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We want to believe the war is over.

Times have changed since the era of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, who could not have imagined a nation in which women would have the right to vote, would serve in elected office, or would sit on the highest court in the land. Generations before us could not have imagined the phrase "Madame Speaker" or that three of the last four Secretaries of State would be women. They could not have imagined that both major political parties would feature women on presidential tickets.  

Critics say there is no longer a need for a women's movement or for legislation that protects women from discrimination. They point to record numbers of women attending universities as evidence that, if anything, we need a men's movement. Women's equality is no longer a debatable point. The war is over, they say, and women have won.

Even the new Speaker of the House, not generally considered a friend to women, is working for women's equality in the House -- by building a new women's bathroom in a gesture of "respect for female members of the House.”

Of course, Boehner's "potty parity" is actually a self-serving land grab to appropriate prime real estate in the Capitol that includes "an extra hallway, storage area and kitchen as well as the spacious balcony." But that hasn't stopped Boehner and his fellow Republicans from claiming that they are promoting women's equality.

Boehner's equal rights bathroom may seem a silly and unimportant issue. But it represents a larger and more serious point: the fake concern for women's equality, even as Republicans attempt to pass further restrictions on women's rights. Republicans spent the better part of 2010 patting themselves on the back for the record number of Republican women running for political office, boasting of the new conservative feminist movement that was intended to persuade voters that the Republican Party supports equal rights for women.

But nothing could be further from the truth, and as Republicans have gained greater control of elected offices at the federal and state levels, we are witnessing the concerted effort to undo the very legislation intended to protect women's health, lives, and livelihood. Even as Republicans offer empty platitudes about equality and feminism, their agenda to legislate women into second-class citizenship has never been clearer.

One of the major battles for Republicans is equal pay. Last year, Senate Republicans voted to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have expanded and improved the protections of the 45-year-old Equal Pay Act. Republicans made clear at the time that they were far more concerned with protecting employers from costly litigation than with ensuring that employers are not allowed to discriminate against women.

Now, Republicans in Minnesota are taking this argument one step further, by proposing legislation to repeal existing laws to enforce equal pay for women because it’s just too expensive for small businesses and local governments to ensure that women are paid equally. And besides, they argue, such enforcement is no longer necessary because the pay gap has been all but eradicated.

It's a lie, of course. The pay gap still exists. In Minnesota, for example, in both the private and public sectors, the gap between men and women's pay ranges from 24 to 49 percent.  

Critics of equity laws argue that the pay gap isn't real because women choose lower-paying jobs. That too is a lie. Even within the same professions, the pay gap between men and women is real and significant. An extensive new study found that in the medical field, female doctors earn nearly $17,000 less than their male counterparts. To compare, the pay gap for doctors in 1999 was $3,600. That pay gap is real, and it is getting worse.

As has been true for nearly four decades, women’s access to reproductive health care is under full assault. Despite claims to the contrary, this assault goes far beyond limiting access and funds for abortion. The new pet project so popular among Republicans is to strip funding of Planned Parenthood. But as Jed Lewison explained, abortion is a tiny sliver -- only 3 percent -- of the services Planned Parenthood provides. Many Planned Parenthood clinics don't even offer abortion services at all. The truth is that Planned Parenthood functions primarily as a health care provider for low-income women and men, providing contraception, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screening. Shutting down Planned Parenthood doesn't just mean limiting women's access to abortion; it means denying the full spectrum of health care to the very Americans who are least able to afford it.

One of the most heinous and dangerous fronts in the war on women is the movement to dismiss and decriminalize violence against women. This week, Republicans attempted to redefine rape, in H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion bill, proposed by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), which would draw a false distinction between rape and “forcible rape.”

Under the proposed language, however, rape becomes "forcible rape." Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.

It is a false and absurd distinction because rape is, by definition, forcible. But the outraged response to the proposed redefinition was so widespread that few were focused on other, equally egregious, provisions of the bill. As Digby explained:

But I suspect the heinousness of this latest attack is no accident. The conservatives understand the art of negotiation and I think they have put this provision in there for the express purpose of creating a firestorm, drawing the attention of the pro-choice groups and then "reluctantly" giving it up in exchange for the Democrats giving in on all the other, less sexy, changes they really want. Changes which will restrict abortion for far more people throughout the country than this rape redefinition ever would.


In any case, don't be fooled by the shiny object. This is just another example of Republicans knowing how to negotiate. The question is whether or not it's a real negotiation or a kabuki dance where the Democrats are only playing the role of the outraged fool.

As Digby predicted, the redefinition of rape was dropped from the bill. But it is perhaps too soon to conclude that the “forcible rape” provision was merely a means of achieving the real purpose of abortion funding restrictions. It was, perhaps, also a means of testing the waters for the possibility of further redefining and delegitimizing the very real problem of violence against women.

What has received far less attention this week is a new bill introduced by State Representative Bobby Franklin in the Georgia State Legislature:

To amend Titles 16 and 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal law and criminal procedure, respectively, so as to change the term "victim" to the term "accuser" in the context of a number of statutes making reference to circumstances where there has not yet been a criminal conviction; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

The law would apply to victims of stalking, rape, and domestic violence, crimes in which the vast majority of victims are women and the perpetrators are men. As the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee explained:

Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims. But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, or if you are beaten by a domestic partner, or if you are stalked, Rep. Franklin doesn’t think you’ve been victimized. He says you’re an accuser until the courts have determined otherwise.

To diminish a victim’s ordeal by branding him/her an accuser essentially questions whether the crime committed against the victim is a crime at all. Robbery, assault, and fraud are all real crimes with real victims, the Republican asserts with this bill.

Republicans have, for years, attempted to redefine what constitutes "real" rape and not-really rape, or as Kristen Schall on the Daily Show called it, rape-ish. In 2006, South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli made news when he described what he considered a legitimate exception to the sweeping new abortion bill that would not permit exceptions even for rape or incest:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Brutal rape. Forcible rape. Rape of a religious virgin who intends to save herself for marriage. These are the rape victims accusers deemed valid by the Republican ideology that presumes rape victims are guilty until proven innocent. While such proposed legislation has not yet become the law of the land, the idea that rape victims accusers are responsible for their own assault has taken firm root in our discourse about violence against women.

Last year, for example, Dallas Police Chief David Brown found himself at the center of controversy when he reported that incidents of rape had increased 25 percent in Dallas and he offered this advice:

“We’re needing to create a message to the victims of these types of crimes...related to, you know, first date, second date, someone you don’t know that well, but you’re at a club, you have a little bit too much to drink, having friends or someone help watch you, and maybe have someone that doesn’t drink in the group.”

Many were outraged at the implication that the responsibility for combating Dallas's rape epidemic fell to the victims to change their behavior. Others said the outrage was undeserved, that the police chief's suggestion was merely a practical how-to for women to protect themselves. In response to the increased numbers and subsequent outcry, the Dallas Police Department launched a new campaign to combat the problem. The plan included better police patrol and training, but its list of advice to the public was targeted, again, at victims rather than perpetrators of sexual violence, further laying the responsibility and blame for sexual assault on victims. Compare that to Canada's new campaign to combat sexual violence:

A bold new advertising campaign will warn young men that extremely drunk or unconscious women can’t consent to sex.

The Don’t Be That Guy campaign, announced Friday by a coalition of groups fighting sexual assault, will target men aged 18 to 24 using print and transit advertising, as well as ads posted above the urinals inside bar washrooms, said police Supt. Danielle Campbell.

“The advertisements use graphic language, disturbing images to communicate one bottom-line message: Sex without consent is sexual assault,” Campbell said.

“For those of you who choose to be That Guy, that opportunistic offender, know this — the Edmonton Police Service has the subject-matter experts to investigate these matters and we will hold you accountable for the crime you commit.”

The contrast could not be clearer. While the effectiveness of the That Guy campaign is not yet known, it at least is a step in the right direction to hold would-be perpetrators, rather than victims, responsible for sexual violence.

The attempt by House Republicans to redefine rape has been shelved -- for now. But these ideas are not new and will no doubt resurface again. If rape can be redefined to distinguish "real" victims of "forcible rape" from the "accusers" who do not deserve protection, Republicans can then argue for decreased resources intended to protect women from violence. And that means all women are at risk.

Make no mistake: we are at war. The other side knows it. Pay equity, affordable health care, protection against violence -- each of these battles are being hard-fought in the Congress and in state houses across the nation, while Democrats insist such extreme bills will never become law, and resources are therefore better spent on more important issues. For Republicans, the war on women's economic security, health care, and protection against violence is a priority.

We can no longer afford to have a major political party pretend these battles do not matter. They are not beside the point; they are the point. Restoring women to second-class citizenship is a critical part of the Republican dream to return to a day when wealthy white men exercised exclusive control of this nation.

We are at war. It is time for women, and the one major political party that claims to support their rights, to fight back.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:00 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The" family values" of the Republicans these days (20+ / 0-)

    makes we wonder what kind of family they are talking about.  

    Perhaps it is the mafia.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:03:31 AM PST

  •  You know you have your work cut out for you (33+ / 0-)

    when a sitting Supreme Court Justice is of the opinion that the Constitution does not grant women equal protection under the law.

    The community of fools might be small if it were not such an accomplished proselytizer.

    by ZedMont on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:08:10 AM PST

    •  Yes, especially when (10+ / 0-)

      we have politicians who want to have it both ways.  They want to be able to not offend the conservatives by voting or fighting against some of these legal assaults against women.  (see "Partial Birth" amendments) So they depend on the Supreme Court to knock down any of these assaults as unconstitutional.  We are now getting to the point where the Supreme Court is so conservatively political that this defense will no longer work.  

      ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

      by Rebecca on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:35:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Constitution does not "grant." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julifolo, HylasBrook, OldDragon

      The Constitution orders the behavior of the agents of government, with some behavior being mandatory and some optional.  The mandate to provide equal service is, like the other mandates and prohibitions, conditioned on "reasonableness."  Thus, when agents of government are permitted to argue and to argue successfully that their charge is to "protect" the nation, an immaterial figment of the imagination whose security requirement are unidentifiable, then the welfare of ordinary natural persons is pretty much irrelevant.  Not to mention that "protection" in any case posits the presence of a threat which, if it's not immediately evident, has to be created.  But it's all a figment of the imagination.

      The rights of the natural person have always been honored in word, but not in deed.  How else was slavery legal?

      The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

      by hannah on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:04:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I work for ... (18+ / 0-)

    ... a company that's 74 percent female across a workforce of 8,000, yet I see the need for further action for equality every day.

    While the structure may be changing and the executive doors may be creaking open just a bit, it's grudging and it's not nearly fast enough. Further, executive bad behavior, particularly in the area of sexual misconduct, is tolerated, covered up and, in some ways, encouraged.

    Yes, in our company, the fight isn't nearly over, which leads me to suspect that it's not over elsewhere, either

    •  A guy in my office just took a job (17+ / 0-)

      as an an international business consultant that he is completely unqualified for. i googled him the other day, after he had left the company, and found his resume on linked in - where he claimed all sorts of skills and accomplishments that were definitely not his own. Made it sound as if he'd been in charge of our team.

      One aspect of the pay issue is that men are simply more likely to lie on their resume (here's the only link I can find right now, I know there are more direct sources out there: It doesn't explain it all, though, and we also don't know if men are more likely to lie because they know they are more likely to get away with it - whereas perhaps women know they won't be.

      Another aspect of all this is the fact that women are sometimes not hired at all (see the Ohio cabinet...) which distorts the pay issue even more.

      •  Some of it has to do with the fact (12+ / 0-)

        that women are more modest and feel more uncomfortable boasting about themselves, whereas some men don't feel any compunction about taking credit for things they DIDN'T do.

        Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

        by anastasia p on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:40:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  women who boast are seen as bitches n/t (4+ / 0-)
          •  Exactly. There's a real catch-22 (12+ / 0-)

            Women are expected to be modest, but then they never get noticed. Any woman who brags about her accomplishments is branded as pushy and a loud-mouth. There are such catch-22's all over the place that prevent women from having any viable course of action. When I was shooting rock music in the ’70s and ’80s, there was a bar where everyone went after shows to hang out. But if you were a woman and were seen there more than a couple of times, you were known as a groupie. So I never went. Meanwhile, guys on the local crews would go and hook up with national bands to go on the road, and many of them had long, successful careers as guitar techs or riggers or lighting operators. A woman couldn't do that.

            Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

            by anastasia p on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:31:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The rule of thumb has been that men will (5+ / 0-)

          apply for a position that they are only 80% qualified for, and women won't apply for a position unless they are 120% qualified.

          It appears in the world of computer technology more and more companies demand certification in a particular subject area in a displine before they will hire that person.

          I can't be sure if this is because companies have been burned too much by guys who can talk a good game and can't deliver, or if it's just one more way to keep women out of the technical jobs.

          HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

          by HylasBrook on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:49:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  wow, that's an interesting stat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            denig, HylasBrook

            I'm in the job market and haven't sent my resume vary many places, because there is always something in the job description I don't have.  Even if I know I could do the job, or learn the new ISO/TQM/HOQ/IDEF/ whatever in a week, I don't apply if I don't qualify.

            Maybe I should.  

            I've never had the problem with not asking for raises.  I did have a incident where I brought in a client and a $5M contract.  Talked with my boss about a raise since I wasn't in a "bring client's in" position.  He eventually gave me the raise, but also gave one to a male colleague who hadn't brought in a new contract or made any big contribution, simply because he had to continue to make more than I did.  And he actually said that to my face.  I don't know if I ask for enough in the initial interview.  That is always a hard number to pick.

      •  Also in my experience women ask for less money. (0+ / 0-) I would pay them less money.

        In high skilled professions without fixed pay steps I see no obligation by an employer to pay someone more than they ask for.

        I would argue until I was blue in the face with my female friends and family about how much they should ask for...and still they would ask for less.

    •  Look at this morning's NYT Business section (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      where there is an interesting article about men and women in the workplace, respecting a woman who started looking at men's ways and then kept looking,  and ways in which they are different and need to function differently. I won't tell you what's in it, but go read it.

      The idea of emotionalism v. logic is there, with all emotionalism, including pushing arguments, being bad, and another about how women need to avoid the not well advertised weakness of many men not to be criticized in public, even in the public  place that is a workplace. Very interesting article, and guess who has to make all the adjustments. It is odd that I have seen the emotionalism v. logic argument here on DKos from the strangest people who one would think knew better.

  •  Now more than at any other time since we won (38+ / 0-)

    the right to vote do we need a national women's movement. All our gains are being challenged by the right

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:09:15 AM PST

  •  I saw a poster at my college (19+ / 0-)

    a few weeks ago that seemed to be using the same phrasing as the "that guy" campaign. It had been papered all over the men's bathroom door. Would be good to see that spread around.

    I recall when I was in high school we had an assembly about rape, and the speaker delivered the message that sex with a woman who is incapacitated is rape, and several guys actually vocalized in outrage.

    The question is, do we have so many women in this country that are so shallow and intellectually lazy that we don't have a way to get women riled up about all this as a group? Most of the women I know here in Bachmann-land are explicitly anti-feminist and think that makes them cool. They are like the Saudi women you see occasionally interviewed who tell us how glad they are they are protected from the evils of freedom.

  •  Wrong Framing (31+ / 0-)

    I don't think that we have to run to the Democrats in order to fight the misogyny of the GOP; we need to just fight this wherever it occurs, including when Democrats do it too; recall the deep sexism of the  Dem 2008 campaign or the Dem sellout to anti-choice Stupak.  

    Women have no natural home in either party and should stop arguing over which Daddy will protect us.

    •  and about time too (9+ / 0-)

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:13:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "no natural home in either party" (12+ / 0-)

      despite the democratic party's flaws I'm not naiive enough to believe that both parties are "equal" on these issues.

    •  To be clear... (30+ / 0-)

      I think the Democrats have been very poor advocates for women. Virtually no anti-woman bill has passed without the complicity of at least a few Democrats. That said, short of a third party, which I don't think is at all practical, the Democratic Party is our best hope for barring bad laws. What I would like to see from the party, which will only happen with enough pressure from the rank and file, is proactive legislation. Instead of just trying to stop bad laws, they should be trying to pass good laws.

      "I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism." -- Sarah Palin

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:25:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. Trying to win outside the (5+ / 0-)

        entrenched two party system is a non-starter, unfortunately.

        To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming - Maguire, Robison, and Maines

        by Captain Sham on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:28:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Lily Ledbetter legislation was good law, (0+ / 0-)

        as was Franken's bill allowing defense contractor rape victims to have their day in court. Obama's lifting of the Global Gag Rule was good for women.

        It is a false and absurd distinction because rape is, by definition, forcible.

        No. Statutory rape was given as an example in the preceding paragraph and obviously not all statutory rapes are forcible. Rape is not by definition forcible.

        After the Dems retake control of the house in the 2012 elections and the economy improves, I want to see legislation for reparations for slavery. Moynihan's famous report on the pathologies afflicting black culture quoted esteemed black historian E. Franklin Frazier's 1939 book on the increasing dissolution of black families forced to move to inner cities by the bankrupt system of southern agriculture. Obviously, the dominant culture's refusal to extend farm loans to black landowners forced many to move to cities where most were subsequently denied civil service jobs, further impoverishing the black community.

        The black community is in crisis and reparations are needed and warranted. Madison wrote that - "Justice is the end [goal] of government." Justice calls for  reparations.

      •  I have been thinking this, also (0+ / 0-)

        For instance, with all the talk about restricting women even further, instead of fighting against the erosion, we should be fighting for greater freedom and autonomy ...we start demanding that equal pay.

        Every time someone advocates for abortion restrictions, we just start demanding equal pay. We start demanding stricter domestic violence laws.  We stop responding to the arguments, they define and make them respond to us. When they start in about abortion, we  start talking about issues that hit their sensibilities in the pocketbook and in places that feel much more threatening to their power structure, than abortion.

        We need to move the discussion from their thoughts, to ours.

        They just keep pushing to the right. We need strong left curves, to change the discussion and move it to the left.

        Finding our true selves is key to empowerment in whatever life situations we face. ~Oke

        by denig on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 03:19:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our biggest issue in Ohio (11+ / 0-)

      has been the Ohio Democratic Party's treatment of women. The boys make up the slate and then go, we have to plug a woman in here somewhere. They tell women to wait their "turn," which never comes. Or they plug in a woman who is liked by the men without realizing that she has stands on critical issues that completely alienate their core grassroots of base of volunteers — very likely a reason John Kasich is governor today. And one reason I am angry is that apparently this woman was specifically Governor Strickland's choice. Word is she wanted to be his running mate after Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher stepped aside to run for the U.S. Senate, but LGBT groups put the kibbosh on that by saying they wouldn't support the ticket with her on it. So as a consolation prize she was slated for secretary of state — and the LGBT groups said they'd endorse the Republican and women, already angry about how Jennifer Brunner was treated in the Senate race, just dropped out and sat down. By the time they remedied this — in the process treating the anti-choice, anti-gay woman like dirt, and SHE deserved better — it was too late to fix the damage.

      Women here got sick of hearing about how our "tent" had to be big enough to include someone who wanted to pass a "fetal personhood" amendment and had opposed pregnancy prevention bills while wanting to ban almost all abortions. That's a ripped tent that's collapsing.

      Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

      by anastasia p on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:51:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ODP has a major schism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Between its traditional Dem leaders and the conservative ones from southern/rural areas. Its been there as long as I've been a member, at least 20 yrs.  The downstate DLC Dems continue to fantasize that some day they'll pick up votes from conservatives, not realizing they'll lose the rest of the party in doing so.

        Proud member of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 09:36:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You have a point, but I think the Democrats (5+ / 0-)

      are more receptive to women's rights.  But we need to stop electing anti-choice Democrats.  Republicans have to be anti-choice to get party support. Democrats don't demand that all candidates be pro-choice.

      The problem is, when we have the 'big tent' like that, women get screwed.  It's OK for a politician to be "pro-life" but when he starts holding legislation hostage - as Stupak did - then we have a Democrat that is as bad as Republicans.

      But again, we don't have young women demanding, supporting or running for office on a pro-choice agenda.

      Each time an anti-choice law gets on the books, it's hard to repeal later.  It's so much better to keep the law off the books in the first place.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:05:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is also a difference (9+ / 0-)

        between a "pro-life" candidate or officeholder who doesn't work to limit abortions and who supports pregnancy prevention measures, such as Ohio congressman Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown) and an anti-choice radical who opposes pregnancy prevention, wants to ban most abortions, supports a "fetal personhood" amendment, and opposes stem-cell research. The latter has no place in the Democratic Party; the former does.

        Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

        by anastasia p on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:10:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point -- I think my expectation was that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, swampyankee

          pro-life candidates would be like the former.  I really felt betrayed by Stupak who turned out to be the latter.

          That's why two terms need to be used - Pro-life which is for good sex education, access to contraception, and low cost pre-natal & well-baby care for low income women who want to keep their babies.

          Anti-choice want to defund sex education, limit access to contraception, force women to have babies & leave them having no support (well-baby medical care, affordable day-care) after the baby is born.

          Thanks for helping me clarify my opinions.

          HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

          by HylasBrook on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:35:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Personally pro-life is fine (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But we have Dems who actually want to see abortion banned or limited so tightly that the right is an illusion. I liked Murtha, but he had a 0% score from NARAL, and should have been primaried like crazy.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 12:01:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  agree like Casey in PA (0+ / 0-)

          A "better" Dem could've beat Santorum - someone who cared about Women - and less about pushing his personal religious beliefs against Women and the right to make their own Medical Decisions.

    •  I wish I agreed, but when the damage is (0+ / 0-)

      being done in the legislature, all of these anti woman bills now formally proposed in the Fed and in the states, we need legislators to fight back and vote them down, that is, those who are there and have voting rights,  and the sources of those for us are limited by the present political organization of parties, one of whom disappoints us often and one of which seeks our affirmative destruction as equal creatures. You have to make the fight where it is happening, and use what is available there. This stuff will be voted on long before the next election anywhere. You have another choice?

  •  Unfortunately, this is true (22+ / 0-)

    Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims. But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, or if you are beaten by a domestic partner, or if you are stalked, Rep. Franklin doesn’t think you’ve been victimized. He says you’re an accuser until the courts have determined otherwise.

    Any woman who has gone through this ordeal learns quickly that when it comes to violence against women, the woman is presumed guilty until found innocent.

    Rep. Franklin, like so many of the teabaggy types, is only saying aloud what so many of his type believe. Where we find this unacceptable, they find it to be true and therefore unnecessary to change.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:13:42 AM PST

  •  This is the Republican party now. (19+ / 0-)

    This is the entirety of that party now.  They are the party that supports rape all over the country.  They are the party that supports child molestors in Wisconsin.  They are the party that supports stomping on women's heads in Kentucky.  This is their party.  And before people come into this thread saying "The Republicans I know aren't like that" well if they are voting on that ticket, then yes they are like that.  This is what the Repubs are now.  They are vicious, amoral, sociopathic monsters.  That is all they are and all they will be for the forseeable future.  Everyone, including our leaders need to wake up and start calling them what they are or things are just going to continue to degenerate fast.

    "She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring. " -- Zelda Fitzgerald

    by owilde69 on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:17:07 AM PST

  •  The renewed war on women is cultural, too. (14+ / 0-)

    Angelina Jolie, as is typical of female leads in Hollywood these days, is very glamorous, and we're supposed to believe she looks that way all the time. She gets major parts in Hollywood movies for just that reason--her directors say so openly (oh, and she can act, of course). But I recently checked out an old 70s movie, "The Goodbye Girl," with Richard Dreyfus and Marcia Mason. Marcia Mason plays a struggling single mom, trying to build a career as an actor. We're asked to identify with her. And she is just as plain-jane and girl-next-door in her physical appearance as she can be. She could almost be called "ugly" or "frumpy," and, indeed, if the movie came out today, there would by a misogynistic chorus of film critics describing her in  those terms and worse.

    As women's independence and status is rising, the bar is moving higher. The backlash is real.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:19:33 AM PST

  •  Brilliant, and much needed (7+ / 0-)

    dairy - thank you, angr...,  er,  Kaili Joy Gray :)

    Highly recommended - definitely Rec'd

    We will not Shut UP, like the Old Testament Archaists wants us to, we will keep on SAYING NO!

    NO to unwanted sexual contact,
    NO to inequalities in renumeration
    NO to being treated as possessions

    NO NO NO!!!

    "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of every good Government" ~ Thomas Jefferson

    by watershed on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:20:30 AM PST

  •  I don't think the Dallas police chief was wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Park in a lighted area.  Try not to walk alone.  Check the back seat before you get in the car.  Don't pick up hitchhikers.  This is all just good safety advise - it's not "blaming the victim."

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - My Dad

    by briefer on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:23:40 AM PST

    •  What? (18+ / 0-)

      What a great summation of the constant state of danger that women must function in.  Women know that.  Why doesn't the police chief address the male perpetrators who need to alter their conduct?  

      •  Not everyone knows what may be obvious (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cardinal, Amayi, brae70

        to you or me.  Suggesting that people take common sense steps to make them less likely to be victims of crime, whether rape or robbery, seems like an intelligent thing for a police chief to be doing - and hardly a misogynistic or anti-women one.

        With respect to the male perpetrators, presumably the police chief is addressing them - by arresting them, throwing them in jail, having them arraigned and providing the evidence to prosecute them.

        If you are suggesting the police department should be using  a "Don't Be That Guy" campaign as described in the diary, that seems like a fine idea - but that should be an addition, not a substitute to what they are currently doing.

      •  Reminded me of this... (19+ / 0-)

        I don't know who wrote this, but it was passed around blogs and e-mail lists a while back...

        Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

        1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.
        1. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.
        1. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to assault her.
        1. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t assault her. You know what? Don’t even ogle her.
        1. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not assault her.
        1. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or assault her.
        1. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play "Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)" by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.
        1. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from assaulting women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when in public.
        1. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to assault a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.
        1. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

        Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be assaulting her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

      •  Probably it's just not in his or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        most police chiefs frame of reference.  Methinks we may need to send all high ranking police officers to Canada for regular conscienceness raising retreats.  

    •  The whole idea... (20+ / 0-)

      that the way to combat rape is to tell women to stop getting raped is a major problem for me. It further perpetuates the idea that rape victims are somehow at fault. We too often demand explanation from the victims: what were you wearing? What were you doing? How much were you drinking? These kinds of questions don't apply to victims of other crimes. They just don't. We don't imply the murder victims were somehow asking for it, but we do it to rape victims. It's part of our culture.

      The police chief wasn't wrong, technically, in suggesting how to be careful. But the entire tactic of warning victims, rather than potential criminals, is wrong.

      "I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism." -- Sarah Palin

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:30:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Free? (13+ / 0-)

        One must quote feminist Robin Morgan on this, who said of the rabid reaction to the Central Park jogger out alone in the park: "She was behaving as though she were free."

      •  It's so much a part of our culture (7+ / 0-)

        that it's invisible.  I have to believe that, I really do.  I can't believe, otherwise, that SO many people would think as this person does that you're responding to, and be otherwise a decent person.

        You don't see people proposing campaigns on "how not to be mugged" or "how not to get murdered", or "how not to be a victim of a drunk driver"*.  Burglary, ok occasionally, but I'm convinced that's 90% driven by alarm companies trying to make a buck.

        But somehow women are supposed to take "don't walk alone in dark places" as "just common-sense advice", and not a direct insult to our autonomy and intelligence?  Don't treat grown women like five-year-olds, please and thank you.

        * And you DO see campaigns aimed at potential drunk drivers themselves.  Somehow that's not taken as a personal affront by everyone who's ever had a beer.  Go figure.

        •  "Don't walk alone in dark places" is for men too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lesser Dane, arpear

          The consequences for a man are much more likely to be a mugging than a rape, but I've heard the advice given to men all the time.

          And, how to recognize the drunk driver is part of just about every defensive driving class -- don't pass the driver drunkenly weaving all over the road, or he will likely swerve into you.

          "Lock your doors and windows" is common advice, not just from alarm companies. (Alarm companies prefer to tell you that your locks are inadequate)

          (-7.38,-2.51) 76% of dKos readers think I'm a secret wing-nut operative!

          by Gustavo on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:29:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Especially since this advice is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah, arpear

      also given to prevent robbbery, theft, murder and kidnapping.  

      •  Other than burglary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which as I've said is mostly driven by people trying to sell you stuff (alarm companies), show me a few examples of this.

        •  "Don't flash money around" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lesser Dane

          "Don't carry large amounts of cash"
          "Cover the pad when entering your ATM PIN"
          "Don't go to Bedford-Stuyvesant"
          "Don't vote for Republicans"

          Educating potential victims to reduce their chance of being victims happens all the time. It's not blaming the victims, it's not excusing the attackers, it's just good common sense.

          In a perfect world caution wouldn't be needed, but we don't live in a perfect world. A lot of crime is caused by horrible human beings taking advantage of a situation that makes the crime easier, and to a large extent that is exactly what was happening in Dallas.

          The attacks on the police chief were -- frankly -- disgusting and unwarranted. It was putting a hard-line, uncompromising, unrealistic ideology over facts.

          (-7.38,-2.51) 76% of dKos readers think I'm a secret wing-nut operative!

          by Gustavo on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:39:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have never in my life (4+ / 0-)

            Seen any sort of major campaign aimed at educating people to stay out of rough areas or not to carry much cash when they do.  If a man gets mugged and murdered in a back alley in Cincinnati, you don't get the mayor in the press conference telling people to stay away from that area without company or to carry mace or whatnot.  Show me an example of such -- it's the most direct comparison to such victim-oriented discussions of rape prevention.

            "Cover the pad" I'll give you, despite that that falls into another category of topics the media just love to jabber about, which is the dangers of con artists, especially if technology is involved.  (See also identity theft, avoiding email scams and so on.)

      •  Yeah, I've never heard anyone say (0+ / 0-)

        "keep your doors locked."  That's only blaming the victim.

        "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - My Dad

        by briefer on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:56:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do authority figures (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          need to "educate" people to do that?  Or is it just neighborhood busybodies most of the time?

          I don't object to the chorus of "don't go around alone after dark" coming out when there is a known serial rapist in the area who's using such an MO.  But as general advice aimed at preventing rape, it's obnoxious and misses the point of what rapes in general tend to be like.

        •  I have heard all of these things, particularly (0+ / 0-)

          when one or more rapes have occurred in a community and the MO is something like getting in through the fire escape, or the patio doors or whatever, or they are happenign at night. All of this stuff comes out like lightning, to get women off the street, and eliminate known elements of the MO of the attacker. I got them in the newspapers when I lived in NY  "NYPD recommmends that . . . . " and in suburban WA state  "City of X Police department advises that there have been recent daylight burglaries, which are currently being investigated but are unsolved, in the YYYYY are. Until the perpetrator is caught, the Police Department recommends . . . . ."

    •  Say someone leaves their car running while (7+ / 0-)

      they run into a 7-11 then comes back out and finds someone stole it.  Was what they did stupid?  Yes, it was.  But at least they could rest assured a cop would look for the theif.  

      Why should women who go out and get a little tipsy have to defend themselves for reporting a rape?

      Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

      by Ice Blue on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:54:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shorter version: "Girls: Don't ask for it!" (8+ / 0-)

      You don't see how patronizing and condescending it is for the POLICE CHIEF to speak to women this way? How about if he addressed a rise in murders by reminding people not to get in the way of bullets? HOW MANY WOMEN ARE RAPED BY HITCHHIKERS WHO SNUCK INTO THE BACK SEAT AS SHE GOT INTO HER CAR ALONE IN AN UNLIT AREA? Pluh-lease. "Advice" of this kind  is not only blaming victims for getting raped, but casting them as pretty damn stupid.

      Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

      by earicicle on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:55:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stranger Rape (5+ / 0-)

        The No. 1 advice predators give to their acolytes:  Make friends with your target first.  All the helpful hints directed at women ignore the fact that most sexual assaults are initiated by relatives or acquaintances.

        That is why advice like the police chief's is not particularly helpful.

        Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

        by arlene on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:09:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, you're just wrong (0+ / 0-)

          The police chief was responding to an increase in reported incidents* of women being assaulted by strangers -- mostly on first dates, or after meeting them in bars.

          In that situation, most of the advice he was giving was perfectly reasonable. (Except for checking the back seat of the car, that's just crazy paranoid)

          * I am careful to say "reported incidents", not because I doubt the women, but because so many incidents of sexual assault go unreported. The wave of reported rapes may have been caused by an increase in the rapiness of Dallas men, or by an increase in the rate of reporting, or both.

          (-7.38,-2.51) 76% of dKos readers think I'm a secret wing-nut operative!

          by Gustavo on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:01:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      earicicle, allergywoman

      You are wrong.  Educate yourself.

    •  Good advice. But how come they never (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, sngmama

      tell MEN not to do this to avoid beign mugged? And when theya re mugged, no one asks how they dressed.

      I think she's right. NO ONE every tells males here that rape is wrong, that getting laid by gettign a girl drunk is wrong. We need to share the responsibility with thonahue once said, tha "No" means "No", not "Keep pushing. I jsut don't wanna give in too easily."  That the worst thing that will happen if you'r wrong and she doesn't mean  keep pushing, is that you won't get laid. If you assume that a negative answer is really assent, you can end up in jail.

      There was a study done years ago. Theya sked college guys  which methods were more lilley to get htem laid--it ran from   wooing her with a nice dinner  or saying you love dher to verbal threats or physical force. They guys knew that treating her nicely were more likley to get them the sex they wanted--but they preferred the mehtods that were at best borderline to outright rape.  We're failing out boys badly when we don't teach them  to trust that a woman who wants sex will let them know--and if she has to be coerced, it oculd send them to prison.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:51:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank goodness someone is seeing what I am seeing (9+ / 0-)

    happen! You are right:

    Make no mistake: we are at war.

    I remember fighting for these very issues in my early college days with my feminist mother who at a later age had to join the workforce and was paid less than here male counterparts, along with constant sexual harassment from men in the workplace. What really made it a mouth dropping issue was when the women (yes, Women!) of our local church told her that she should be at home with her children, never mind that if she didn't work her children would starve. They accused her of nasty things and talked behind her back, it was awful. We also rallied behind rape awareness marches at the local community college where rape was finally coming to light as an act of violence, not sex. Who would've thought we would ve doing this again in this day and age! Yet here we are. To quote Lily Tomlinson in 9to5 to her male boss:

    "the boys in the club are threatened and you're so intimidated by any woman who wont sit at the back of the bus!"

  •  MRA here (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Gustavo, JamieG from Md
    Hidden by:
    allergywoman, Aji

    and for the most part i cannot disagree with you more. The fact is.. things have gone too far. I don't care who HRECs me. L

    et's take the violence against women act. Is violence against women a worse crime than violence against men? No. Does it happen more often then violence against men? No. Should women get special protections from the law? No. Should men accused of violence be fast tracked to prison? No.

    Let's take rape since feminists love this subject. Who is most likely to get raped? Women? Nope. It's actually men.. both in and out of prison. With half of all rape claims being false.. why are the so-called "victims" faces shelted from public but the falsely accused has his marriage and career ruined?

    Where are the battered husband shelters where a man can take his kids away from a woman on a drunken violent rampage? They don't exist. What happens if a women commits an act of violence against a man? He is pulled out in handcuffs because men are presumed guilty.  

    Why are men publically shamed on airlines when they are told they have to change seats because they are not allowed to sit next children because all men are presumed to be pediphiles?

    Why are women not forced to sign up for selective service. I was 17 years old when 9/11 happened. Watching those towers fall i was quite afraid of being drafted. Were the women? No.

    Why do women still get the majority of sole custody awards in family court dispite the fact that women abuse children more then men?

    Why is the vast majority of homeless people men? Homelessness certainly isn't a sign of economic privilage.

    Women are indeed the privilaged in this society. You are right that a women's bathroom is indeed silly. It is not hard being a woman out there.

    You might think i'm making this stuff up. You might think i'm getting this stuff from right wing groups... the truth is.. statistics and studies are all over the place from universities to the department of health and human services.

    Women are increasing treating the women's rights movement like the crowds treated forrest gump at a football game shouting "stop" because he's going too far.

    Don't ever forget that what ever amount of misandry that you wish upon that jerk who cheated on you.. or told you off he will receive... and so will your sons, your fathers, your brothers, your uncles.. and all other men in your life that you didn't intend to harm but in your act of misandry encouraged other women to do the same to them.

  •  I have for forty years, been simultaneously (11+ / 0-)

    outraged and amazed that primarily old white men keep legislating what a woman can or cannot do with her body. Of course the women they are punishing are primarily young, poor & of color, but the repressive nature of their self serving, hypocritical actions drag the down society as a whole into a sinkhole of intolerance & hate.

  •  aka The Larry Craig Memorial Queen's Throne Room (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, Russ Jarmusch, Deoliver47

    Even the new Speaker of the House, not generally considered a friend to women, is working for women's equality in the House -- by building a new women's bathroom in a gesture of "respect for female members of the House.”

    Of course, Boehner's "potty parity" is actually a self-serving land grab to appropriate prime real estate in the Capitol that includes "an extra hallway, storage area and kitchen as well as the spacious balcony." But that hasn't stopped Boehner and his fellow Republicans from claiming that they are promoting women's equality.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach;Warning-Some Snark Above;Cascadia Lives

    by annieli on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:35:28 AM PST

  •  the hand that rocks the cradle... (9+ / 0-)

    Those we must reach are the women who continue to replicate this misogynistic behavior.

    Women give birth and nurture males into whatever roles they assume in life.

    Until all women recognize and reclaim their own powers and stop allowing others to co-opt them to use against them, we will all be carrying this burden.

    •  This is the heart of the matter... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, Quicksilver2723

      ... but how does the average woman replace the support system of the matriarchal village needed to raise non-patriarchal males? It is impossible to do this in isolation. Human child-rearing (and the rest of our sociality) evolved as a cooperative child-rearing system: we didn't have scattered individual "nests", let alone nests run by men. We had kin-group nests. This is what we still need.

      But patriarchy has atomized us into economic "individuals", with the social resources and property that once supported childrear diverting into competition and warfare among men.

      This is why we have always needed a collective response to patriarchy: "Sisterhood" and all those forgotten words and concepts. We can't do it as atomized individuals. Only by regaining our essential humanity, lost millennia ago when patriarchy began.

      I want the Republican Party to become so small that I can drown it in a bath tub.

      by CA TreeHugger on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:51:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agree completely (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA TreeHugger, EclecticCrafter

        ..with all your observations, CATreeHugger.  I was a single mom of three kids. They're all grown up now with their own children. I do remember how liberating it was when their father abandoned us because he was no longer around to sap my energies and resources. He was no longer around to model poor behavior towards me.

        It was like a ton of weight off my shoulders even though I was working around the clock to make ends meet financially -- which they rarely did meet.

        We survived. My sons are not misogynistic, are married to strong women with whom they partner to nurture their children and tend to the home.

        They could have just as easily chosen to be like their father, I suppose. But then they would have lost me in the process. So I guess it all worked out.

        The reason he left was that I was in counselling and had learned that I didn't have to be a victim. I quit playing the role, so he had no further use for me.  

        That was my first step out of that sick dynamic, reclaiming my own energies/resources to use how I saw fit for my children.  

        So how to get that benefit to other women?  Public messaging?  Mentoring?

        I know when I helped one woman get out of her hell -- long story -- her husband began stalking me and sabotaging my vehicle and home.  She ended up divorcing him for two years but reconciled after that.  I don't know her situation anymore.  But I hope at least she is taking care of herself in the relationship.

        Just some random thoughts.

  •  Honestly, this is the number one reason (8+ / 0-)

    I told my fiance we're leaving the country within three years.  I just cannot sit here anymore and watch my elected representatives tell me over and over and over and over again that it doesn't matter that I take care of my family, that it doesn't matter that I served my country (in many cases longer than they did, if they served at all), that NOTHING matters other than the fact that I have a uterus and thus do not count as an American.  I'm not going to sit here and watch them tell my daughters and my sister the same thing.

    I just ... I can't.  My tolerance for this bullshit is gone.

    If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

    by talismanlangley on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:54:37 AM PST

    •  I wish you the best of luck (4+ / 0-)

      I want to leave this country too. First it was the economy, then the assault on our civil liberties, then the assault on our social security net, and now the assault on my right to be a fully self-determining and equal member of society because I was born the wrong gender. I have always wanted to have children, but lately, I have been grateful that I don't have any. I do not know how I would cope raising them in this vile time. Maybe that is a cowardly thing to say, but I am honestly overwhelmed. I don't even recognize my own country anymore. I'm descended on both sides of my family from people who left their countries of birth to fight in the Revolutionary War, whose families later went on to be abolitionists and early suffragists  and to fight for the Union during the Civil War. I grew up proud of that legacy. My ancestors fought for others as well as for themselves, so that I, their descendant, might inherit a society based in liberty, justice and equality. And I am nothing but brokenhearted at what I've inherited. Why would I want to have children in this country? Why would I want them to inherit this?

      Many people came to this country hoping for a better life for their children. If you can find a better life for yours elsewhere, then please, go seek it. I cannot blame any parent for wanting to leave when the powers that be in this country are doing everything they can to prevent a better future for our children.

  •  I agree this is a 'war'. (6+ / 0-)

    All women should read this and be outraged.
    These new "rules" show nothing but contempt and dismissal, for and of, women.
    It is totally unacceptable.
    Young women especially, need to know what they are coming so close to losing.
    The fight can't just be left to those who were around for it the first time.
    We all stand to lose if the misogynists in the political arena get their way.

  •  "Equality," especially for the victims/targets (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KarenJG, boofdah, arlene, OldDragon, brae70

    of any action, is a counter-productive objective for the simple reason that it is quite possible for everyone to be equally deprived of their rights.

    We see evidence of that all the time, as when, for example, the response to complaints about discriminatory traffic stops by police is to randomly stop individuals who don't fit the "profile" and spread the deprivation around.

    What we need to do is set standards of behavior for the agents, standards that are based on measurements unrelated to the people they might or might not affect.

    So, for example, traffic enforcement should be directed at vehicles being driven erratically, too rapidly, or in a manner that endangers other drivers (tailgating).  Equal pay for equal work seems to be such a standard, until we realize that over the last thirty years, everyone's wages for an hour of labor has been reduced in relation to what needs to be spent to sustain one's existence.

    Yes, workers whose wages used to be adequate are told that the reason they're getting less is because new entrants into the paid labor force are getting paid more.  But, that's a lie.  We know that the money hasn't gone to workers, old or new, but rather into the coffers of industrial moguls and Wall Street speculators, whose behavior, btw, is a double dip on the economy because when they lose money, they don't pay any tax.

    The delivery of medical care needs to be defined as an OBLIGATION of the agents of government who have been tasked with providing for the general welfare.  They haven't been tasked with making moral or medical judgments and when they presume to do so, they are out of line, just like the cops who shoot innocent bi-standers because they have guns and bullets and itchy trigger fingers.  And, just as such law enforcement failures have to be weeded out, legislators who don't deliver need to be retired.

    Letting ourselves get distracted by their outrageous arguments is not, IMHO, useful.  None of these proposals are going to withstand a veto.  So, their only practical purpose is to harass the citizenry.  Politicians who count on citizens feeling grateful that the deprivation was minimized ought not to be kept in office, either.  When other people's welfare is at stake, compromise is not acceptable.  We're not talking about boons here; we're talking about the necessities of life.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:57:24 AM PST

  •  Powerful diary! thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, Deoliver47, OldDragon

    Comments & discussion above all document the truth you are telling-- even the naysayers demonstrate how pathetic their anti-woman arguments are

  •  It's a WAR, all right... (5+ / 0-)

    ...a war against LIES, DECEIT, DISTORTION and CONTEMPT
    the hallmarks of Republican propaganda.

    Why would anyone want to be associated with them? How does one even debate or discuss issues with people who have no respect for the truth whatsoever?

  •  What? (7+ / 0-)

    Restoring women to second-class citizenship is a critical part of the Republican dream to return to a day when wealthy white men exercised exclusive control of this nation

    Restoring women to second-class citizenship?  Did I miss something in the last 50 years or so?  When the hell did women have equality?

    It must of happened breifly between 12:04 pm and 12:05 pm on...what day was that again?

    Got Books? Need Cables?

    by sweettp2063 on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:21:57 AM PST

  •  Word (0+ / 0-)

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:30:05 AM PST

  •  Leave me out of creating war against violence... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Looks more like a misguided war of women AGAINST men, which .... do we really need another war? You've got the wrong enemy here...

    "Even within the same professions, the pay gap between men and women is real and significant."

    Your source points out the factor of men working more hours and having more experience. There's still a pervasive attitude that a man's worth is measured by his paycheck, and by the looks of how homeless and long term unemployed men are treated, he has little other value.

    "the movement to dismiss and decriminalize violence against women. "

    As for redefining rape, you brought it up ... men who are raped and sexually abused aren't even defined in the first place. You can't say with accuracy how much it happens it's so disbelieved. Why say "prison rape", "male rape" as if "real rape" is only women raped by men. It would be great progress if that were decriminalized, because then it would at least be seen. Many women create another hierarchy of sympathy for rape victims with men at the bottom. Like the recent subterfuge blog post on "He's Asking For It": wondering if "male rape is a ‘good thing in disguise’ "

    "vast majority of victims are women and the perpetrators are men"

    Not true. The hierarchy of victims.

    * 2.1% of men reported forced vaginal sex compared to 1.6% of women in a relationship in the previous year. * 94% of youth in correctional facilities reported being sexually abused by female staff. * Among inmates reporting staff sexual misconduct, ~ 65% reported a female aggressor. * 50% of homeless youth reported being sexually abused by a female.

    Think about it. Declaring war against a potential allie is not furthering your cause.

    Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world... -R D Laing

    by crazyamerican on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:35:03 AM PST

    •  False parity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Prisons are abusive institutions meant to encourage people to abuse each other. This, we all understand, will correct them and make them less abusive /snark

      Similarly, homeless people are designated victims. They are there to provide moral encouragement to workers in low-paid, benefitless jobs: count your blessings, it can easily get much worse.

      Women who are not in prison or on the street would like to believe that they are not designated victims. Rape reminds us that we are designated victims, just like prisoners or homeless people. It is traumatic reminder of our real position in the world of men.

      But, since the Reagan era, being a victim has been demonized. You are not supposed to be able to say "I am a victim". Because if you can say "I am a victim", you may become able to name your oppressor. And the first rule of abuse is: get them to internalize their oppression. In order to internalize oppression, you must not be able to name your oppressor.

      Feminists have understood this since the '70s. Naming is a deadly thoughtcrime, that must be prevented. Threat is the tactic used to prevent naming. Threat begins with talking about "Man-hating feminists", "The war of women against men" etc. This is the equivalent of the Right screaming "Class War" every time anyone points out the obscene social injustice of the income distribution. The oppressors squeal like stuck pigs when they are named.

      I want the Republican Party to become so small that I can drown it in a bath tub.

      by CA TreeHugger on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:59:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Three things (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KarenJG, irishwitch, Deoliver47

    There are only three things that Republicans want from their women.

    To be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

    It is any wonder to me that anyone who isn't a white, male, chauvinist would want to be associated with the Republican Party.

    Women shouldn't want to be Republican, Blacks shouldn't want to be Republican, Hispanics, etc. Because it is increasingly clear that the only people that the Republicans give even the slightest flying fuck about is people who are Male and White. Preferably Christian, but hey, we'll take a few token Jews as well.

    The quicker everyone who does not fall into the GOP's blindingly obvious base realizes that the GOP doesn't give a damn about them, all the better for the opposing side. Our side.

    Hopefully, anyway.

  •  Only complaint ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm so tired of the word "war", tired of military metaphors.  I prefer the language of "struggle".

    Good diary.

  •  It's Fundamentalists and RW Catholics (6+ / 0-)

    And yes they've been working for decades to get into leadership everywhere in government, economy and society.

    And they will not take no or compromise for an answer. They want everything, they want full control.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:53:25 AM PST

  •  NO!!!!!!!! (5+ / 0-)

    I already fought this war.  

    Hours spent in the middle of the night at San Francisco's Central Emergency Hospital acting as a crisis intervention counsellor for victims of rape - more hours spent attending community meetings and participating in forums explaining the violent nature of ALL rapes.  

    This was in 1978-79.  I simply can't do it again.  I can't even bear to think of all of that pain and guilt once more becoming commonplace.  

    We worked so hard and cried so many tears.  Please, do not let us return to that era. Do not let them do this to us again.

    "This stuff's rigged." - Sen Michael Bennet (D-Colo)

    by Susan Grigsby on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 09:56:47 AM PST

  •  This war you speak of... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmcgrew, Anak

    men seem to be losing.

    Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences

    Men dominate just two of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most over the next decade: janitor and computer engineer. Women have everything else—nursing, home health assistance, child care, food preparation. Many of the new jobs, says Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress, “replace the things that women used to do in the home for free.” None is especially high-paying. But the steady accumulation of these jobs adds up to an economy that, for the working class, has become more amenable to women than to men.

    •  No, employers have just realized that women can (7+ / 0-)

      provide cheaper labor.

      Now, if women were paid as much as men, and if we were allowed to be as incompetent as men while retaining our positions and salaries, then yes, we will have won the war.

      But men will not have lost.  They will still earn the high salaries and continue to practice the good old boy system that allows them to keep their jobs regardless of performance.

      Equality doesn't really hurt anyone.

      "This stuff's rigged." - Sen Michael Bennet (D-Colo)

      by Susan Grigsby on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:03:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I said above. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Highly educated professionals are responsible to negotiate their salaries.

        When I was a hiring manager women often would ask for much less than the similarly qualified men. Sometimes men would often ask far beyond what we be would be willing to pay. Some women would request more than 25% below our targets.

        It is not the employer's duty to offer more than the candidate is requesting.

        In jobs with step pay grades employers will get hammered by employee-side lawyers and the EEOC if they discriminate in pay by gender.

        Also, I get plenty of calls from bullied women employees who are bullied by other women. So the bad actors are not just men.

    •  The statistics you cite (9+ / 0-)

      are skewed and don't paint a complete picture.  Yes, now - women get college degrees in greater numbers. But if you examine the data - see what fields they are going into.  Ones where women predominate earn way less.

      And - when women begin to predominate in an area, watch the pay scales get downgraded.

      On top of going out to work, women still bear the major burden in childcare and housekeeping.  

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:14:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well things are a changing. (0+ / 0-)

        Half of medical school students and law students are women.

        in undergraduate programs the disparity is more in favor of females:

        The percentage of undergraduates at community and four-year colleges who were male hovered between 42 percent and 44 percent from the 1995-1996 academic year to 2007-2008, the last year for which data was available, says the report, "Gender Equity in Higher Education: 2010." Among undergraduates who were black or age 25 and older, even smaller proportions were male, but the ratio of women to men in those groups was relatively stable over that same time frame.

        Enrollment gaps, though, continued to widen between Hispanic men and women. The percentage of Hispanic students, age 24 or younger, enrolled in undergraduate programs who were male fell from 45 percent in 1999 to 42 percent in 2007.

      •  Take a look at the history of computer science/ (0+ / 0-)

        information technology.  It followed the formula of which you wrote.

        I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear--Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by conlakappa on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 07:02:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I take it you don't like the bathroom? (0+ / 0-)
    Even people who are fighting a war have to use the bathroom every now and again.  Give it a chance.  I'm sure it'll grow on you.

    "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

    by rainmanjr on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:17:15 AM PST

  •  What you missed... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, irishwitch, tardis10, swampyankee the biggest threat to women is cutting Social Security, which is the main income source for millions of widows. Part of the plan is to cut the widow's benefit, and the amount any spouse can earn based on their spouse's employment record. You may have a separate bathroom, but soon it will be used only for the expulsion of catfood.

  •  I'd worry about that law in GA. (14+ / 0-)

    Nathan Deal, our new governor favored this law:

    The excuses I read were that it brought things in line with federal law. What I want to know is WHY, if the prosecution brings in medial evidence to prove the elements of the crime of rape, it should be legal to question her about she was wearing, etc.

    Republicans will not be happy until there are no women in the house and the Senate, just women back in the kitchen or church, barefoot and pregnant.

    I have been saying for years that Phil Donahue, the best talk show host ever, was right when he said we need to stop teaching our daughters who to avoid rape--and start teaching our sons  NOT to rape.  He said that every boy needs to hear form his father as well as his mother that "NO" means just that. That the worst thing that iwll happen if you take her at her word is that you won't get laid--but if you don't do so, you can end up behind bars doing a logng stretch of time. That a drunk or unconscious girl cannot consent and in many states to have sex with her is a crime.  That rape is the act of an angry coward bullying someone smaller than weaker than him, not that of a man proving his superiority.

    Women are taught from an early age what they can't do or shouldn't do--in reality, to regard every male we don't know well as a potential rapist. We aren't supposed to go out alone at night, which is damned hard in a many jobs. We're taught never to drink too much unless we're home safe and alone or with a female friend (can't drink to much if a guy's there). We're taught to carry pepper spray in our purses. we're told to strictly limit out lives within narrow boundaries for our own safety. ANd if we go outside those boundaries and someone sexually assaults us, our behavior, our dress, our relationship to the rapist, our past sexual history can and will be questioned. In other words if the crazy pizza deleivery guy  who has developed an obsession with you should assault you--there will be questions  that suggest you invited this by dressing suggestively or being too nice to him or that you consented but are now embarrassed by having schtupped delivery guy....

    I agree with Golde Meir. WHen she was on the city council of Jerusalem, ther was a serial rapist terrorizing the women of the city. One of the council members, a man, suggested there be a curfew from dusk till dawn for women, to protect them.

    Golde looked at him and said, "Why a  curfew for the women? It's a MAN who is doing the raping."

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:48:06 AM PST

    •  I'm concerned too. (9+ / 0-)

      We know that the right tests out its most extreme legislation in the state houses first. "Partial birth abortion" bans are the perfect example. Pass it in a forced-birther dominated state, send it through the courts, rewrite as needed, and then introduce it in Congress. I'm certain we haven't seen the last of this redefining rape thing.

      And of course, the "watch what you wear" thing is utter crap, since rapists usually don't even remember what their victims were wearing.

      "I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism." -- Sarah Palin

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 10:57:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  some men find diapers provocative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        babies a few days old to women in their eighties are raped. It isn't about clothing.

        •  They're called "adult babies" (0+ / 0-)

          and it's all about having the woman take care of them. Kinky woman here. MEN pay women to dominate them. But event hen they're what are called "Do-Me Subs" who have a specific ritual that the pro must follow--in other words, they're still topping from the bottoms.

          There are very few pro male Dominants.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 02:32:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A truly loathsome phrase. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, irishwitch

    "Boys will be boys."

    I am so sick of that line. It's insulting to men. It implies that they are all perpetual infants who should never, never be expected to subjugate their "needs" to the dictates of common decency.
    It's also the most absurd excuse for blaming the victim imaginable.  

    Would anyone ever, ever say:

    "You shouldn't have taken the short way home through that dark alley, Joe, because muggers will be muggers."

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:34:17 AM PST

    •  Actually, yes (0+ / 0-)

      People do caution each other to avoid dark alleys and other places where they're likely to be mugged. Only use well-lit ATMs, don't count your cash on the street, leave your camera in your pocket, etc.

      We all understand that cautioning against behavior that makes mugging more likely is not the same as blaming the victim, absolving the mugger, or excusing the crime.

      It's strange that we can't do the same when it comes to certain other crimes.

  •  If the Republicans keep pushing these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ideas that equal pay for equal work is a hardship for business, or rape victims "asked for it", et all; they could lose big time in 2012.  They either haven't learned, or have forgotten the lessons of the Thomas-Hill Hearings.

    Today's G.O.P. Evil, women - hating bastards - GenuineRisk

    by GenuineRisk on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:46:18 AM PST

  •  and we men, brothers of women, (6+ / 0-)

    are also called upon to stand with our sisters in this war, because it is our war as well, against exploitation of the weak by the strong.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 11:50:46 AM PST

  •  Thank You for writing about Women (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and the Issues that are about a War against Women going on in the USA by Repugs and some Crappy Pols who calls themselves Dems but aren't.

    Please continue to highlight the ongoing Fight for Women's Rights.

  •  Maybe its time (0+ / 0-)

    to move on to Equality, rather than womens rights? Yes that is, mostly semantics. But its really not. We should live in a society where ones sex or race quite simply isnt a factor. Where fathers have equal rights in the lives of their children with women. Where women recieve the same pay and promotions as men in all industries. Where if a spouse is abused someone goes to jail and the sex of either is irrelevant. Maybe its time to become concerned with Equality.

    Fuck 'em. by Troubadour

    by cdreid on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 08:54:54 AM PST

  •  SmilingAhab (0+ / 0-)

    You're the first person I've seen who has the bravery to understand that this stopped being a discussion a long time ago, let alone call it a war.

    This is a war, and there are rules of engagement - namely, anything done to the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell and his gang of neoconservatives can be forgiven. The dignity of civility has been thrown out by the Christian and Reaganist fundamentalists, so incivility and turnabout are now fair play.

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