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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Ohmys... Ohmyskittles

@texasmamma well we seem to have reached some common ground so I'm satisfied with that.

Have a good day :)

texas... texasmamma777

You take care, Ohmyskittles, and don't let anyone try to tell you how to think.  I think you have a good jump-start on that.  : )


texas... texasmamma777

Ohmyskittles, you have touched me so, I, in pain, share the following. 

ohmyskittles: "I think abortion needs to be available if, as I said before, something happens. Did you read my reasons in my first comment? Rape/incest victims shouldn't be forced to carry the baby."

Ohmyskittles, I do not think abortion "needs to be available".  I had an abortion.  If there is one single thing in my life I could reverse if I could, it would be that horrible action. That's why I said in all candidness to you "be careful".  (As a Christian, I hope and pray that I will someday see and know the child that I threw away, at the time totally disrespecting his/her life.)

I've only been posting on TheStir a short time and I think I mentioned this abortion once.  The immediate reaction?  "Quit being a martyr!"  "Stop crying about it!", etc. These commenters had no clue that the "martyr" was the baby, not me.

It's not a situation that has any easy answers, but i will vote for life for the baby every time now.  I made a mistake, putting my wants, needs & desires above a precious, God-given life. I'm ashamed of my action, but, because of my faith, I've been able to reach an uneasy peace w/myself.

You hint at some strife regarding adoption -- whatever that was, I wish you peace.

I share this only because I want to spare any parent from the wrong decision to abort.

coffe... coffeeluva

I think it's ignorant to imply that a married woman with two children that attends church on the weekend cant also have a career and a life. This is very biased and just because you are religious doesnt mean you dont have hobbies, jobs and interests. I guess every woman with a job is an athiest and every married woman sits at home. Way to generalize, just makes you sound dumb.

coffe... coffeeluva

Why do I get the feeling that these writers simply write controversial articles to watch women go after each others throats while they laugh amoungst eachmother drinking a glass of wine. Between the contraception articles, abortion articles and my fave, Bottlefeeding vs Breastfeeding and the old working mom vs stay at home I guess its not much of a strectch too assume this is pretty damn entertaining for the writers.

nonmember avatar FranklinMom

@texasmama, your self righteousness is nauseating. Blech.

nonmember avatar amp it up

texasmamma777: your sententiousness on this website is unparalleled. Please go somewhere else and spout your sanctimonious crap. We've had enough.

Jaybo Jaybo

Texasmomma777, you're ranting is making you look the fool. You don't speak of what you actually know, you simply leave links of what you've read & taken as gospel, even if it could be a pack of lies.

You've made your point that that you think there's nothing wrong with American women being treated like women in third world countries, so why not do us the favor of packing up your pretties & moving to Iran, where you'll fit right in. 

rturn... rturner79

Wow, Texasmomma777, you sure are taking some heat.  Don't worry, there's plenty of women reading this who agree with you.  It's just the Libs who are the most vocal and won't hesitate from attacking, without ever giving a moment's thought as to why someone believes differently from them.  I hate reading incredibly biased articles like this and it makes me insane when people like us are attacked and called backwards, etc.  They'll never get it.  They'll just rant and scream and vote more money out of the government until the good ole' USA is either called the USSA or totally falls like Rome, which is inevitable. 

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