In a Bind(er)

 

Just taking a break from being a forpol type for a moment to step over to where my genetic predisposition leads me: Why do people keep talking about women voters as if we are:

a)      Delicate flowers

b)      In need of special treatment

c)       Care only about abortion

Here’s this season’s evidence:  Hillary throws herself under the bus for Obama and takes the blame for Benghazi.  A slew of pundits, left and right, bemoan the unsavory image of a man hiding behind Hillary’s skirts.  Nevermind the fact that the president is abdicating his Commander in Chief title to a subordinate.  Romney and Obama tussle with Candy Crowley over time.  Twitterati go berserk, opining that no one likes a man who talks over a woman.  Romney tries to describe how he has hired women and says he reviewed “binders of women”.  The White House casts aside their love affair with Big Bird and starts in on the binders, as if somehow, Mitt Romney were actually, I don’t know, binding women.  Or something.

Then there’s the serious stuff.  The entire Democratic convention was a paean to abortion.  I’m pretty liberal on these sorts of issues, but it was, er, gross.  Yes, many women care about abortion, but the reductio ad absurdum is insulting to any woman who doesn’t vote solely based on whether she can head out for a latte, muffin and an abortion every morning.  The GOP was less naked in its pandering, but I’m still cringing from Ann Romney’s weird cry to “WOMEN” during her speech, as if somehow she would become first lady and lead a tribe of Amazons to the White House.  But let’s face it, the Democrats have Republicans beat hands down in their slobbering embrace of the lumpenwoman.

Why is it that so many believe “we” women don’t care about real issues unrelated to an unfortunate turn of phrase?  Unemployment?  The spiraling costs of healthcare? The burdens of single parenthood?  Lousy teachers? Why doesn’t it bother us to be treated as a mass of genetically blinkered lemmings?  Is it OK to generalize about African-Americans or Asian-Americans through the prism of a dusty stereotype?

Here’s the point: I am who I am. Call me a chick, call me a broad, put me in a binder, call me Mum or Sweetheart or whatever.  Presidential candidates don’t define me.  I’m as good as a man, don’t vote on Roe v Wade, can handle being interrupted and insulted, and neither need to be reminded of those facts or require special treatment.  So … and this is to you especially, Barack Obama and Joe Biden: Shut up.

 

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About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


     


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    Email: dpletka@aei.org
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