Saturday, October 08, 2016

trump, sexism and the gop's war on women

Maybe it's just me, but I find Paul Ryan's comments condemning Trump's remarks troubling in their own way.

As he forcefully rejects Trump's overt misogyny, Ryan says "Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified." I get what he's saying -- don't treat women like sex objects, here for your gratification. I approve that.

But his phrasing still puts women in a passive position. We champion women. We revere them. It's as though women are incapable of advocating for themselves, or are something otherworldly and thus above the common fray. That is still a way of objectifying women.

I am all for advocating for women's rights, women's education, seeing that society meets the needs of all women,and seeing that women are free to make their own reproductive choices. That includes when, whether and with whom to have sex, and if they want to use contraception (and yes, it means I will defend a woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy even if I personally disagree with her decision).

But is it a champion women want, or an ally? Do they want to be revered and kept from getting themselves dirty, or do they want someone who will respect them and work with them?

In both those cases, I think it's the latter. It sounds like Paul Ryan is saying the former, and if that's the case, the GOP's problem with women goes a lot deeper than a self-impressed bozo like Donald Trump.

Copyright ©2016 by David Learn. Used with permission

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