Feminist Files: That. Just. Happened. Edition
My apologies for the blog-duty negligence. I had another round with the most evil stomach bug of all time. So, let’s just dive in to some of the hot stories, shall we?
- War on Women? What War on Women?: So, I guess after talking/writing about the War on Women for — oh, let’s say two years, four years, who can remember? — we’ve finally gotten the GOP dragon to turn its head. On the one side, there are GOP Senators, such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who are not only calling out the War on Women as a low-down dirty trick, but going on record as seeing past votes as mistakes. Meanwhile, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is busy spinning the idea of a War on Women as just some hokum created by Democrats. Well, Mitt, you’re right that as a woman I do care about jobs. But you’re wrong if you think I’m going to sit silently while you strip me of my bodily autonomy as a woman.
- Speaking of political fire storms about women…: Remember when Sarah Palin had that catchy line about community organizers during her speech at the Republican National Convention in 2008? You know, that community organizers don’t actually get things done because they don’t have responsibilities (like small-town mayors do). And all the progressive community organizers got really pissed off? Something tells me this whole business about stay-at-home moms not working a day in their lives is going to go over a lot worse. And damn it if it isn’t from a Democrat and a woman! While talking about Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, CNN democratic pundit Hilary Rosen said that the candidate’s wife had “never worked a day in her life.” While Rosen has apologized and even called the resulting fire storm a “faux war against the stay-at-home moms” distraction, the damage is definitely done on this one. Even First Lady Michelle Obama has made a public comment (via twitter), defending stay-at-home moms and the hard work they do. Even if I take Rosen at her word that she misspoke, it doesn’t take the bite out of the comment. As a stay-at-home mom (who also works at home part time), I’m not only offended on a personal level but also as someone who is tired of seeing cat-fight style punditry applauded on cable news shows. I am so sick of the beyond-cliche “battle” between SAHMs and moms who work outside the home. This just speaks to the broader narrative that women can’t get along and our own in-fighting will be our own undoing. This is ridiculous! Attacking a woman’s experience of motherhood is ridiculous and meaningless! Stop it! Now.
- The teen birth boogey man: New CDC data shows that Nevada is 16th in the nation in teen pregnancies. Insert relevant points about comprehensive sex education, access to birth control and emergency contraception here.
- Money changes everything: Or rather, not having money can really suck. But just in time for Equal Pay Day to highlight the very real economic inequalities between men and women*, Wisconsin repeals their equal pay law with nary a peep. As Wisconsin State Senator Glen Grothman said, “Money is more important for men [because they are the breadwinners].” (*According to the AAUW pay equity report, PDF, for 2012, Nevada ranks 4th in the nation in wage equity with women making. Way to go Silver State!)
- Misogyny in the media, you say…: Take a bow, Ashley Judd, for your eloquent take-down of a recent sexist, misogynistic, and down-right nasty meme in the media about the actress’s appearance with a “puffy face” and speculation about having work done. Even better than Jennifer Love Hewitt’s defiance about being called fat in the media after some photos in a bathing suit surfaced (in which she did not look fat), I like Judd’s multi-layered response. She’s vilified as “having work done” if, at the age of 43, she looks too good or if she looks bad. She’s warned that her husband will be “shopping for a second wife” because she’s gained weight from a size 2/4 to a size 6/8. “We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as “fat,” Judd writes in her Daily Beast piece. Amen, sister!