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A Putrid Misogyny

by GAIL DINES

Ever since Rush let out his true feelings about women as “sluts” and “prostitutes” – and  inadvertently revealed his porn use – the media and blogosphere has been alive with discussions about the Republican “war on women”. You have to hand it to these Republican fools, they do seem to be getting themselves into trouble a lot lately with their inability to mask their putrid misogyny. Yes, there is a war on women, but is it is not just the Republicans who have been waging this.

What gets less air time is the never-ending war that both Democrats and Republicans have been waging against women with policies that create an economic climate that makes women and children’s lives intolerable. Cutting education, healthcare, and welfare programs always hurts women and children the most.  And while we are at it, we may as well admit that most men aren’t having such a wonderful time either, as they struggle to survive in a society where the rich seem to have limitless greed and a blood lust for destroying the lives of those of us who don’t have a country club membership.

Yes, I am enraged when the ridiculous right come out with new and improved statements about women being wanton whores and all, but I can’t help having a grudging admiration for the Republicans because what they are doing makes good political sense. Creating media distractions is not a new strategy.  In the past, the demonization of African Americans has been an excellent way to get the white working class to vote against their class interests.  Who can forget
Ronald Reagan’s  “welfare queen” speeches, or George H. W. Bush’s Willy Horton rampage?  Those in power will do whatever it takes to get the working
class to take their eyes off the rich, and if this means holding up an entire race as the cause of America’s problems, then so be it.

And now it is women’s turn. With our insatiable sexual appetites, our fondness for aborting “unborn children”, and our love of reproducing outside of state sanctioned marriage, we are, it seems,  slowly but surely destroying everything that made this country great.  The social conservatives are doing their buddies,
the fiscal conservatives, a great service here because the latter get to carry on stealthily dismantling this country piece by piece, while the media spend time talking about whether women are indeed sluts!

My solution is that all women should admit that we are indeed wanton for having a vagina, and then insist that the media move on to discuss the way the elite, who control both the Democratic and Republican parties, are destroying this country. We should refuse to play their game by defending ourselves against stupid, adolescent slurs, and instead redefine the problem. And the problem is that women have to live in a male dominated society that systematically and willfully denies them a life of economic, political and sexual equality. Things may get a bit worse under the Republicans, but let’s not forgot that is was Bill Clinton who spearheaded the assault on welfare mothers, while of course, busy spilling his semen into the lap of a woman young enough to be his daughter.

I am so happy that Rush seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but please don’t let us squander this moment by focusing just on his sex-baiting slurs. We need to think bigger and bolder than this, and push for a more politically ambitious goal of redistributing wealth and power. We should never, ever have to beg men for our rights, and the only way to put an end to this, is to dismantle the racist, sexist, capitalist structures that still dominate America.

GAIL DINES is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. Her latest book is Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality (Beacon Press)


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