Published in Athens Views (print – no longer in circulation) on 18 October 2014
Red State Women, a Republican women’s organisation based in Texas launched the Female Fact[her] campaign in September aiming to “challenge the Democrats deceptive campaign aimed at defining women as victims” and promote policies for more “economic opportunities, better educational options and freedom from burdensome regulations”. Red State Women, who describe themselves as an initiative “committed to engaging, empowering, and inspiring all Texas women to become proud, politically active members of the Republican Party” are trying to prove that it is not the Republicans who have declared war on women but in fact the Democrats who – as aforementioned – present women as victims and whose policies are harmful to women.
War on women is a term used in media in order to describe the ‘attack’ by the Republican Party and its candidates to initiatives or sections of laws aimed specifically at women such as the Affordable Care Act, and reproductive rights in general or attacks on specific women who advocate women’s rights, or women in general. Despite occasional efforts by republican writers to deconstruct the term by claiming it is only aimed to those who oppose abortion rights the truth is that the Republican candidates have not really helped that effort.
Despite the Female Fact[Her]’s clear aim and campaigning efforts it has certain flaws that cannot be ignored; from the very simple one that is the graphics with no substantial evidence or sources to more complicated issues like the fact that it is an initiative created by mainly white higher middle class women focused on the same group. The campaign claims that women are not marginalised economically depended as 70% of all mother with children under 18-year old work. Yet according to the US Department of Labor this percentage refers to “married mothers – spouse present.” On healthcare issues it is more than evident that this campaign tries to prove that the Affordable Care Act, which has given affordable access to healthcare to unprivileged citizens, is not effective for women as there are other illnesses more deadly to women than ie cervical cancer. Yet the Affordable Care has not only lowered costs for women’s healthcare but has given them more healthcare choices, which is a positive step for women to reclaim and be responsible for their own bodies. Although last Tuesday the US Supreme Court decided ruled the controversial Texas abortion law as unconstitutional Texas under the leadership of the Republican Party has become one of the strictest laws aimed at women’s healthcare.
The Red State Women in a tough period for the Republican Party are trying to turn the public eye and the American voters away from women’s issues with initiatives that are superficial to say the least. Relying on one-sided facts they are trying to turn the public eye away from the equality struggle. Regardless their organised and targeted campaigning their efforts are futile as they ignore a large portion of the American public.