Since the media has saturated us with “war on women” rhetoric, we should use it to win!
“…we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
The liberal meme of conservatives as sexist, misogynistic barbarians has become well-worn at this point. The left has convinced a great many people that there is a war against women, being waged solely by conservatives. The secret weapon in their armory? The reduction of women from complex human beings into walking reproductive systems. When we compare the rhetoric between the Parties regarding women, we see two very distinct lines, one that draws women simply as Americans, with all the values, and needs of such people, and one that draws them as vagina-warriors, whose sole purpose in life is to protect free contraception, and abortion on demand.
We cannot wipe the “war on women” meme from the collective memories of 300 million people, so what can we do to combat such an entrenched, pervasive lie? We can turn the weapon against its creators, and use it to fight back. At least that’s what (future president) Ted Cruz is doing. At a recent speech at a women’s forum in South Carolina, Ted Cruz grabbed the attention of the audience by turning the war on women rhetoric on its head:
“For the last six years under President Obama, 3.7 million have entered poverty…Under President Obama, the median income for women has dropped by $733. You want to talk about a war on women? That’s a war on women.”
From that point on, he discussed, in great detail, the stories of the three most influential women in his life: his mother, his aunt, and his wife. He painted portraits of real women, women who didn’t have easy lives, who endured difficulty, and who were sometimes engaged in bitter battles with their own demons.
Cruz talked of his mother–one of 17 children–who, despite her father being of the mindset that women didn’t need to be educated, was the first one in her family to go to college. She earned a degree in math, and went on to work as a computer programmer. She married, and had a son, who, only after a few short months, passed away in his bed at night. She married a man who left her when Ted was only three years old. In addition to all of this, she battled her own drinking problem.
Cruz then talked about his wife, Heidi, and how, even at a young age, she started a bread business. She would come home every day, bake bread, and sell it to her neighbors. She was driven.
Cruz then finally talked of his aunt Sonia. Sonia stayed in Cuba after Ted’s father Rafael left, and became a resistance fighter. Sonia would go out at night with other resistance fighters, and set fire to Castro’s sugar cane fields. She was arrested, and tortured as a teenager, before she escaped, and fled to the United States.
Through his speech, Cruz beautifully illustrated the most influential women in his life. These women were not simple, nor easily reduced. By telling these stories about his mother, Heidi, and Sonia, Ted Cruz is defying the alleged conservative war on women. He is taking the reins of the liberal polemic, and turning it to his advantage.
All conservatives need to follow suit. We need to show that we are the all-inclusive movement. We need to show that the policies of the left are harmful to women, as well as all Americans. We need to pull the cloth off of this lie, and expose it to the light of day. Women are more than one thing, women are more than abortion, and women are more than contraception. Women are Americans, and as such, they have universal concerns: When will I find work? How can I help support my kids? How does amnesty affect my life? Is Obamacare really the best way to go? Who is telling me the truth?
We need to push back hard against the alleged war on women, and show just now shallow it is. We need to show women that the left sees them as a means to an end, a voting block, and that conservatives see them as human beings, and Americans. If we follow Ted Cruz’s lead, we can break this meme, and gain momentum going into 2016.