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Yes, the Republican Party Does Hate Women

Yes, Republicans do hate women.

I am not just talking about the idiotic comments of Todd Akin on how women cannot get pregnant through “legitimate rape.”

Nor am I talking about the politics of abortion, an emotional issue that people have strong opinions about. 
Furthermore, I am not even discussing the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” bill that Todd Akin and Paul Ryan co-sponsored.

Now, I am talking about something much more basic:  the hatred towards girls and women, simply for being women.

This time is not from a would-be fringe politician, nor is it on rightwing blogger’s indiscrete thought.

The comments come from the National Review, something of a Bible to the GOP.  
This post comes from the current online issue, the one that has the cover that endorses Romney for President:  “Own it, Mitt.”

These latest hateful comments are from an the lead online article by Kevin D. Williamson that National Review proudly carries, titled:  “Like a Boss:  When it comes to being a rich guy, Mitt Romney should own it.”

Kevin D. Williamson is no stranger to the National Review.  He is in fact their deputy managing editor.

Let’s leave aside the usual class analysis and the justification of wealth for another conversation. No, let’s focus on the heart of the matter, the National Review’s comments on gender.  So there is no misunderstanding, here is the citation in full:

It is a curious scientific fact (explained in evolutionary biology by the Trivers-Willard hypothesis — Willard, notice) that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring, which holds true across many species, from red deer to mink to Homo sap. The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons — the children of the general population are 51 percent male and 49 percent female, but the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male.

Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters. Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.

Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.

From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama’s vote.

Yes, you are reading those words correctly:  The National Review, one of the chief propaganda publications for the Republican party, is citing Romney having sons over daughters vis-à-vis Obama as proof of him being “boss.”

This is what the Republican Party has sunk down to, touting the virtues of sons over daughters.

This is what it has come down to.   We are not even talking about distribution of wealth, or policy.
We are at a point nothing less than the undisguised hatred for girls, for women.

Where I come from there is a name for that.   It’s called misogyny.

Is this an America that we recognize?  That we would want to be a part of?    

The Republican Party today is mired in a misogynistic abyss.  

If it has any hopes of recovering its credibility as a legitimate voice in American politics, Republicans need to take a long and hard look at why and how this kind of hatred for half of American citizens, half of the world’s population, has become so everyday, so accepted, so unchallenged, in their midst.

There is something rotten in the soul of the GOP party.   It seems to officially hate the poor, hate the women, hate Hispanics, hate Muslims, hate gays/lesbians, hate environmentalists, hate unions, hate teachers.     Who is left unhated?   

There is a time to vomit out the virus of hate and exclusivism.

That time is now.

The image of National Review is from the Nationalreview.com.

 

Tags: abortion, boys, girls, misogyny, obama, prejudice, republican party, romney, sexism, todd akin, women

Comments

  1. A friend had written, protesting that Williamson’s comments were a “joke.”  Here was my comment:  If it is a joke, we are not laughing. We are not laughing at him, or with him. I know the usual come backs, “these thin-skinned liberals can’t take a joke.” I really do urge us to pause and reflect. In today’s climate, to make a joke about the superiority of sons over daughters while being blind to the larger context is the very stuff of male privilege. And I don’t find these kinds of language innocent. I do think they have to be taken seriously, and yes, held accountable. And lastly, let me say that this is a disgrace for the magazine founded by William F. Buckley. Say what you will about him, at least that man was a serious intellectual.

  2. I can’t believe that any political writer, of any affiliation, would write anything so stupid as the Williamson piece in anything approaching a serious manner. To do so would be sheer lunacy. Even with that said, doing so as a joke is rather unwise to say the very least.

    On another issue, even if the piece were 100% serious and true it isn’t really fair to take it as proof “the GOP hates women.” Given Williamson’s position at the site/magazine, he can fairly well write and publish whatever he wants without much input from anyone else - it isn’t as though he polled registered Republicans who in turn gave the thumbs-up to this screed. Perhaps Kevin Williamson hates women, but it’s a bit of a stretch to say the entire party with which he is affiliated does, too.

    Of course NR/NRO is a major news source for Republican voters, and I’m sure many folks would cheer KDW on (the comments below his article, for example). But then again 15 comments on a website isn’t quite the same as the feeling of the entire party. If it is, indeed, time to “vomit out the virus of hate and exclusivism,” a statement with which I would wholeheartedly agree, then we need to start with putting away our broad brushes used to paint millions of people.

  3. I agree with Michael.  I am no Republican, and I am not voting for Romney.  Furthermore, Williamson’s point is so mindlessly stupid as to be almost incoherent.  But I am very, very tired of accusing huge groups of people of hating this and hating that, or “war” against this and “war” against that.  It’s irresponsible to characterize and judge the motives of the entire group based on the words and actions of one (or a few) who claim to be a member of that group.  Our political discourse is so weighed down with this sort of demagoguery.  If someone says something that you think it wrong or stupid, then explain why it is wrong or stupid.  Accusations of hate are cheap, and ultimately, they won’t convince anyone (your ideological opponent included) of the righteousness of your position. 

    Williamson wrote something extremely stupid, so it is just to point that out.  It is unjust to say every person, man or woman, who identifies as Republican “hates women/the poor/gays/environmentalists/etc”.

  4. dear Steve and Michael, you raise good points.  Let me say (as a onetime Republican myself!) that i have no intension or desire to suggest that every Republican is guilty of these kinds of prejudices.  Rather, my concern is to state—and I do stand by this—that these type of lunatic voices used to be found out in the fringes of the blogosphere 5-10 years ago.    When I speak about a war against women, against the poor, against Muslim and against Hispanics, what I mean is that today we find elected officials, influential pundits and publications, and even the official platform of the GOP (being discussed right now in Tampa) including these statements.  And that is ultimately what I am concerned with, the way in which these dangerous and yes hateful voices have found their way to the very heart of our political process.

  5. This is my favorite part of the article.  It describes what is often thought as manliness and leadership.

    “It isn’t just that he has money — it’s how he got the money. Sure, he grew up rich — Dad was the CEO of American Motors. (Hey, where was their bailout?) But Mitt didn’t inherit his fortune: He gave away everything his father left him, establishing a school of public management in his father’s memory. (Old-school patriarchs build monuments to their fathers.) Why would he do a thing like that? Because he didn’t need the money: “I figured we had enough of our own,” he explained. And then some. George Romney made his money by being a boss — a leader. Mitt Romney has been the same thing. When things went wrong, people put Romney in charge of them — at Bain, at the Olympics, at a hundred companies he helped turn around or restructure. Bain is a financial firm, but Romney wasn’t some Wall Street bank-monkey with a pitch book. He was the guy who fired you. He was a boss, like his dad, and like his sons probably will be. Barack Obama was never in charge of anything of any significance until the delicate geniuses who make up the electorate of this fine republic handed him the keys to the Treasury and the nuclear football because we were tired of Frenchmen sneering at us when we went on vacation. Obama made his money in part through political connections — no, I don’t think Michelle Obama was worth nearly 400 grand a year — and by authoring two celebrity memoirs, his sole innovation in life having been to write the memoir first and become a celebrity second. Can you imagine Barack Obama trying to pull off a hostile takeover without Rahm Emanuel holding his diapers up for him? Impossible.”

    Romney is one of the reasons that I changed my voter registration back to the Republican Party this year.  I rejoice in being able to vote for Romney/Ryan.  By the way, there is no war against women by the GOP.  Further, the article by Kevin D. Williamson appears to be written in good humor.  I think you take yourself and your opinions a little too seriously

     

  6. Omid, thanks for the response.  You wrote: “When I speak about a war against women, against the poor, against Muslim and against Hispanics, what I mean is that today we find elected officials, influential pundits and publications, and even the official platform of the GOP (being discussed right now in Tampa) including these statements.”  What statements of “hate” are being included in the official platform of the GOP? 

    Let me explain why I think your statement is unfair and irresponsible.  Let us take the abortion issue, which you agree is an extremely emotional topic in politics.  This is how I see it played out all the time:  Someone professes support for a pro-life position.  “WHY DO YOU HATE WOMEN?!?  WHY DO YOU WANT WOMEN TO DIE?!?”  Someone else professes support for keeping abortion legal.  “WHY DO YOU HATE BABIES?  WHY DO YOU WANT TO BUTCHER INNOCENT CHILDREN?!?”  Because of this rush to label your political and/or ideological opponent a “hater”, our political discourse is reduced to screaming past each other, and there is little room for fruitful discussion or dialogue.  Accusing someone of “hate” because they disagree with you in good faith turns that person into an enemy.  You must fight your enemy and destroy them, not listen to them respectfully and try to convince them that their idea(s) are flawed.  Accusations of “hate” demonize the other and remove any chance of fruitful conversation (and conversion).

    So, to return to the GOP platform as an example: if the Republicans articulate a pro-life position in their platform and get accused of “hating” women and waging “war” on them, then it is just as legitimate for someone else to accuse the Democrats of “hating babies” and waging war on millions of unborn women.  I reject both ways of discussing the abortion question, and that’s why I say that accusations of hate are cheap.  It is much, much harder to listen to your opponents, try to understand why they believe what they believe, and try to convince them of your position.  Basically, I think all the accusations of hate that get thrown around amount to little more than a collective ad hominem argument.  It belittles us all to participate in this inflammatory language.

  7. Steve makes some interesting points, but I disagree in large part with the notion that the goal of political discourse is the conversion of strong opponents to one’s own view.

    Of course this is not to backtrack on my agreement that accusations of hatred are unwise and unproductive (and, for that matter, disingenuous - it’s rather silly for one to say “I’m automatically reasonable because my opponent is hateful.”). I wonder, as well, where in the GOP platform one may find statements of hatred. Even though the platform includes pro-life and pro-man/woman marriage statements, those are a far cry from hatred of pro-choice or homosexual individuals. As another example, see the recent outcry over Dan Cathy’s support for traditional marriage. The much-bandied about quote said absolutely nothing about hating homosexuals or despising them, but by the reaction exhibited by some you’d think DC had advocate for homosexual concentration camps. I recall a video a few days later of a man waiting in the drive-through line to goad an employee, all while snarkily commenting that Americans must love fried chicken topped with hatred. I’m unsure when, or why, our political conversation crossed the line from simple but polite disagreement (even deep, irreconcilable disagreement) to the perceived hatred coming from those with whom we disagree. All of this goes the other way, as well, as GOP accusations of hatred on the part of Democrats is disingenuous itself. Those who advocate for more ready access to abortion, for example, or broadening of homosexual marriage laws, surely do not automatically hate children or heterosexuals (though perhaps some do, as all political parties have their extremists).

    But back to Steve’s points. I would respectfully argue that “fruitful discussion or dialogue,” along with attempts to “convince them that their ideas are flawed,” even via the most reasonable of means, are destined for failure. Political conversion is truly a rare thing; those who are by and large set in their ways are not going to be convinced by even perfectly logical suggestions. Public debates between politicians and leaders of their positions should, to be sure, take on a much more respectful and dialogue-oriented tone; in the end, though, the purpose of these interactions should be to explain positions more clearly and calmly than to really convert anyone. Perhaps such conversion could occur among the truly independent voters or the most open-minded; in reality, though, politicians are much more successful at rallying those who already identify them. Perhaps I’m overly pessimistic, but I can’t see even the most peaceful dialogue doing much to change hearts and minds. Which is not to say that that dialogue shouldn’t be toned down and pulled away from hatred - by all means, it should. But I think we ought to be more realistic about the end results.

  8. dear Steve,
    you raise some good points as well.  In the interest of clarification, I was also not talking about abortion platforms as example of hate language.  I agree that it is one of the most poignant and painful moral issues of our life, one that is routinely manipulated by people all over the political spectrum.

    When I was referring to the Republican national convention, it was more according to practices like this:  http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/gop-platform-takes-hard-stance-against-imaginary-sharia , which comes in the aftermath of anti-shari’a legislation passed by multiple states.  Take a look at the Center for American Progress’ expose on the source of this legislation:  http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/08/pdf/islamophobia.pdf 
    I’ll be the first (or second) to acknowledge that in coming up with titles for short blogs, one is at times at a loss for adding nuance.  Sure, adding “Some” before Republicans would be helpful.  And no, I don’t associate a stance on abortion with hatred towards women.  But I do when the conversation gets to preference of boys over girls, etc.
    And if you go back to my comments, I am not talking about official GOP positions at all times, simply the ways in which blanket statements against Muslims, gays, hispanics, blacks, etc. now come from elected officials, leading pundits, etc.  And that does make me be alarmed for our future. 
    Thank you for your gracious responses.

  9. ” ...the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male.”

    Hmm. Same ratio as in modern India and China.

  10. I’ve posted this at more than just this blog, but I dfilneteiy do not work for Romney’s campaign.  I want some conservatives, who I feel haven’t given Mitt a fair shake thus far, to seriously reconsider their positions.  Romney is clearly now the anti-illegal immigration candidate.  What candidate can win the support of ALL conservatives…fiscal, defense, AND social?  Mitt’s the man!

  11. I just wasted 5 minutes of my life meeting the new czar of women’s rights.

  12. I don’t know how to respond to this.  I’m not one who gets into arguments online and I understand everyone has a viewpoint and would fight to protect that, but this post is just… so… upsetting!  That anyone would think this way!  It’s shameful! 

    Half the women in this country are republicans!  Do they HATE women?  Is being pro-life hating women?  Do democrats hate babies?

    My point is I HATE (yes, I used that word) this new trend of claiming people HATE a group of people because they don’t have a similar political stance as you.  Don’t you realize that it’s very offensive to people to be called a bigot or hateful when in actuality, your words are more politically motivated for the purpose of advancing your party or ideals than a reflection of my beliefs or feelings?  Don’t you realize you’re stereotyping half the country?  I am a republican and stand with many other republicans when I say we love women, Hispanics, Muslims, gays/lesbians, environmentalists, and teachers.  They are our brothers and sisters!  We don’t always agree with them, but that doesn’t mean we hate them!  Democrats don’t always agree with them either!  The most egregious is teachers!  I’m horrified by how little support and income teachers in our country receive!  Please, don’t you realize that the real hate filled words are the ones in your blog post?

  13. It’s just terrifying that we live in a nation where there are people who view 50% of the people around them as full of hatred for everyone else.  I personally don’t know anyone who really hates many if any people, and if that’s the way you view the world, it might be a reflection of your own heart.

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