October 14, 2015 by swingstatevoter
In order for a particular candidate in America to have a solid chance to win the office of the presidency, it is necessary to gain a level of popularity with diverse groups of voters. For several decades, Republicans have struggled to gain favor with “liberated” women – you know, the ones who have a desire for equality of opportunity and pay in the workforce, balance of family and work life, and to abolish old stereotypes about the innate sinfulness of lady-parts.
The postmortem evaluations after Republicans lose elections always pay lip service to the need for analysis, outreach, and understanding to close the Grand Canyon-sized gap between the male-dominated conservative Right and those liberated women on the Left. But after a few months they always seem to abandon the inquiry and opt for clinging to their antiquated viewpoints, assuming the women voters they lost just didn’t hear their message. To them, it isn’t the information that needs tweaking, it is the delivery that needs the makeover…and their idea of that makeover isn’t to soften the makeup, they recently have gone full-on 1980s Tammy Faye Bakker with that shit.
In the mind of someone like Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, the more elections they lose, the more they want to try to move the country back to the glory days of past Republicans – the times of Reagan, or Eisenhower, or perhaps even pre-Depression era laissez-faire capitalism à la Calvin Coolidge. Rather than progressing with modern times, finding a new path (and maybe, you know, finding a new good guy instead of trying to resurrect Ronald Reagan from the grave), the more loudly they must beat us over the heads with their 1950s-conservatism, hoping the leftist women will eventually give up in our endeavors for equality and say “Meh, I think the underestimation of my self-worth and abandoning the goal to reach my full potential (read: misogyny) might not be so bad after all. Sign me up!”
The struggle is real.
What they don’t seem to understand, however, is disregarding the analysis of why liberated women don’t buy into Republican rhetoric is the root of their demise. We hear their words. Oh, we hear their message loud and clear. And that message has a very terrible flaw that exposes them, even if they try to fake it by saying they can deliver on equality.
Recently, Donald Trump had one of his famous Q & A sessions where a very feisty young woman didn’t hold back in saying she thought he probably wasn’t a friend to women. She asked him if he were elected to office would a woman be paid the same as a man, and would he allow her to choose what she could do with her body? The exchange between them was very telling:
First, while prefacing her question above (even granting she could be wrong about her impression of him) Trump immediately interrupted her before she could ask it. He stopped her to make a joke about how he shouldn’t have picked her from the crowd (winning move in his narcissistic mind, I’m sure) then proceeded to babble about how great he is with women’s issues, based mostly on his experience with his mother, current wife, daughter, and the women who have worked on his Trump Tower. Call me cynical, but I’m sure my immediate family thinks pretty highly of me, too, but I don’t put them on my résumé as references for work experience.
Second, Trump repeatedly spoke about how he was going to “take care of women”.
That, right there, is exactly where the Republicans lose liberated women. Those words are kryptonite.
We don’t need you to take care of us.
I am fully capable of paying my own bills, but I need to not have a glass ceiling held above my head to keep me from affording to pay them. I am capable of making my health care decisions, but I need to make those decisions with my doctor, not Congress. I am fully capable of choosing which candidate is best able to run this country, but it damn well isn’t going to be someone who believes that a beauty pageant is an appropriate way to measure the worthiness of scholarships to women who cannot afford a college education.
We are not broken, we are not helpless, we are not incapacitated. When a woman asks you if you are going to guarantee she will be paid the same salary as a man, the last thing in the world she will want to be told is that you, a man, will “take care of” her.
Take care of your prostate. Take care of your children. Your woman can take care of herself just fine.
Until, and unless, the Republican Party can understand that their message is the problem, their messengers never close this gender gap.