I just realized that those of progressive and liberal ilk have been making what looks like a major mistake. One that is causing the left and for that matter the middle to miss a big opportunity to get a moral and public relations leg up in the Great American Culture War. This is in labeling the assault on women's rights and status by the right as a "War on Women." Of course there IS a cultural and legal war on one sex, one that the comments by Todd Akin have done a marvelous job of forever exposing to the nation (click here). But the theocon war is actually more specific in its target.
Fact is that lots of American women are part and parcel of the war on women. On other women. The list of female warriors against their sisters is endless -- Phyllis Schlafly, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachman, Michelle Malkin, Christine O'Donnell, Laura Ingraham, most of the women on the Catholics' Eternal Word Television Network and the evangelicals' Trinity Broadcasting Network, most of the female delegates as the GOP convention, most female members of the GOP.
The reality is that gobs of gals are more than fine with banning abortion, including for rape and incest, for limiting or eliminating access to contraceptives, for making any sex outside of marriage a societal taboo especially for women, for teaching children just abstinence only, for encouraging women to be stay at home moms, for making all women wives who submit to the authority of their husbands and the patriarchal god, and making divorce the no-no it used to be. Theocon gals make up about a fifth to a quarter of the female population.
The War on Women is not being waged against social conservative women because they are fighting on that side of the war. This is why when conservative females hear talk about the War on Women they roll their eyes and deny it exists. How could any one be so silly as to think the conservative movement is causing trouble for their sex when they are part and parcel of that very campaign? The simplistic term War on Women gives them plausible deniability.
The War on Women is really the War on the Women of the Left and Middle. On the two thirds who think that nonadulterous nonmarital sex is OK, and the majority who think that abortion should be available to a greater or lesser degree. The War on Mainstream Women is a massive project -- partly grassroots but also ginned up and funded by powerful right wing elements here and abroad -- to compel all women to be virgins until they achieve wedded bliss, and then limit sex to procreative purposes at least until the eggs run out.
It is easy enough to see how the War on Liberal Women is set up. It's main feature is screaming hypocrisy of two sorts. One is on liberty. The other is on sexism. Let's start with the later.
As I pointed out elsewhere (click here), conservatives think that liberal women who have sex outside of marriage are sinful sluts. As per Rush Limbaugh trashing the openly progressive Sandra Fluke as a slut the delight of his audience. That nontheoconservative women are pretty much sluts is the core concept behind the theory that women who claimed to have become pregnant via rape could not have become pregnant via rape because a women who has truly been raped against her will cannot get pregnant, so a woman who does get pregnant really wanted it, ergo she actually is a slut trying to hide her sinful desires that probably lured the man into not really raping her.
In contrast prominent conservative women who are known to be sexually active outside of marriage are given a fornication pass. Most notably the never married as she enters middle age vehement anti-abortionist Ann Coulter who makes no secret that she is having intercourse, presumably using contraceptives, on a regular basis. Far from being condemned for her sinful ways, she is a darling of the right, and a sex symbol for many a young male conserve. Then there is the Janine Turner you may remember her as the bush pilot in Northern Exposure. She gave a speech at the Mitt convention in
-- she wrote a whole book about it. She has a point there, but Turner does not seem to realize that suppressing abortion is not the one great theocon goal, making women behave as though it is 1912 is. But I digress. The point is that rather than being labeled a slut by Limbaugh, she was invited to speak to the biggest Repub event of the year.