Voters voting - Photo by F Delventhal* on Flickr by F Delventhal*
It became clear to me shortly after writing my last article (1) that among the many crazy ideas espoused by many of its Tea Party candidates, the Republicans have a special focus in mind if elected. Republicans have simmered in anger for over 40 years at the progress of the women's equal rights movement. Finally, now, in 2010, they feel comfortable enough to run on a broad spectrum of policies that are blatantly anti-women's rights.
My last article mentioned that:
"While we are accustomed to Republican candidates being against a woman's right to have an abortion, five high-profile Tea Party Republican SENATE candidates, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ken Buck of Colorado, Joe Miller of Alaska, Sharron Angle of Nevada, and Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, are even against a woman's right to have an abortion in the case of rape or incest! Women would have to have their rapists baby. Girls raped by an uncle or cousin or their fathers would have to give birth to a child from a resulting pregnancy."
There are a few updates to that. I also found out that the GOP's NY Governor hopeful, Carl Paladino, is also for outlawing abortion for women even in the case of rape and incest. The reason that is so important is that if somehow, Roe v. Wade were overturned, the states would have the right to allow or prohibit abortion. With Paladino at the helm, New York's women would have no right to an abortion in virtually any situation. To say that this is out of touch with the wishes of the women of New York is an understatement.
I also found out that several Republican candidates, Ken Buck running for Senate in Colorado among them, want to limit the contraceptive options available to women.
We already know from data that the reason that women do not get equal pay for equal work has to do with family issues and planning. Women tend to outperform their male colleagues in pay up to the time they start a family and then they fall behind. Women who opt to never have families go on earning more than their male colleagues.
If you add restrictions on abortion and contraception to that equation, you are going to push the progress of women's equality back to what it was in the 1950's. Women are going to be reduced to having no choice but to be stay at home mothers taking care of their families. There is nothing wrong with that role for women AND men who choose it, but to have it forced on anyone because of restricted family planning options is criminal.
From their rhetoric, it's also clear that Republicans are back to wanting to punish women for having sex outside of marriage and want to trap women into having children if they dare to have sex either inside or outside of marriage. They want to destroy women's ability to plan a family and thus plan a career around their family plans.
By now some of you probably think I am exaggerating. It isn't possible, some of you are thinking, that Republicans really want to punish women for pre-marital sex. You would be wrong. This is what North Carolina Senator Jim DeMint had to say on the subject:
"[I]f someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who's sleeping with her boyfriend -- she shouldn't be in the classroom." (2)
First I should mention that DeMint, who is a Tea Party favorite, also opposes a women's right to have an abortion in the case of rape or incest but let's take a look at something that immediately jumped out at me in DeMint's statement here. The unmarried woman is singled out as someone who shouldn't be allowed to teach, but DeMint said nothing about the man. The Republicans are back to considering unmarried women who have sex 'whores' but unmarried men who have sex are just fine and probably in the GOP world considered good old boy studs.
As batty crazy as they seem, DeMint, and Angle and Paladino and Buck are far from alone in the GOP in having these positions. Compared to some other Republicans, you could even consider them more moderate. Republicans like Daniel Webster who is running against incumbent Democrat Alan Grayson in Florida's 8th congressional district. Webster belongs to a religious institute that:
"seeks to impose stoning as a form of capital punishment for crimes including murder, adultery, "heresy," and "witchcraft." (3,4)