The Women In My Life Are Not One Woman, Mrs. Romney

31 Aug

The Romney Kiss-A-Tron 5000 Ann Romney probably had the hopes of every Republican desperately at her fingertips before she delivered her speech to the Republican National Convention. Then, she broke their hearts – she’s just like Willard. She can give a bad speech, and make everyone cringe, too.

Matt Lewis (and Bill Scher) thought Ann Romney’s speech was “weird“. There was actually a passage I liked.

It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters.

For pandering, this is a passably un-nauseating improvement on 1992’s vice-presidential candidate’s, Dan Quayle’s, “Murphy Brown speech”. It’s inclusive and recognizes a diversity of roles women have in a very complex society. I have a number of women in my life, and the more I pander to them, the more I know I’m using sugary phrases, to distract from my screwups. I guess Ann was pandering first, and screwing up later.

Ana Marie Cox asks why women in the Republican party would endure this treatment.

Why isn’t there open revolt here in Tampa: perfectly-coiffed ladies burning their Spanx and shouting down the men who want to decide their futures for them?

To call them all radical pro-lifers would explain their priorities, but the numbers just don’t back up that hypothesis. Polling done just this month shows fully 76% of Republicans (men and women) at odds with their party’s official stance, believing that abortion should be legal in certain situations. So, then it’s tempting to write off Republican women as perhaps just “not knowing” something – most significantly, their party’s official position, but maybe also the impact of such policies. But is that an explanation or just condescension?

More equitably, maybe they’re secretly conflicted – or, in the case such lawmakers as Olympia Snowe, not-so-secretly conflicted – aware of the perceived trade-off between “economic liberty” and civil liberties, and simply willing to compromise. Some form of that compromise is probably the most accurate explanation. Women I talk to here literally roll their eyes at any line of questioning that begins, “So, as a woman … ?”

Practical, huh?

Republicans can spin all they like, but what they don’t understand is that women can recognize dehumanization from a mile away. We live it every day. We know what it is to talk to a person and suddenly realize they believe us stupid because of our gender. We listen while people mansplain topics we’re experts in. We watch media that presents us as little more than masturbation fodder and walk down the street feeling lecherous stares on our back. We know what you mean when you say “legitimate” rape. We know exactly what you’re thinking when you pretend to give a shit.

This weekend I went to a wedding where I sat next to a woman who was pregnant with her second child. Like me, her health and life were put at risk when she developed pre-eclampsia during her first pregnancy. She was livid. She could hardly contain her rage as she spoke about GOP policies on women’s health. She was fortunate-as I was-to have her wanted pregnancy go to term. But when Republicans mock the health exception, she told me, “they’re talking about me.”

“They’re saying it’s fine if I die.”

Women know exactly how little Republicans think of them. So please, guys, do us the favor of not acting so shocked when we call you on it.

But, nice kiss, guys! Too bad, Willard couldn’t manage to look confident even with his wife helping him out.

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