Donald Trumps disdain for women manifests itself in crass braggadocio, while Joe Bidens is in the form of patronizing paternalism
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Women deserve better than Biden
Congratulations to Joe Biden, who may have just set a new record for the worlds fastest flip-flop. On Wednesday, Bidens campaign confirmed that the candidate still supports the Hyde amendment, which stops federal Medicaid funding being used for most abortion services. Less than 24 hours later, following intense criticism from reproductive rights groups and other Democratic candidates, Biden announced he didnt support the amendment, after all.
I cant justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability … to exercise their constitutional protected right [to abortion], Biden said at a fundraising gala on Thursday. The devout Roman Catholic explained that hed changed his longstanding position on the 43-year-old law because banning federal funding for abortion services hadnt, he believed, previously prevented low-income women from accessing the procedure.
There was sufficient monies and circumstances where women were able to exercise that right [to an abortion], women of color, poor women, Biden said. He further noted that the right to an abortion wasnt previously under attack as it is now.
There is nothing wrong with politicians changing their minds; however there is a big difference between genuinely evolving your views and disingenuous flip-flopping. Bidens abrupt reversal on the Hyde amendment would seem to be the latter: women should hold out no hope that Biden will actually act on his new-found beliefs.
Bidens explanation for his U-turn isnt just disingenuous his assertion that the Hyde amendment didnt previously prevent poorer women from accessing abortion services is downright dishonest. There is a mountain of research from both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups showing that the Hyde amendment prevented huge numbers of women from accessing safe and legal abortions. Studies show that the birthrate among women on Medicaid increased by 13% after the amendment was passed, for example. And a 2016 report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion organization, asserts that since 1976 the amendment is responsible for over two million births.
The Hyde amendment hasnt just compelled women to give birth against their wishes; it has killed them. Bidens blithe avowal that there were sufficient monies and circumstances to help poor women access abortions in the past insults the memory of women like Rosie Jimenez, who died because they couldnt afford a safe abortion.
Centrists frequently scold the left for having unreasonable exceptions of politicians, asserting that we shouldnt expect our politicians to be ideologically pure. Thats fair enough, but we should expect our politicians to have a functioning moral compass. We should expect them to take responsibility for their actions and apologize when they are wrong. We should expect them to take womens rights seriously. If Biden had genuinely evolved in his attitudes toward abortion he would have acknowledged the much-documented impact of the Hyde amendment and apologized for supporting it. (Particularly considering that he didnt just support the law, he repeatedly tried to prevent rape and incest exceptions from being added to it.) But Biden seems to be allergic to taking responsibility I make no apologies for my last position, he announced on Thursday.
Biden has demonstrated time and time again that he doesnt take womens rights seriously, that he doesnt take women seriously. Hes declined to take any real responsibility for how he handled Anita Hills testimony against Clarence Thomas, for example. And hes treated allegations of unwanted touching as one big joke. He presents himself as the anti-Trump but the reality is that Trump and Biden are two sides of the same misogynistic coin. Trumps disdain for women manifests itself in crass braggadocio, Bidens in patronizing paternalism. Women should cut Biden no slack just because he isnt Trump: we deserve far better.
My wiiiiiiife, I love my wife
Its been a big week for Internet Wife Guy analysis, with New York Magazine, the New York Times, and the New Yorker all weighing in on the phenomenon. A Wife Guy, for those who arent Extremely Online, is someone who has crafted a personal brand by posting a lot of Wife Content. According to the Times the identification and mocking of wife guys evidences a mild discomfort with the tradition of marriage itself [but is also] a specific reaction to marriage in its current form, as a highly individualized pursuit in which a man may express his purest self.
Japans painful high heel debate
Japans health and labour minister, Takumi Nemoto, has said that it is necessary and appropriate for women to wear high heels at work. Nemotos remarks were in response to a campaign called #KuToo, that asks the government to ban employers from forcing professional women to wear heels. I reckon Nemoto should be forced to wear stilettos for a week and see if he still feels the same.
Some morons in Boston are planning Straight Pride
The organizers arent just attention-seeking homophobes, theyve also got worrying ties to white supremacist groups.
Australian female soccer players score a pay victory
Theres a huge gender pay gap in professional sports, however some progress is slowly being made to fix it. On Friday, the Football Federation Australia announced that professional women soccer players will get the same base pay as men. Meanwhile, in America, the US womens national team is suing US Soccer for years of institutionalized gender discrimination.
The quilts that made America quake
I had the privilege of interviewing Faith Ringgold, a true feminist icon, recently for the Guardian. If youre in London, do go check out her new exhibition at the Serpentine.
Killing the crazy cat lady
We all know the crazy cat lady trope; it has stubbornly persisted for centuries. However a new book called Girls and Cats aims to modernize the stereotype, and make cat ladies cool. Sounds like the purrfect way to fight meowsogyny.
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