How Will the Next President Affect Women's Rights?

Politics & Views 29

WomenIt's fair to say that Republicans and Democrats seem to have very different ideas on the preferred roles of women in society.

From the number of times the phrase "family values"  has been used by the GOP presidential candidates, I get the distinct impression that if they had their way, every American woman would grow up, get married to a man, have 2.5 kids, and attend church every Sunday.

Democrats, on the other hand, seem to embrace a broader view of women's preferred roles in American society. They champion the idea that abortion should reman legal and contraception should be both affordable and readily available.

These conflicting party views of women mean that the next president very well could affect women's rights as a whole in the coming years. That's why this week, we're asking our political bloggers the following questions:

What's your take on how the candidates view women's rights?

And how do you think moms' lives might change depending on who's in office?


Newt Gingrich probably would rather leave women's rights out of his stump speeches altogether -- but that's not always possible, as evidenced by this exchange between Newt and a college student, caught by a Daily Kos reporter:

STUDENT: Hi, Speaker, I’m Holly Flynn, a freshman at the college. Two details of your film really stood out to me. One was Phyllis Schlafly’s commentary. And the other was the characterization of women winning World War II as a negative image. So I’d like you to clarify your stance on womens’ rights. And I’d like to know what you’d do to ensure gender equality in the United States. Given that even today, women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar.

GINGRICH: Well, the latter is going to change dramatically in the next generation because more women are going to college than men. And they’re doing better than men and entering professions more than men. In fact, if anything, you’ll be here in fifteen years wondering what we’ll do about [male] inequality and male unemployment. Because the people who had the deepest decline of income are males who don’t go to college.

The reporter makes the point that even though more women are in college than men, they're still making less money than men when they graduate. FAIL.

Rick Santorum probably has the worst record when it comes to women's rights. He's against the use of contraception and supports a ban on abortion even in the case of rape or incest. And he opposes women serving in combat in the military, partially because there are "all sorts of physical issues," as he puts it, but also because he worries that men who are forced to serve alongside women in combat would be less focused on the mission because their natural instincts to protect the woman would kick in.

Judging by the behaviors of a number of men I've known over the years, I'm not so sure  those "natural instincts" actually exist.

As for Mitt Romney, here's what one Huffington Post political writer surmises:

If the next President is a Republican who gets to replace the ailing Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a judicial conservative, the Constitutional right to privacy could be a thing of the past and states could enact laws which would pass Constitutional muster restricting access to birth control or outlawing private consensual homosexual (or even heterosexual) acts.

Writer Miles Mogulescu goes on to say:

Mitt Romney has appointed Robert Bork--who was rejected for a Supreme Court post by the Senate in part because of his opposition to a Constitutional privacy right--as one of his chief legal advisors. If elected President, Bork is likely to play a key role in helping Romney select Supreme Court nominees. With four Justices already likely ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and with it, a single Romney appointment could easily end the Constitutional right to privacy.

No Constitutional right to privacy? Now that would be weird.

Ron Paul doesn't even believe in women's rights. He says rights only belong to individuals, not collective groups. He also opposes abortion, and had this to say about equal pay for women:

The concept of equal pay for equal work is not only an impossible task, it can only be accomplished with the total rejection of the idea of the voluntary contract. By what right does the government assume power to tell an airline it must hire unattractive women if it does not want to?

As for sexual harrassment in the workplace, Paul wrote the following, according to the same source:

Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity. Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.

As for President Obama, he often touts himself as a champion of women's rights, and had this to say a few years ago during an event honoring International Women's Day:

“As I see Sasha and Malia getting older, I think about the world that they -– and all of America’s daughters -– will inherit. And I think about all of the opportunities that are still beyond reach for too many young women and too many of our brothers and sisters — too many of our sisters and mothers and aunts — all of the glass ceilings that have yet to be shattered.”

This is all food for thought, particularly for women who identify themselves with the Republican Party.

Here's what our political bloggers have to say:

Republican Candidates Don't Support Women -- So How Can They Represent Us?

Women's Lives Would Be Better With a Republican President

The Presidential Candidates & Women's Rights

President Obama, Democrats & the Real 'War on Women's Rights'

The Republican War Against Contraception Is Yet Another Reason to Re-Elect Obama

2012 election


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texas... texasmamma777

h/t hoticedcoffee

"You know what the greatest danger to women is?  The notion that females need politicians in order to succeed in life.  You're a pawn because you bought into the idea that you're a Delicate Flower who needs to be protected by Democrats.  Want equality?  Stop asking for "protection".

dreab... dreabug23

Texasmamma777: Who the hell are you talking to? Please go crawl under something heavy and stay there, you mouthbreather.

Nanette Gray

The big lie! democratic Politicians are not about "birth control" issues. This is about abortion, which brings in BIG money, and Planned Parenthood makes big bucks to kill our babies! Why is it the responsibility of the tax payers to pay for other women's choice for birth control and the funding from consciences that believe abortion is murder? The truth lies in the unmentioned! Did you know that Planned Parenthood organizations give out defective birth control to young women! Of course they these women can get pregnant so they can push abortion on them! Did you know that those who run these Planned Parenthood clinics are given an incentive for each abortion to the tune of $25.00 a head? Yes, I said head, like cattle!!!

babyb... babybirch

I hate all the candidates and I hate hearing about them because each and every one of them are - pardon my language - great big dickheads .

babyb... babybirch

Oh, yeah, and for the lady who is all bent up over abortion ... I got an abortion at sixteen when I was impregnated by my physically and sexually abusive ex-boyfriend . Thrilled I did it and hope other teenage girls do the right thing for them, even if it includes getting an abortion . Every woman should at least have the option of getting an abortion, even if they choose not to take it .

texas... texasmamma777

"Texasmamma777: Who the hell are you talking to? Please go crawl under something heavy and stay there, you mouthbreather,"

Nicely put, dreabug23.  Are you, by chance, one of those "tolerant" and "civil" democrats we keep hearing so much about? 

Have you ever read the classic "How to Win Friends and Influence People?"

Have you ever read this:

It discusses how the The Ledbetter Act, like all the other “pay-equity” laws before it, will fail because women’s advocates, at no small financial cost to taxpayers and the economy, continue to overlook the effects of male and female behavior.

Check it out, drea!

texas... texasmamma777

Ms. Ferrier,  is your piece supposed to be a balanced look at both sides?

You've set out a lot of "negatives" regarding the Republicans, along with lengthy quotes. 

At the end you insert a soft-ball, politically correct, mushy quote of obama's basically dragging his daughters into the fray.   Awwwww! And you let us know that obama "touts himself as a champion of women's rights".  Well, of course he does.  Where are the facts supporting his contention?

Your bias is showing in this one, Ms. Ferrier.

dreab... dreabug23

Texasmamma777: you constantly post these ridiculous links from conservative authors and blogs and I'm supposed to take this as "evidence" to prove your backwards, antiquated opinions?

People like you are dangerous, not because your intellect poses a threat, but because you have the right to vote.

I will be damned if I'll allow you people to elect Rick Santorum to be my president.

I may be a Democrat, but I never claimed to be tolerant or civil.

texas... texasmamma777

dreabug: "I may be a Democrat, but I never claimed to be tolerant or civil."

LOL!  It shows, dreabug, and is emblematic.

I often employ links from a variety of sources to attempt to bring forth facts, as opposed to opinions.

Above I linked to ABC News & Huffington Post -- neither would ever be construed to be "conservative", by anyone -- lol!

"Facts" are anathema to many Democrats (you, apparently, may be one of them) and when one starts flinging them around an on-line discussion, Dems like you often retreat, deflect, or begin the personal attacks and the name-calling.  Facts are to Democrats like oil is to water.

Dreabug23, can you counter  the following facts? Obama's "plan" to turn around the faltering economy is to spend more trillions of dollars.  Republicans have almost 30 proposals languishing in the House because the Democrat Senate won't bring them up for discussion, much less a vote. 

I mean, can you counter with some facts, some numbers, some links, whatever -- anything other than the ad hominems?

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