Republicans: The Message is Misogyny

Jessica Bourse, Editor-in-Chief

Let’s play a game of word association.

When you see the word “Republican,” what words come to mind? Perhaps fiscally conservative, right-wing, traditional, Ronald Reagan, religious…. What about misogynistic?

It’s not the first word that would normally come to mind, but lately there has been something unsettling about the conservative right wing that shouldn’t be ignored, and that is its unapologetically misogynistic views towards women.

Let’s start with a prime example.

Rush Limbaugh: radio personality, political commentator, conservative, extreme right-wing, OxyContin, misogynist.

While Limbaugh is not a politician, he plays a major role as an opinion leader for American conservatives, and hosts the highest-rated talk-radio show in the United States.

He also has a long history of making inflammatory statements about women, including coining the term “feminazi” and referring to the National Organization of Women as the “National Organization of Gals” or “NAG.” He once even referred to a then-13 year-old Chelsea Clinton as “the White House dog.”

In February, Limbaugh called Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” because she was advocating that insurance companies should cover birth control. He also said that if he was going to pay for her to have access to birth control, he should be able to have access to video of Fluke having sex.

Limbaugh coughed up a weak apology for his vile comments, after losing major sponsors, as well as receiving feeble signs of disapproval from his GOP friends.

When presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney was asked about his opinion on Limbaugh’s statements, he simply stated “It’s not the language I would use.”

That’s it?

No wonder Romney is having trouble with the female demographic.

Mitt Romney: conservative, Mormon, presidential nominee, filthy rich, dog on roof, businessman, flip-flopper… misogynist? Not completely.

While Romney shouldn’t be placed in the same category as Limbaugh, he is not exactly on the forefront of women’s issues.

While he didn’t condemn Limbaugh’s attack on Fluke, he made it a point in his campaign that if he is elected president, he will “get rid” of Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides preventative health care to more than 3 million people a year, most of whom are women.

His primary reason for wanting to cut funding to Planned Parenthood is merely because the organization offers abortion services. What about breast cancer screenings and STD testing?
Up until 2005, Romney actually supported women’s right to choose, seeking Planned Parenthood’s endorsement for his 2002 campaign for governor of Massachusetts.

While Romney is not calling young female law students “sluts” and “prostitutes,” demolishing Planned Parenthood will ultimately hurt women, and that is misogynistic.

Obviously, Romney isn’t alone in his stance against abortion.

Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers in Arizona passed three anti-abortion laws, including one that redefines when life begins, declaring that pregnancy starts two weeks before conception.

This means that a woman is considered pregnant on the last day of her menstrual cycle — where is the logic in this?

This bill complements Arizona’s ban on abortions after 18 weeks, shortening the window of opportunity for a woman to receive an abortion, if she chooses — the key word: “chooses.”

If Americans begin drinking the purple Kool-Aid and elect Romney as president, the federal government will be dominated by the conservative right-wing in all three branches, who have a bad habit of creating backward misogynistic policies.

Romney stated, earlier this month, that he understands the plight of working and middle class women because his wife, Ann Romney, reports back to him about the issues women care about.

Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen commented that Ann didn’t know about the issues that affect women because she has “never worked a day in her life.” Rosen received harsh criticism for her statement from both sides of the aisle and she was forced to apologize for offending Ann, and apparently all stay-at-home mothers.

Rosen shouldn’t have been thrown under the bus by Democrats for stating the truth: Ann Romney has not had to deal with raising her five children while having to juggle a full-time job and having dinner ready by 8 p.m.

Rosen wasn’t trying to discredit Ann’s role as a wife or mother, but her message was simply that Ann Romney doesn’t know the plight of working or middle class women.

The backlash she received for her poorly worded truth was bigger than she deserved, especially when compared to bigots like Limbaugh or Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent: rock star, guitarist, National Rifle Association, hunter, redneck, conservative.

Two weeks ago, Nugent spoke at the NRA conference in St. Louis and, in his own strange and violent way, publicly endorsed Mitt Romney as the presidential nominee.
“If Barack Obama becomes president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” said Nugent.

Of course, the Democrats responded and the Secret Service investigated Nugent’s threat to President Obama.

Nugent maintains that he did not threaten the president, but he stands by his statement. He then went on to insult Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and minority leader Nancy Pelosi by calling them “brain-dead, soulless idiots” and “varmints.”

Nugent has not apologized for his comments, nor has Romney made a statement condemning his supporter. It looks like Nugent is getting let off the hook.

Why is it that Nugent can get away with calling Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz “brain-dead” when Rosen was apprehended for saying that Ann Romney hasn’t had to work, which is true?

What if Nugent had called Ann Romney a varmint?

Why should we care about Nugent — a less-than-relevant rifle-wielding rock musician, having written sexist songs such as “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” and “Cat Scratch Fever?” The fact is, just like Limbaugh, Nugent has his own audience, which eats up the hate speech he spews.

It’s time for the American people to hold the conservative right-wing zealots accountable for the misogynistic messages they dump onto us, while they attempt to thwart the civil liberties afforded to American women.

How can the Republicans even begin to pretend to support “family values” when they can’t man up the courage to roll up a newspaper and smack sexist chauvinists like Limbaugh, Nugent, and their ilk, on the nose?