Monday, November 7, 2011


It’s bad enough that the Republican Party has women in its crosshairs through the issues:  removing control over women’s bodies from their own hands, including the criminalization of certain health decisions; denying funds for prenatal care, WIC (the nutrition program for low-income women, infants and children) and Planned Parenthood services; eternally opposing the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as affirmative action; eliminating federal money for child care; et cetera.  On top of all that, significant numbers of Republicans are embracing the candidacy of Herman Cain while brushing aside the allegations against him of sexual harassment.

Whether Cain is guilty or not, shouldn’t the facts be brought to light so that his leadership qualities can be assessed?  If true, the charges speak to the larger issues of abuse of power, of how women are regarded and how they are treated by this man when he’s in a position of authority.  But, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 69% of Republicans (and independents who lean Republican) say that the matter makes no difference in whether they’re likely to vote for Cain.  Fully 55% of those polled say the sexual harassment issue isn’t a serious one.  That includes 56% of men and 54% of women—and an astounding 75% of Tea Partiers!

So, well over half of female Republicans express the belief that it doesn’t matter if they are groped, fondled, or propositioned by a man who could be President of the United States.  Further, it doesn’t matter if their daughters are groped, fondled, or propositioned by a man who could be President of the United States.  Think about it.  If Republican women are saying this isn’t important, then Herman Cain and all other men are being given tacit permission by most of them, and certainly by most Republicans in general, to abuse women.  It just isn’t important.  And by saying it isn’t important, these people aren’t just saying it isn’t important because it happened to someone else—which is a really morally deficient attitude.  They’re also saying it isn’t important even if it happens to themselves or to someone they love.  The message is loud and clear in their indifference, in the decision not to stand up for one another, thus ensuring that any woman could be next. 

I’m not asserting that Herman Cain is guilty of any specific behavior.  I am saying there are plenty of grounds for believing he might be:  four women have now made accusations and/or filed a grievance.  However, the majority of Republicans don’t care.  They don’t want to know what the allegations are or what the facts are.  IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE in how likely they are to vote for Herman Cain.

Republican attitudes are obvious in the quality of their female candidates for national office.  It’s telling that the women who are considered President timbre under their banner are touted by conservative talking-heads for their sex appeal.  I wouldn’t give two cents to possess the self-worth of either Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman.  But what about that previously-mentioned 54% of Republican females?  Where is their self-regard?  Does it have to be non-existent for a female to join the party?

Wow! Wake up, women, and smell the coffee!  Your party is hurtling backward.  This isn’t a carnival ride; it’s a train wreck.  Once your party has completely undermined your power and credibility, how long do you think it’ll be before they come after your right to vote?  

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