Friday, December 20, 2013

Is the 'War on Women' Rhetoric Demeaning to Women?

By Mary C. Tillotson

As I’ve written before, I really can’t stand the “women’s issues” and “war on women” rhetoric in American politics. So when I saw Make Love, Not War (On Women) by Brenda Zurita at Concerned Women for America, I thought: I need to talk to her.

So I did.

When we think of “women’s issues,” we usually mean abortion, contraception, sex, etc. But regardless of what you think on those issues, the “war on women” rhetoric is degrading.

Here’s Brenda:
There are polls out showing that the majority of women are pro-life, so the mainstream media just perpetuates this myth that all women think exactly alike. It’s insulting. They don’t group men that way. I don’t know if you’ve seen those bro-choice commercials – they’re ridiculous, but do we think all men are like that? No, I don’t, and the media doesn’t portray all men as being like that, and yet we’re all supposed to say, “Well, if Planned Parenthood thinks it’s a good idea, of course I support that.” 
The power is if you repeat it enough, people will believe it and not really research what it means.

I think it’s offensive that people wouldn’t understand that women are different – we don’t all hold the same positions – or the fact that because I’m a woman, I’m going to believe these things means you don’t think I’m up to researching an issue and deciding for myself. That’s why Concerned Women for America was started. We got fed up with hearing feminists on TV defending their position and saying this is how all women think, and wait a second, there’s a whole contingent of women that don’t think that way.

How often do you see the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America on TV? You see Nancy Pelosi and Planned Parenthood representatives constantly, but there’s a conservative voice out there.
Whatever individual women think about abortion and contraception, those often are not their top issues when voting, she told me. When Americans lose their jobs or safety or financial security because of a bad policy decision, many of those Americans affected are women.
I don’t think “women’s issues” are as important to women as economic issues and national security issues, but every time a Democrat wins, it seems like they say, ‘Oh, war on women, women agree with us on freedom of choice issues,’ but women, most women take care of household finances and they have to balance the budget and they understand those things. The government today is running willy-nilly. If only we could all live like that: we don’t have the money, we’ll just spend anyway!
Frustrating, right? Rather than wallow in how horrible it all is (which is what I’d really like to do), Brenda offered a suggestion for bucking the bandwagon. (I know. Fixing the problem. Totally men’s work.)

Contact your local representatives and senators and tell them what you think about the issues that matter to you. I found this piece really helpful – it’s written by a former congressman about how to get your message to your congressman most effectively. If you don’t remember everyone’s names, try this -- you just plug in your zip code, and your national and state officials pop up.

Because, look. The "War on Women" isn't a war and it isn't against women, any more than any other policy idea is against women. It's against the liberal, pro-abortion agenda pushed by some men and some women but not all men and not all women.

If women are going to be in politics -- whether it's voting, writing, or running for office -- it's only fair to be fair and remember that we have just as much right to disagree with each other as men do. One more word from Brenda:
[The media] denigrate conservative women. Look how they attacked Sarah Palin. The attacks against her were so file. If they'd been perpetuated against Nancy Pelosi or Michelle Obama or any Democrat leading lady, they never would have tolerated that.

Brenda Zurita is a research fellow for the Beverly LaHaye Institute, at Concerned Women for America. To get involved with CWFA, visit

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