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Apr 29 2013

Crouse: Equality is the Real War on Women

Concerned Women for America senior fellow Janice Shaw Crouse gave a talk at a recent symposium in Washington, DC claiming that feminism is the real war on women. It’s the standard right wing screed about how women were so much happier and better off without options.

Why, then, do we even have to ask, ‘Is there a war on women?’ The war began as early as 1960. Since then, our nation has been experiencing a harsh cultural winter. Howling winds of change, insidious myths and outright falsehoods have undermined and torn apart the faith, values and morality that have held together a diverse and multicultural people.

These myths and those attacks, those falsehoods by those who present themselves as champions of women’s rights constitute a very real war on women. It’s a senseless war, promoting casual sex, spreading the myth that women don’t need marriage, and pushing the cultural and public policies that inevitably lead women to be the majority of those in poverty. That war against women has loosened and upended many of the foundation stones of the Judeo-Christian principles.

Oh yes, because “Judeo-Christian principles” are so good for women. Women were so much better off when it was nearly impossible for them to get out of bad and sometimes abusive marriages because they had no ability to support themselves, making them totally dependent on a man who is, God declares, in total charge of her. And when they had no control over their own reproduction or their own bodies.

29 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    The supreme irony being that, without feminism, she would not be permitted to make such speeches in public.

  2. 2
    raven

    This is just mythology.

    Everything was better in the good old days of Ozzie and Harriet. For some middle class white males.

    It wasn’t so great for females, the poor, or nonwhites i.e. the majority of the US population.

    There is nothing to keep Crouse from living a 1950′s lifestyle. These days you can even buy reruns of old TV programs like Ozzie and Harriet on DVD’s and play them on your 2013 model flat panel TV set. Free country and all that.

  3. 3
    matty1

    spreading the myth that women don’t need marriage

    Does anyone need marriage? Sure some people would benefit from it just as some won’t but humans are far too flexible a species to need any particular social arrangement in the way we need oxygen or water.

  4. 4
    Jenna Stewart

    Yeah, yeah, war is peace, freedom is slavery, we’ve heard it all before. :P

  5. 5
    raven

    That war against women has loosened and upended many of the foundation stones of the Judeo-Christian principles.

    Well that would be great if it were true.

    It isn’t though.

    The main principle of xianity is Salvation. To keep you from going to hell to be tortured forever, you need to believe jesus is god. Our life is a few moments of eternity and nothing else matters. Some xian cults such as the Catholic church have an additional requirement, good works.

    and pushing the cultural and public policies that inevitably lead women to be the majority of those in poverty.

    Women work outside the home today for many reasons. Quite often because they have to for survival. The days when one person working for average income could support a family of 4 or more at anything above poverty level are long gone.

    Without women working, the numbers living in poverty would be way higher and the USA would be on the way to third world status.

  6. 6
    dingojack

    Is it just my semantics radar being on the fritz, or did she say:
    “[Feminism is]… spreading the myth that women don’t need marriage… ”
    rather than ‘spreading the myth that marriage is unnecessary’ or ‘…the myth that men and women don’t need to marry…’?
    Woman need to marry (but by antithesis men do not)?
    Dingo

  7. 7
    scienceavenger

    “Remember certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantacize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.” – the Sunscreen Song

    Also let’s stop this “war on…” nonsense. No one is shooting women in the streets. Call it what it is: The oppression of women.

  8. 8
    raven

    First Woman to Head Episcopal Church Blends Religion, Activism
    www. voanews. com/content/first-woman-head-of…/162894.html

    Apr 25, 2010 – News / USA. First Woman to Head Episcopal Church Blends Religion, Activism. Katharine Jefferts Schori leads a church with over two million …

    Crouse is clearly channeling a sockpuppet god she created. One that hates what she hates.

    Even many or most xian women wouldn’t agree with her.

    The head of the US Episcopal church is a woman, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Who FWIW, has a Ph.D. in oceanography.

  9. 9
    dingojack

    scienceavenger – The Romans and the Carthaginians went to ‘war’ with each other, twice.
    Don’t remember anyone getting ‘shot in the street’ though, so I guess it wasn’t really a war then?
    >:/ Dingo

  10. 10
    baal

    I file this one under ‘a place to hang their obfuscation hat’. Crouse is substantively engaging in bull shit with intent. The left has been beating up the right very effectively over the ‘war on women’. The amazing litany of anti-woman noise (‘legit rape’, mandatory state sponsored useless transvaginal ultrasounds) from the right is costing them elections. They need to muddy up the ‘war on women’ brand and they do that by reciting the words and the throwing up right wing bs on top of it.

  11. 11
    raven

    Crouse and the fundies have nothing to offer women. Except a shorter life span.

    Life span dropping among women | KFOR.com
    kfor. com/2013/03/05/life-span-dropping-among-women/

    Mar 5, 2013 – While experts say women have a longer life expectancy than men, … from almost every county in the United States to figure out life expectancy …

    in almost half of the nation’s counties, especially in the south and west. Researchers concluded that the average life span for women has dropped in recent years.

    1. The average life span of women in parts of the US is dropping by a lot.

    2. These are white women living in rural parts of Appalachia, the entire south, and rural west.

    3. From geography and race, these are almost certainly mostly fundie xian women.

    No one is quite sure exactly why women are dying younger in these regions. But it is a highly unusual phenomenon inasmuch as US lifespans have steadily risen by 30 years in the last century.

  12. 12
    Gretchen

    dingojack said:

    Woman need to marry (but by antithesis men do not)?

    Well, yeah. In this model women are defined by their relationships to men, whereas men define themselves. A woman needs– or should need– a husband if she is to have certain important things, such as respect, property, and children. These are things every woman should require, but the first two men can get on their own and for them, and the kids are optional. Men have wives and children; women are wives and mothers.

  13. 13
    dingojack

    Gretchen – thanks for that, but the question was rhetorical.
    Dingo

  14. 14
    cheesynougats

    Well, if women need to get married and men don’t, does this mean that Crouse supports gay marriage? Or at least for women?

  15. 15
    caseloweraz

    “Howling winds of change” have torn asunder that “diverse and multicultural people” who previously were held together entirely by Judeo-Christian principles.

    And by choosy mothers choosing Jif.

    /sarc

  16. 16
    caseloweraz

    Raven: “Everything was better in the good old days of Ozzie and Harriet. For some middle class white males.”

    “Margaret, I’m home!”

    – Robert Young, delivering the standard opening line in Father Knows Best as he walked in the door of his single-family home.

  17. 17
    Gretchen

    dingojack said:

    thanks for that, but the question was rhetorical.

    I thought it might be, but….you know, just in case. There was also matty1 up there asking if anyone needs marriage, so I thought I could kill two birds with one stone. :-)

    Plus anti-feminist women just fascinate me, so maybe I was a little overeager to talk about it.

    Anyway– sorry! Never mind.

  18. 18
    DaveL

    pushing the cultural and public policies that inevitably lead women to be the majority of those in poverty.

    Was there ever a time when this was not true? I mean, long ago, “widows and orphans” were practically synonymous with the concept of the “deserving poor.” Then there were those who were abandoned by their husbands, or whose husbands were incarcerated…

  19. 19
    dingojack

    Gretchen – no go right ahead, sometimes even what might seem to be the obvious needs to said, examined and strengthened (with even more evidence) in order to hone and sharpen our arguments against our respective society’s casual leaps into sexism, racism and etc.
    Don’t hesitate on my behalf. I just meant I’m right beside you on this one.
    Dingo

  20. 20
    scienceavenger

    @ Dingo – there were if you count the Baillista.

    The point is we ought not to be as dishonest as they are, and “war on women” is dishonest framing. I have no doubt that Ms. Crouse is absolutely sincere in her belief that what she is promoting would benefit women. She’s stunningly ignorant, but that make her wrong, not “waging war” on people. War on drugs, war on poverty, war on women…all crap. “War on…” is almost as tiresome as attaching -gate to every scandel.

  21. 21
    Gretchen

    scienceavenger, do you have a general problem with metaphors, or just this one? Do you go around accusing everyone who uses figures of speech of “dishonest framing”?

  22. 22
    scienceavenger

    I have a problem with figures of speech that distort reality out of all recognition, especially when it implies nefarious intent that is clearly absent. Don’t you? Saying the GOP is waging a war on women is only slightly less ridiclous than conservatives saying liberals hate America. I have a problem with citizens adopting partisan political phraseology and argumentation that interfere with productive discourse. Count “if you can’t address everything you shouldn’t address anything” as a good example.

  23. 23
    baal

    @ Scienceavenger, normally I’m on your side of the argument (anti-talking point) but not this case.

    The “war on women” branding is a specific political talking point from the left but it’s based on the very real and very scary actions of the republicans at the State level of governance for the last 2 years. We’ve seen an astonishing number of anti-women laws like the endless abortion bills but even more that work to deny women health care of any kind. These crop up under the anti-obamacare rhetoric but the actual bills are things like defunding planned parenthood. They also seek to use state mandated punishment of women (unnecessary vaginal probes, mandatory lecture from a pro-life asshat) to get what they want. Another set of bills (and Rush Limbaugh’s “birth control is for sluts” language) are seeking to role back birth control access (a necessary step to woman’s freedom to choose how to live her life).

  24. 24
    Gretchen

    Saying the GOP is waging a war on women is only slightly less ridiclous than conservatives saying liberals hate America.

    Well, except that members of the GOP are constantly
    - Practicing rape apologetics
    - Fighting sex education
    - Fighting birth control use and funding
    - Fighting abortion rights
    - Fighting women’s health generally

    Whereas liberals are doing nothing against America.

    Other than that, yeah– about equally ridiculous!

    *rolls her eyes*

  25. 25
    Raging Bee

    Also let’s stop this “war on…” nonsense. No one is shooting women in the streets. Call it what it is: The oppression of women.

    Oppression is kind of a warlike act, so your quibbling is a distinction without a difference. Unless, of course, you wish to adopt the bully’s logic and say that it’s not “war” unless the intended victim fights back — in which case, the intended victim becomes the “aggressor.”

  26. 26
    Raging Bee

    Oh, and…

    No one is shooting women in the streets.

    Maybe not, but at least some women are getting gang-raped without provocation, which is, let’s face it, in the same ballpark as acts of war go.

    Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, sometimes women DO get shot.

  27. 27
    raven

    The war on women is as real as any war.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the word war doesn’t just mean blood running from wounds. Any more than the word crusade means some guy in armor waving a sword around and looking for a Moslem or heretic to slaughter.

    I grew up during the cold war with the commies. I suggest you spend the next decade writing letters to the newspapers about how the cold war wasn’t a real war and revising all the history books.

  28. 28
    raven

    Mariam-Webster dictionary

    1war noun, often attributive \ˈwȯr\

    Definition of WAR
    1
    a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) : a period of such armed conflict (3) : state of war b : the art or science of warfare c (1) obsolete : weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic : soldiers armed and equipped for war
    2
    a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end e.g.. a class war a war against disease

    And oh yeah. Don’t forget to correct the entire world’s supply of dictionaries. That definition 2 is going to have to go.

  29. 29
    scienceavenger

    @Baal: I agree the actions the GOP has taken with regard to reproducive rights and women’s health care are despicable. I just don’t put them on the same level as blowing body parts off and leaving thousands of children orphaned with no homes to go home to. War is Hell. Changes in health care systems, not so much.

    @Gretchen eye roll back atcha, your partisanship is showing. Conservatives could give you an extensive list of things liberals are doing that they interpret as hating America, just as you interpret your list as the GOP waging a war on women. Now I happen to agree your case is stronger than theirs, but that’s a matter of politcal disagreement, not a factual difference.

    @Bee: My response to you is similar to mine to Baal. I essentially see your arguments as arguments from privledge. We’ve been spared, 99% of us anyway, from the actual horrors of war in this society for so long we’ve forgotten (no thanks to the government controlling information) the extensive horror of war. Have 800,000 women get ganbanged (or men, gender is not relevant here), per the death and dismemberment figures we get from the civilians in Iraq, and then I’ll be right there on your side.

    @Raven I too grew up in the cold war. I never tire of correcting idiots who compare the molehill of the current threat we are under from militant Muslims to the mountain we faced from the Soviets. When our society is poised for eradicating women in a mushroom cloud, I’d buy your POV. We aren’t even close to that.

    What it boils down to me is this: The term “war” should never be waterred down. War is Hell, the last political resort, the worst of humanity. It is ugly beyond measure. We should all fear war, get into one only when no other option seems viable, and get out as soon as we are able. I fear that the way the term is tossed around willy nilly, combined with the way most of us are shielded from the actual horrors of our current conflicts, numbs our body politic to what we are saying, to the true ugliness of war: Not oppression, not invasive medical procedures, not political disagreements, fucking WAR. Twain’s war poem hit the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned, and I guess I’ll close with that. Thank you for your patience and input.

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