Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Why Is The GOP Re-Fighting Old Battles ?
Think about it. The idea of a woman having control over her own body (the issues of choice and access to contraception) is certainly nothing new. The battles that gave women these rights were fought decades ago. The Supreme Court gave women the right to control their own bodies in the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. And contraception (the pill) became both widely accessible (to those who could afford them) and culturally acceptable in that same time period (thanks in part to the counter-culture's "free love" generation). All President Obama's recent action did was make contraception more affordable for all women by requiring insurance plans to provide them free of charge.
Even the argument over equal pay for women was born in that era, and accepted by most people. For quite a while now, women have been receiving equal pay in public (state and federal government) jobs (thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964). It is in the private sector where women still don't receive equal pay -- they are paid about 77% of what men get paid. And three years ago, with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women were given some legal tools to fight for equality in pay (which nearly every Republican voted against).
It is incredible to think that Republicans are still trying to re-fight these battles here in the 21st Century. And it doesn't stop there. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law back in 1994 (18 years ago). One would have thought this was a settled issue by now -- the idea that violence against women was unacceptable and should be opposed by the government. But the Republicans are nearly unanimous in their opposition to the continuation of this law.
The Republicans claim their opposition to VAWA is because the Democrats have extended the law to cover women who were not previously covered by it -- homosexuals, undocumented immigrants, and Native Americans. That simply makes no sense. Are they saying that some women deserve to be protected against violence and some don't? Do they really have the audacity to set themselves up as the arbiters of which women deserve to be protected from violence and which don't?
Women have fought long and hard for the rights they now have (even though there are fights still to be won). The Republican Party is now trying to re-fight those old battles and take those rights away. I don't know why they are doing it. They are trying to claim it is because of religion, but personally, I think they are just using their religion to hide their own mean-spirited and hard-hearted patriarchal beliefs that men (specifically white men) should rule this country.
I hope this comes back to bite them in November. As I've said before, I don't know how any woman could vote Republican -- or any man who loves the women in his life.