Aside from Mitt Romney’s bird problem – and what went largely unnoticed during the second presidential debate was his sneering jab at the Keystone pipeline, and his accusation that the Obama Administration launched a criminal action against the drilling: “. . . 20 or 25 birds were killed and brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis” – he’s got a lady parts problem.
No, not his lady parts – our lady parts. And his problem is that he doesn’t think our brains, our bodies, our jobs, or our choices are his problem. Now, that being said, I’d like to pose a question to all the women out there who are allegedly trending toward Romney in the polls: What the hell are you smoking?
Let’s take, for instance, the mythical “binders” that Romney claims to have ordered up in order to enhance female hiring – “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women;” we now know those binders were advanced by MassGAP, “a bipartisan coalition of women’s groups dedicated to increasing the number of women appointed to top government jobs.” Romney didn’t commission any binders; the MassGAP came to him. Romney didn’t meet with them. Romney didn’t personally leaf through their hiring binders. And Romney didn’t fill his top cabinet posts with women; in fact, he stacked the most important jobs with men. His boast that he had more women in top spots than any other governor is as mythical as the details of his tax plan, unless you consider the assistant to the assistant to the assistant deputy press secretary as a “top spot.” Mitt’s sneering condescension toward women was best described by Jesse Mermell, an activist involved in the effort to boost female hiring in Massachusetts: “He actually said that under him … only when the economy is booming will companies hire women out of desperation or as a last resort . . . [It’s] as if it’s some new concept that Mitt Romney has got to warm up to with his 1950s ‘Mad Men’ attitude.”
Now, let’s talk about which of our lady parts will be affected (and I, personally, am a bit squeamish about the notion of metal snap rings in connection with my lady parts) if we ever face the horrifying experience of being clasped in the loving pages of Mitt’s hypothetical chick-binder.
Our reproductive lady parts will be essentially owned and operated by uber-conservatives under a Romney administration. Romney will appoint neo-con anti-choice Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. After all, despite the shiny new Moderate Mitt, he previously proclaimed that the day Roe v. Wade was passed was “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.” Even worse, both he and his sidekick, Paul Ryan, supported the “personhood” amendment, which basically grants full rights to little “beans” while sending womens’ right to choice straight to the trash barrel.
Be aware, women, that we will have to implore our employers to allow us contraceptive coverage under our healthcare plans – and to get it, we will have to earnestly swear that our lady parts are not involved in our need for birth control. Better practice your best sad puppy look if Romney is elected. And I hope you don’t work for the Koch Bros.
On Day One (along with repealing Obamacare, reducing unemployment to 6% and building a pipeline big enough to wrap around the world twice), Romney will defund Planned Parenthood. Forget about pre-screenings for cancer, forget about PAP smears, forget about breast exams – those pesky preventive healthcare treatments pale in comparison to the prospect of sexually active females. The binder is starting to pinch.
A lot of women aren’t aware that they are, one, charged more for healthcare because they are female (and, I suppose, our lady parts just need more expensive tending than man parts), and two, womens’ healthcare concerns are far more often dismissed as “in our heads” than those of our male counterparts. But no worries: Romney is committed to returning women to the days when insurance companies can line their own pockets by overcharging us.
During the second presidential debate, Romney tried to show his benevolence toward women, telling a little anecdote about his chief of staff having children at home and needing flexibility, and how he magnanimously provided it. “She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.” Look at the message here: As long as we’re trying to accommodate a recipe book and child-centered activities, flexibility is ours. And he didn’t make mention of granting those same policies of flexibility for the men in his workforce, mainly because he wouldn’t expect the men in his workforce to be cooking and wiping noses.
He says it there, it comes out here, and he doesn’t have a clue that what he’s saying is steeped in neanderthal thinking. Are women really buying this?
What are women hearing when Romney speaks? He largely said at the debate that guns don’t kill people, children of single parents kill people. His methodology of solving gun violence is not legislation or enforcement of existing laws. No, he said, “We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the — the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that’s not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea. Because if there’s a two parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will — will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American system.” To Romney, the “American system” involves a nuclear family only, which probably means a passel of kids and grandkids, all wearing checked shirts and khaki pants. His “American system” doesn’t include gay people raising kids, doesn’t include single moms raising kids, particularly poor, unmarried single moms. And a point he didn’t make, but which I will make, is that poverty goes down when dads support their kids. If the money is equal, and the family is stable (which steady money generally provides), study after study demonstrates that the physical presence of a man in the house isn’t necessarily the defining point for the success of the kids.
I know a woman who did it Romney’s way. Got married, had three kids. Almost ten years and a hell of a lot of physical, emotional and mental abuse later, she kicked the loser’s ass out and flew solo. Oh wait, right – that woman was me. But as a working mother, as a single mother, my kids flourished: One’s a soldier, one’s a talented and successful rapper (no, not gangsta rap), and one’s a reality show star. Except for my son’s military career, the closest our family ever got to guns was a cap gun from Wal-Mart and youthful folly with a BB gun.
What Romney did with his lady binder in Massachusetts is less important than the pinch we women are going to feel when he crams us into the constricting notebook of neo-con, Neanderthal policies he’ll create to pander to the teabagging right wingnuts.
Ann Romney told American women to “wake up” and vote for Mitt. I tell Ann Romney to take her princess ass into the real world and try to live under her husband’s archaic and cruel policies and attitudes toward women. His policies translate into economic disaster for women. If she’d had to raise those five boys alone – being pinched by the binder of hubby’s policies – she’d be wide awake and riding her dressage horses in to do battle against him.