Which War On Women Will Win?
Acton Institute Powerblog

Which War On Women Will Win?

As mid-term elections creep closer (aren’t we done with those tv ads yet?), one wonders which War on Women will be victorious.

First, there is the War on Women declared by the likes of Sandra Fluke and Senator Jeane Shaheen, who proclaim that women aren’t getting paid fairly and that while no one has the right to tell women what to do with their bodies, could you fork over the money for their birth control, please? This War on Women desires that all their needs legislated, from equal pay to paid family leave to government-subsidized child care and housing. This War on Women has Beyoncé as their spokeswoman, whose performance for this year’s Video Music Awards was proclaimed to be “fearless, feminist, flawless, family time,” complete with sexually-suggestive lyrics, scantily-clad dancers and stripper poles.

This War on Women, according to National Review Online, wants to categorize “women’s issues” but fails to recognize that women care about things other than birth control.

The idea that there exists a meaningful subset of “women’s issues” has always failed to account for the fact that “women” is a category that in the American context contains both Condoleezza Rice and Rachel Maddow, both Republican governor Susana Martinez and Democratic gadfly Eva Longoria. Jeane Kirkpatrick was arguably the most powerful American woman of her time, and her issue was fighting totalitarianism at a time when Democrats were not much inclined to do so. Was that a women’s issue? It certainly was in Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany . . .

This brings us to the real War on Women. This war is for the women

…who own or desire to own their own businesses, who are looking for decent jobs, who wish there were a way to get their children out of failing schools, who are concerned about the flood of illegal immigrants across our borders, who pay more in taxes than they do for housing or health care or for housing and health care combined, who own guns, who pay utility bills, who wish for credible responses to Ebola and the Islamic State, who resent being reduced to their genitals as a matter of political calculation.

This is the war that fights for women at all stages of life. It is the war that seeks to give voice to trafficked women and babies who die for being female. It is for women who cherish their First Amendment rights. It lacks the glitz and light show of a pop star. Instead, it is the lipstick and eye shadow of the mom who drops her kids off at school and heads to the office. It is the cleaning supplies of the woman who works two jobs so her children can get a decent education. It is the Bible of the young girl who wants to read scripture in her free time at school. Real wars are never as glamorous as fictional ones, but they are far more important.

Read “The Other War On Women” at National Review Online.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.