Just came across two articles that I think are pretty good brainfodder if you, like me, anticipate having a lot of discussions with conservative family members in the next year about how great Rick Perry/Herman Cain/Whoever would be for the country, because they both demonstrate–with facts and shit, which I know can be a turn off for most Republicans, but we’re going to get to how you deal with that in a second–just how terrible conservative policies are for women, and in fairly concise terms, too.
Here is what doesn’t work with conservative friends and family members: yammering and stamping your foot about what shitheads Republicans are. Save that for the bar in close company where you can really cut loose and do it justice. Here is what does work: talking about one issue you really care about in terms of how it affects you and why you think it’s important, and coming up with some actual facts about how Republicans/conservatives/Ron Paul is not balling it up for you in this area. The great thing is that when you decide this issue is reproductive and economic justice for women, you get to be someone who cares about just this tiny little niche issue … that affects half the country’s population. You are simultaneously talking about a huge group of people and a group of people that, if pressed, Republicans have to at least pretend to care about.
So, on to the things I want to share. First, there’s this piece by the excellent Sofia Resnick in the American Independent about how Herman Cain’s policies are like, batshit insane and ask poor people (who tend to be women) to pay $2000 more a year in taxes while lowering the tax rate for rich people, who would pay $210,000 less per year in taxes under his “9-9-9” mo’fuckery. Here’s where this piece really shines, though: Resnick walks you through why gendered income disparity is (1) real (2) relevant to tax discussions and then demonstrates, with actual numbers, why Rick Perry and Herman Cain would not do anything to improve the limited progress women have made economically in the past few decades. An excerpt:
Fittingly, the tax proposals released by the leading GOP candidates — Cain, Perry and Romney — disproportionately affect women in the way they raise taxes on lower- and middle-income Americans, eliminate poverty aids and cut child-insurance programs, according to various analyses of the plans and expert input gathered by The American Independent.
Thus far, only Cain and Perry have revealed the most detailed plans, and because women are disproportionately likely to be single parents and to have lower wages, smaller pensions and more medical problems, they are expected to fare worse under these plans than their male counterparts.
Second, there’s this piece from Boston.com about how women in Texas do not have access to the OB-GYN care they need even though Rick Perry said his tort reform initiatives would bring more doctors to areas in need. In fact, they just brought more doctors to areas that already had tons of doctors. An excerpt:
However, medical records in Texas show that of the state’s 254 counties, only 106 have an obstetrician/gynecologist — just six more than in 2003. In Presidio County, which has 8,000 residents and is growing, some of Parsons’ patients move 240 miles away to live with relatives in Odessa or Midland when they become pregnant.
Overall, the increase in physicians in Texas roughly tracked the state’s population growth. Medical rolls increased by 24 percent since 2003, while Texas’ population was soaring by 20 percent during the decade. Texas also saw rapid growth of physicians per capita before tort reform, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Which is a really nice thing to be able to reference when somebody starts in about how Rick Perry is a pro-life hero who just thinks of the children all the doo-dah-day, because clearly Rick Perry is a politician who thinks about his financial backers and only pretends like he gives a shit about pregnant women who need quality care.
So, all you have to do is be like look, my number one issue is the welfare of women in the United States, and here are demonstrable facts about how Republican candidates’ policies do nothing to improve the welfare of women in the United States. And then the person you are talking to has to either tell you to your face that you’re a damned liar who just parrots things the liberal media tells you (the more likely response, which I don’t believe holds up when Republicans go to bed at night and stare up at the ceiling and think about how in their secret heart they know that it is unlikely that the whole of American media besides Fox News is filled with evil Democratic operatives so I think you can kind of get into their brains on this one), or just be like yeah, well, that is not the issue I care about so I am still going to vote Republican, at which time they’re kind of forced to admit they don’t give a fuck about women and are therefore assholes, and they at least know they’re supposed to feel bad about that even if they don’t, actually. Ta-da.