- We delivered a second term for President Barack Obama;
- We not only kept control of the Senate, but increased our numbers;
- We are sending more women to Congress than ever before;
- We shrank the rape caucus, including Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Richard "rape babies are intended by God" Mourdock; and
- We showed that the gender gap is real, it's big, and it's not to be taken lightly or for granted—by either party.
In other words, we kicked ass. We really, really kicked ass. We kicked so much ass that while impotent gasbag Rush Limbaugh is shaking his head in wonder that we re-elected the man who treats us "like vaginas"—whatever the hell that means—other conservatives are thinking that maybe, just maybe, the Republican War on Women was not the best electoral strategy.
That doesn't mean the war is over. Oh, no. In fact, plenty of conservatives are already dedicating themselves to pushing it further, insisting that the reason Republicans were so thoroughly ass-kicked on Tuesday was because they weren't extreme enough. It wasn't sufficient for Mitt Romney to vow to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood. It wasn't sufficient for him to put Paul Ryan, a fierce advocate for stripping women of their basic rights, on his ticket. And as for all those god-awful casual comments about rape? Well, that was just the mean liberal media taking things out of context by showing video of Republicans making god-awful casual comments about rape.
While we managed to send a lot of the bad guys packing, many remain, including the same anti-woman representatives and senators who brought us 67 abortion bills this session and will no doubt try again in the next one.
And while it's no small feat to have a record number of women representing us in the House and Senate, we are still a long, long way from the critical mass we need to see to effect the kind of real, fundamental, institutional change we need and deserve. We are the majority of the country, and yet, as Meteor Blades noted:
The combined percentage of women in the Senate and House come January will be 18 percent. The current average percentage of women in the parliamentary bodies of the 56 countries of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is 23.4 percent. In the Americas, it is 23.8 percent. In the five Nordic countries, it is 42 percent.We're not there yet. We're not even close. And we have a lot of work ahead. We have to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to make equal pay a reality. We need to renew the Violence Against Women Act to protect all women. We must expand access to safe and affordable health care, including, yes, reproductive health care.
But for now, let's enjoy our victories. Let's celebrate the amazing women we helped elect this week. Let's give ourselves a round of applause for sending the strongest of messages to the Republican Party: No, you can't take away our health care, oppose equal pay, tell us rape is a gift, and then dismiss our anger as a "distraction" from what really matters, according to the party of old white men who think the problem is that we ladies get to vote at all.
So yes, let's be happy about this week. And then let's get back to work, because we still have a war to win.