A War On Women – or Religious Freedom?

            In an interview with Newsmax on April 6, Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate for President of the United States, was quoted as saying:
            “But there’s no question that over the past several weeks, that a discussion about religious liberty was distorted into a discussion about contraceptives. And there was the somehow Republicans are opposed to contraceptives. I think it was most unfortunate twist by our Democrat friends. I think this will pass as an issue as people understand our real position.”
            Earlier, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said:
            “If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars.  The fact of the matter is that it’s a fiction . . .”
            And then there was Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on a local Kentucky radio on April 9 talking about the GOP and the War On Women. He had this to say:
            “Talk about a manufactured issue — there is no issue,” McConnell said on Louisville, Ky., radio station WHAS-AM, “Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say — and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — ‘we don’t see any evidence of this.'”
            What the heck is going on here?
            One commentator this week, Annie-Rose Strasser, noted Senator McConnell is either confused or in denial, as three of the four female Republican Senators mentioned – Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – have already come out against their own party’s War On Women.
            Murkowski, in particular, appeared to directly repudiate McConnell by saying:
            “It makes no sense to make this attack on women.  If you don’t feel this an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and daughters.”
            So really, what the heck is going on?
            Writer Stephen D. Foster Jr., in a piece you can read here, believes:
            “Clearly, there is a split among Republicans by gender. Republican men say there isn’t a War On Women, it’s all about religious freedom. While Republican women see this as a War On Women’s reproductive rights. By having the courage to speak out against their male colleagues, female Republicans are confirming that their own party is in fact waging a war against women and that religious freedom is just an excuse being used as a crutch to falsely justify it.”
            Vincent Moore, in his article entitled “The War On Women: A Progressive Man’s View,” goes a little further when he states:
             “The morality-based attack (most recently dressed up in the guise of religious freedom and thereby a question of Constitutional freedom) on women’s reproductive health issues across the nation certainly seems coordinated and calculated by the Right-wing and carried out by the Republican Party and their minions (e.g., Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Fox News) to disrupt and or upset established societal norms that were hard fought for and codified in establish law since the mid-1960s.”
            In all fairness, it’s not too difficult to agree with Mr. Moore, the father of four daughters and with eight nieces, that the GOP’s War On Women is a morality-based attack and dressed up in the guise of religious freedom.  One doesn’t have to be an Internet search genius either, to find representative examples of the same, but some quick references with links can be found in “No Retreat: 101 Assaults in the War On Women” by Stephanie Whiteside, as well as in Mr. Moore’s articlementioned above.
            Sorry, poor ole rich Mitt, but with respect to your quote above, I don’t think the “unfortunate twist” was done by your Democrat “friends.”  It feels to me more like the twist of a knife between the shoulder blades – while you with your religious liberty, Priebus with his caterpillar women, and McConnell and all your ilk with their confusion/denial – are simultaneously attempting to deliver an endearing, yet utterly duplicitous, peck on the cheek.  And the War on Women is certainly not going to pass as an issue!
            Sorry all you good old boys, but women simply aren’t that stupid!
            On top of that, I tend to agree with Mr. Moore when he also states in his article:
            “For me, the War On Women being waged by Conservatives/Republican Party is neither a moral nor an ethical issue, but one of the fundamental civil and human rights of women. The moral argument fails if the rights of women as full citizens in this nation are to be respected and upheld, and if women are to be afforded equal protection under law! This is a war with abortion and religion at its corrupted core.”
            It is indeed that, Mr. Moore, and yet, I’m fully convinced it’s more than that.  It’s “corrupted core” likely runs much deeper and wider.
            Pulling back, attempting to take in a bigger picture, this chasm, the “corrupted core,” might indeed be seen as a facet of the grander cultural “wars” that have been waging for some time, and will inevitably continue until the necessary changes transpire.
            As mentioned previously in this blog, as the shackles of the cultural mindset that has ensnared much of the planet for thousands of years – that of the male dominant, hierarchical, exploitative, kill-or-be-killed destruction mentality – are cast off and rejected, cultural “wars” such as we’re experiencing here are inevitable.  As our society as a whole painfully struggles its way to a Higher Consciousness by stressing elements of the long-repressed feminine such as cooperation and partnership, as women are indeed afforded full and equal protection under the law, there is no choice but to confront the unavoidable.
            Cultural “wars” are indeed already underway, and they are absolutely essential, if we are collectively to rise to a higher plane so as to realistically deal with long-term sustainability issues for our species on this  planet – the truly overriding concern and ultimate end gauge of success or failure.  And yet these cultural “wars” are not wars in the primitive sense common to the male-dominant understanding.  An “I-conquer-you-or-you-conquer-me” desperation does not fit into the equation here; unfortunately, however, this is something the shallow-pated of a more archaic mindset will never comprehend.  Instead, these newer cultural “wars,” these inevitable cultural transitions now ongoing, are characterized by peaceful shifts to a more enlightened awareness of collective mutual dependency and equality of human rights for all.
            Environmental rape, obsessive consumerism and wasted natural resources, the War On Women and much else are all fronts in the grander cultural “wars” underway.  But with the War On Women now at the forefront, with half our species under attack by the primitive male dominator mindset and its current good-old-boy leadership of confused deniers, it is essential to focus on that very War On Women and firmly reject it.
            And while we’re at it, we might as well note: The War On Women has nothing whatsoever to do with “Religious Liberty!”
            Sorry, poor ole rich Mitt: but we’ll never allow things to get so twisted!