We love you!” True or not, it always has an emotional impact on women, and we are susceptible to manipulation when that word is used.
Perhaps the most stunning thing I saw at the party conventions this year was the spectacle of a dozen or so people, male and female, dressed up as giant pink vaginas at the RNC. I’m sure it was done to shock. I hope it was not a tacit admission that this is the only way Democrats see women – as walking, talking vaginas. Be that as it may:
This year’s Democrat National Convention was absolutely saturated with sex, even though it never was explicit about it. Women’s health has been reduced to whether or not they can get their hands on chemical birth control medications. Never mind that women are more likely to be obese and diabetic, that we are more susceptible to having brittle bones, we are more likely to have certain mental health issues like depression and eating disorders. No, apparently this year the Democrats decided that women’s health was all about sex.
But that’s because sex makes a fantastic argument tool. It is visceral and real. Everyone has an opinion about it, generally that it’s a good thing and we should have more of it without fear. It is closely associated with love and bonding. And it is a strong human drive, perhaps the strongest outside of fear.
At one point, women were the guardians of religious freedom. While ministers were mostly men, everyone understood that the church centered around women. Women organized fund-raisers. Women provided the volunteer labor that was critical to the church’s functioning, women made up the social networks, women motivated their families to attend church, and women determined whether a new church survived or failed.
No more. The Democrats have chosen to reject God, as was clearly evidenced by their vote against the inclusion of “God” in their platform (and yes, the moderator stated that the ayes had it – anyone with a half a brain could easily tell that the ayes did NOT have it.) Moreover, in the “fight” to ensure women’s contraception is paid for by their workplace insurance companies, the Democrats are telling women that they are more important than religion, and quite possibly that they are more important than God – if of course there is a God, which they by no means admit.
That goes right back to flattery and putting women on a pedestal. It’s the sort of argument women should never pay attention to.
Republicans, of course, are not innocent of using these tactics against women. Perhaps the most common argument used this year at the Republican National Convention was the glorification of women as mothers. Yet the Republicans treated women as sensible adults, and gave them a fair and equal voice at the convention. They did not assume women were incapable of caring for themselves, or of making appropriate decisions about budgeting for birth control. They did not put women on a pedestal for the most part (again, with the “mom” exception.) They did not use different arguments for women than they did for men, or for any other classification of people. Instead, they spoke to women as Americans, intelligent people capable of making a clear decision.
I didn’t see a single thing to make me think Republicans are waging a war against women.