Women have worse problems than the fight for Roe v Wade. We have a far deeper cultural problem that exists within both parties. It’s more flagrant in the Republicans right now, but the Obama Democrat’s degradation of women while feigning interest in equality may be doing more harm.
So, the philanderer comes back with cheap roses. Out come the flowers and the candy. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice … you know the rest.
Of course, it’s not like he “fooled” anyone in 2008. I wrote consistently about his actions being more like an old boy Republican – and women didn’t listen. Obama called female reporters “sweetie” during 2008 and he said Hillary Clinton’s eight years of experience in the White House didn’t count because she was “just a wife.” And women didn’t listen.
Those of you who voted for him say he changed – it’s the same thing my sister says about her husband. Nope honey, he’s always been this way; you just had your blinders on.
What makes this relationship particularly dysfunctional is, after ignoring you and disrespecting you for four years, the sweet talk alternates with the “who else are you going to vote for?” threat. That’s like one of those signs you’re in an abusive relationship – your gut should be sending out alerts.
Obama’s sole campaign strategy for women this time around is that he is better than other guy. He says this in a smug voice, dangling Roe v. Wade over our heads, as if he knows women are trapped. It’s like that movie “The Truth About Cats and Dogs,” where the bimbo Uma Thurman character defends her abusive boyfriend to the independent Jeanine Garofolo character, saying, “Well, what are you gonna’ do? You gotta have a boyfriend, right?”
The thing is, Obama is giving the “who else are you going to vote for” line to all the other former suitors he’s dissed over the last four years: Hispanics, urban blacks, gays – who he pandered to only before a major Hollywood fundraiser. He plies each group just enough to placate, then he moves on and makes the rounds.
Let’s review how the last four years have gone for women, and ask what four more years of Obama will get you:
Changing the Guard? Romney’s Binder might be better
We have to consider the Presidency of Obama along with the corporate media who helped him win the 2008 primary and the election. The bill they sold was “we are over race, we are over gender;” join with us to have Obama lead us into a post-racism, post-feminist world. They highlighted and buffooned every real and imaginary mistake by Hillary Clinton (usually fed by Barack’s team) (just like they did this time around with Romney – also led by Barack’s team) to make Obama seem the only choice.
Take a look around ladies, and what does this “post” world look like? As I predicted, all those female and black reporters the media trotted out during the 2008 election vanished. The Sunday news shows are hosted by and filled with white men, with the rare token, and nonthreatening, woman (is Doris Kearns Goodwin the only woman knowledgeable about the presidency?) All of the political magazines are written nearly exclusively by men; the online blogs – nearly all men. I don’t know their races, but I can guess.
The online magazines – Huffington Post, Slate, have taken to having “women” sections now. Men write all of the key political articles and opinions on Salon; women write the lifestyle sections. It’s just like the 1950s, when women’s issues are separated from “real” issues.
Women have been nearly wiped clean of the political arena in the media – which is equated with reality in our culture. On one “Face the Nation” segment, Bob Schieffer announced they were going to have a segment to talk about “women’s issues” and he trotted out a few token female pundits who spent 10 minutes discussing their lady problems and were then ushered out so the men could finish the real discussion.
These were the people behind Obama, and manipulated by Obama, to get into office. I’m beginning to wonder if Mitt Romney’s famous binder of women might bring more women into political discussions than Barack has. At least Fox news has female commentators – they’re mostly bleached blonde and naked, but hey – they’re at the table, right?
Imagine if Barack and Michelle actually practiced what they preached, and announced Michelle was launching an initiative to stop discrimination against women in the media. What if, instead of pretending she knows or cares about gardening, that Michelle picked up her Princeton thesis topic of bias in the power structures and started demanding the major media outlets stop keeping women out?
Where’s the outrage? Where are the women’s groups?
We used to have women’s groups who reliably stood up to these transgressions. What happened to them? Once NARAL abandoned Hillary Clinton for Obama I knew we were in for some problems. It’s one thing that the mainstream media has been virtually wiped of serious female opinion, but with the Internet now – can’t they find other ways? If I start another group, will anyone out there join?
I wrote an opinion in 2010 about how the formerly powerful Michelle Obama has morphed into an opinion-less, false eyelash wearing kewpie doll in pink outfits. She’s almost like one of those Barbie dolls who giggles and says “Math is hard.” Laugh, yes, but it’s not funny that Obama’s Princeton and Harvard educated wife chooses to humiliate herself this way so that he will be re-elected – and he’s okay with it.
When I published the Michelle Obama opinion, one of the founders of NOW (the National Organization for Women) sent me an email supporting the piece. Thing is, I heard little from women of my generation (born in the 1960s) or younger. Are women OK with a Princeton/Harvard Law grad needing to reassure America that she picks up her husband’s socks?
Even the usually insightful female commentators like The Nation’s Katha Pollitt don’t seem to see what the Democrats are doing to women. Pollitt wrote a piece titled “Women who love Republicans who hate them” (“The Nation” 9-17-12). But where is the love from the Obama Democrats, and the media outlets who love them?
Little difference between the Obama and Romney family structure
Barack says the two men offer fundamentally different visions. Can anyone tell me any fundamental difference between the Obama and Romney family structure? Michelle has said one good thing about him winning the White House is that Barack would finally be living in the same home as his children. Barack moved out of the family home when his children were small so he could live in another city and be in the state legislature. Michelle complained bitterly during those years – even in magazine interviews – about how Barack abandoned his parenting responsibilities and essentially left her to be a single mother, and jeopardizing her career opportunities.
And then – Barack makes moralizing speeches about how hard life is for working mothers? The only reason it’s hard is when working fathers like him don’t pull their weight.
Both wives now wear pink, send in cookie recipes to Family Circle, pose for Women’s Day spreads highlighting their children and their wedding day. If this is what Princeton/Harvard Law wins women these days, I’ll steer my daughter to trade school, instead. (See LA Times coverage, "Michelle Obama, Ann Romney pretty in pink at presidential debate.")
Don’t get me wrong – becoming a mother in my 40s is one of the most meaningful things in my life, and I love nurturing my son – but family life does not define me. But the campaign both men are using their wives for is to reduce women again to just motherhood, just wives –in subservient family roles.
In this case – is one choice really worse than the other? Why not go with the Republicans, in which case Ann Romney seems to be leading a more authentic life than Michelle Obama.
I argue Barack and Michelle might be more dangerous to women because they’re living a lie. He claims to be progressive, and yet abandons all child care to Michelle. She claims to be a strong woman and yet abandoned her career, her name, her outspoken identity to further his status. That’s very, very old school.