The Democrat cry in 2012 that Republicans were waging a "War on Women" was, of course, an obvious lie. "War on Abortion" would have been more accurate, but only marginally so since most national Republican politicians would rather avoid the issue entirely.
Still, repeat a lie often enough and many accept it as true. The Left gleefully cited polls showing a majority of Americans had fallen for their propaganda, and on November 2, Mr. Obama won the only poll that matters.
Since then, the Republicans have been consumed with handwringing, with most pundits arguing that, to win power again, the GOP must move left and abandon the culture war. Abortion, homosexual "marriage," general debauchery - it's all part of the culture now, no point in fighting a lost cause.
In short-term politics, they may have a point, although America has been getting more conservative on the subject of abortion over the last few decades. However, "war on women" polls don't show that the conservative cause is lost, any more than they prove the reality of the bogus "war on women." All they prove is that Republicans have been doing a lousy job of arguing the merits of their side, which any literate person has known for a long time.
Which is a shame - because the real war on women has been waged by the left, in large part by women themselves.
From the early days of the feminist movement, most of the banner carriers argued for women's equality. A women was said to be the equal of any man, if not better.
The problem is, the whole concept of broad-based gender equality simply false. Women may very well be equal to men in many ways, such as intelligence and academic ability. Individual women may also equal or exceed men in specific areas; professional WNBA players could no doubt dribble rings around your humble correspondent and most of them could outshoot the President of the United States.
Anyone who thinks that, on average, women are the equal of men overall is quite simply insane. It is a plain fact that the average woman is smaller and weaker than the average man. This makes no difference to her ability to sit in front of a desk and type into a computer. But when it comes to highly physical tasks like fireman, cop, or soldier, physical strength is literally a matter of life or death.
Is pushing women into jobs for which they are fundamentally, visibly, and inherently inferior a good idea? No, and it would be a bad idea even if no lives depended on it.
When a weaker, slower soldier is more likely to get killed than a bigger, faster one; when a weaker, slower fireman is more likely to succumb to smoke inhalation and get incinerated than one more physically fit; when a weaker, slower police officer is more likely to be overpowered by a burly thug - then pushing women into these roles shows a positive contempt for them. You might almost say it's a death wish. Why, when the Left has argued about the evils of the military for decades, is putting women in harm's way such an overpowering goal? It's madness!
The inherent physical limitations of women are not the only problem. As much as feminists would like to pretend otherwise, women also carry the entire physical burden of pregnancy, and thus the majority of the potential downside to sex.
It doesn't matter how many laws are passed or how strict child-support enforcement becomes; men will never be able to carry child-related burdens as mothers do. Traditional social mores recognized this fact by condemning men who "behaved dishonorably" to women, requiring marriage of any man who fathered a child, and ostracising those who failed to live up to their "familial duty."
These concepts have been cast aside, and fatherless children aren't the only ones who pay the price. Thanks to the modern miracle of birth control, it has become possible for sex to be decoupled from childbearing. Up until around 1950, this simply wasn't so: if you had sex on a regular basis, a baby was virtually certain to result almost as surely as night follows day.
The Pill offered women the ability to choose relief from the tyranny of pregnancy and childbirth, but it didn't change human nature. The vast majority of women still want to have babies just as the vast majority of men still want to have sex more frequently than is physically possible. The trouble is that under the old rules, men bore equal social responsibility for their offspring which at least tried to balance the heavier physical burden borne by mothers.
Today, thanks to the Pill which the woman chooses to take or not to take and to judges who've ruled that a woman may have an abortion regardless of the wishes of the father, a woman controls reproduction. The man has nothing to do with it - if she doesn't want kids, she can prevent them medically, or even via abortion regardless of his wishes.
That being so, why should a man take any responsibility for children he doesn't want? The woman didn't have to give birth; if she had the baby, it was entirely her own choice. Why burden him with something totally out of his control?
We see the logical consequence: overwhelming numbers of single mothers and increasing hordes of footloose men who enjoy all the benefits of sex while paying none of the price. We even see relationships where the women are expected to contribute equally financially while also bearing all the child-related risks.
How is this an improvement in the status or situation of most women? Sure, elite females now can be captains of industry, and for the 0.00000001% of women who get to be CEO of HP, Yahoo, or eBay, life is good.
For almost everyone else, though, the situation has gotten worse. Children get less parenting and modern women report themselves to be far more stressed than in times past. According to self-reports, women are even more stressed than men. This makes sense: today's woman has to be responsible for taking care of the kids and bringing home a significant portion of the bacon, whereas her grandmother was only burdened with the former. As the Wall Street Journal put it:
Women's stress is rising as families rely more on women's earnings.
The Left loves to demonize conservatives as wanting to return to the 1950s, if not the 1850s. As ever, that's a lie; nobody wants to lock black Americans up under Jim Crow again much less slavery and nobody believes that women should be forbidden to work if that's what they want to do.
It's entirely different to wish for a world where mothers didn't have to work to keep their family fed; where fathers were expected to marry the mothers of their children and be there for their kids. We should be able to wish men were subject to public shaming if they didn't uphold their kids and where most children were raised in a solid, intact, biological family structure. Even leftist researchers admit that living in a single-parent home doubles the odds of a seriously bad outcome:
Twenty-five percent of youths from divorced families in comparison to 10 percent from non-divorced families did have serious social, emotional, or psychological problems... Boys raised in a single-parent household were more than twice as likely to be incarcerated, compared with boys raised in an intact, married home... One-third of girls whose fathers left the home before they turned 6 ended up pregnant as teenagers, compared with just 5 percent of girls whose fathers were there throughout their childhood.
Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for all the individual trees of talking-points, pat phrases, and political slogans. What conservatives need to ask is: Women of America, is your home life happier and more stable than your great-grandmother's? And then: are we heading in the right direction, and which party wants us to go ever further down this road?
If conservatives would say that, the true reality of the War on Women - or maybe we should say, the War on Womanhood - will be a lot more clear.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.