For months now, we’ve listened to a narrative in the media and in the words of liberal politicians about the supposed “Republican war on women.”
While Republicans have often lagged behind Democrats in winning the female voting demographic in elections, new coals were heaped atop that fire earlier this year when Sandra Fluke-a Georgetown Law student and “reproductive justice activist” (seriously?)-testified before Congress, urging it to intercede and mandate that her university violate its principles as a Roman Catholic institution and pick up the tab on her birth control.
Following that event, conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh-in what a host of Republicans have roundly condemned as an inappropriate and offensive remark-called Fluke a “slut” during his daily broadcast.
It was all downhill from there.
Consequently, the story pushed by pundits and political leaders on the far left today is that Republicans are chauvinist pigs who just want women to make them sandwiches and knit, or something like that.
As a Republican student who has been vocal about the need to continue working towards real equality for women in the workplace and in other spheres of life, and who has both worked for and maintained positive, respectful relationships with female bosses all of my adult life, I take exception to this sweeping generalization and mischaracterization of members of my political party.
On this issue, Democrats are throwing stones from a glass house.
As President Obama heads into the 2012 election cycle, he does so with 858,000 more women out of work than the day he took office.
To put those numbers in smaller terms, the female unemployment rate was 7 percent when President Obama was inaugurated.
In March of 2012 that number rose to 8.1 percent, despite record deficit spending to stimulate the economy and a series of attacks on Republicans for their supposedly regressive record on women’s issues.
The numbers are even more discouraging for African-American women. The latest statistics show that under President Obama’s reign, 13.3 percent of that community remains out of work.
Additionally, the recently released 2011 Annual Report on White House Staff indicates that female employees in Obama’s White House make, on average, 18 percent less than their male counterparts.
This appalling pay gap is blatant paycheck discrimination and is in violation of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which President Obama signed into law.
This points to yet another issue on which President Obama’s rhetoric and record are at complete odds.
Couple that information with the fact that President Obama gleefully accepted a $1 million super PAC donation from renowned misogynist Bill Maher, and you’ve got yourself a president with a woman problem.
It’s time for President Obama and our nation’s leading Democrats to stop using issues related to women’s rights as a political pawn or a means to attack conservatives, and give these matters the honest, fair and meaningful conversation they deserve.