Accusing an individual, group, or political party of conducting a war against women is extremely inflammatory. If such a claim is to be made, it’s important that a full understanding of what is meant by it be carefully examined – particularly if there is any truth to the assertion.
The Allegation Appeared During the 2012 Campaign
Image via Flickr by steevithak
The accusation that there was a war on women by the Republicans was first leveled during the 2012 presidential election. The Democrat’s allegation consisted of two components: Republican’s opposition to abortion on demand for convenience, and mandatory tax-payer funded birth control. Their disapproval of the Republican position led to what most considered over-the-top rhetoric.
Weakness of the Argument
The right of women to kill the unborn should include the point that at least half of those unborn children are female. Couldn’t preventing this atrocity be considered an attempt to stop an actual war on women, since real war results in the taking of life? It’s difficult to see how denying women the “right” to destroy the body of another is an attack on them.
The notion that not paying for another’s birth control is somehow an attack upon a woman, defies reason. Republican’s never attempted to make birth control inaccessible – they merely opposed paying for it.
What an Actual War on Women Looks Like
Aside from taking a woman’s life, there are real forms of outright aggression against women which could be seen as a form of “warfare.”
For example, attempting to prevent women from being educated, pursing an online MBA degree, or forcing them to dress according to a code. But the worst example would be those who sexually prey on women. They would truly be at war against the freedoms and security of womanhood. And those who protect aggressors are in an unholy alliance with such female adversaries.
Accurate Account of a War Against Women
During his time as Governor of Arkansas, and while president of the United States, Bill Clinton was repeatedly accused of exactly the despicable behavior described above. He used his position of power to force sexual encounters with multiple women, and using this same power went on to persecute, slander, intimidate, and where possible, silence these women.
Dolly Kyle, Elizabeth Gracen, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and finally, Monica Lewinsky all claimed to be victims of Bill Clinton’s sexual predation. In the case of Monica Lewinsky, physical evidence proved the accusation, as did the president’s own confession, (given after he perjured himself). In fact, his behavior led to his eventual impeachment.
Future Presidential Candidate’s War Against Women
Instead of denouncing her husband for his reprehensible conduct, Hillary Clinton helped lead the attempt to malign these women and protect her husband’s reputation.
She helped persecute and discredit them when she appeared on national television calling them liars for falsely accusing her husband. And finally blaming the whole thing on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Her defense of his actions only served to implicate her in the only real “war on women” ever conducted by a political party.
A war against any group is incendiary rhetoric. It shouldn’t be used unless the accuser has substantial evidence to support it.