Have you seen how women are treated?
One of the best ways to win an argument is to diminish the person arguing the other side.
No one knows that more than women in politics. Women are soft. Women are nurturing. If they aren’t, they are called… you know what they are called.
Look at what women have to do in order to “play with the boys.” Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin talks about hunting and gutting animals. Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst talks about castrating hogs.
I don’t think these women really planned to legislate dead or emasculated animals but they were trying to leave the stereotypical feminine roles in politics.
You can’t appear weak. You have to be “manly” and snip hog testicles or shoot wild game. These women try hard to fit some strange “super-female” stereotype. They have babies and look good in short skirts, but they will also gut opponents if the situation calls for it.
Why can’t women just be themselves? I’ll tell you why. Have you seen how women are treated? Women are treated like second-class citizens and the targets of mockery when they dare to disagree with male counterparts.
American author Erica Jong once said, “Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.”
No better example of that exists than in the most recent example of misogyny in Michigan.
Republican state Reps. Peter Pettalia, Roger Victory and Ben Glardon showed one of the worst examples of berating women by using stereotypes to nullify the argument of women in the state legislature.
During a recent debate over a provision that would prevent private insurance providers from covering abortions if a women didn’t buy a separate abortion rider. A woman with employer-based insurance would have to ask their boss to provide such a rider.
Women could still pay full price for an abortion at any time. But even medically required procedures would go uncovered under the provision as it was written.
For obvious reasons, pro-choice groups were not impressed with the idea.
The measure was not only pro-life but also put women who were already in a tough situation in an even tougher situation.
When the Republicans failed to recognize why women’s groups were upset with the action, they were told they didn’t understand women.
The three men showed they really do know women. How did these men prove their female-friendly thinking, they posed for photos reading women’s fashion magazines.
A reporter put the cheeky photo on Facebook with the added quote from Pettalia where he told the reporter, “Don’t say we don’t understand women.”
An issue about fairness – women having to say “please” to get an abortion while men can enjoy all the privacy they want while seeking Viagra, Cialis or other medications or procedures they might not want to ask special permission from their bosses to receive – turns into a sexist joke.
Thus women who want to be seen as equals are forced to hunt, spit and geld hogs.
The GOP was quick to apologize on behalf of the three tin-eared representatives who made the entire party look bad.
But don’t forgive the Democrats or women in this fight either. Michigan Democrats tweeted a photo of four female legislators reading bills with a caption that said, “Real women read legislation, not fashion magazines.”
That’s equally wrong.
Real women can do both. They can read legislation when they should, fashion magazines when they choose. Heck, they can watch Sports Center at night and ride a motorcycle after making lunches for their kids.
Why do women have to be one thing or another? Women can be whatever they want – just like men.
Women don’t have to hunt wild boars in a bikini while breast-feeding a child to be a “real woman.” Reverse sexism is merely a further counter-productive response to discrimination.
We need to call out those who have antiquated ideas of gender roles and allow women to be the fully realized people they are.
No one should be forced to geld hogs because a few chauvinist pigs hold foolish opinions.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org