The American public has been bombarded with some truly preposterous claims about what a Romney presidency would look like for women, but Jessica Valenti wrote an outright insane article for the Guardian that I think far surpasses anything I’ve heard or read to date.
Miss Valenti claims to be a feminist–you know, an independent woman who doesn’t need a man–but the headline of her article belies that claim. “Why American women need Obama,” it is obliviously titled.
In the first paragraph, Valenti says that Mitt Romney “barely mask[s] his desire to take women back to the 1950s.” So he masks it, but barely. I suppose the reason I’ve never heard Romney indicate any sort of desire to “take women back” to the 1950s is because he masks it so well…but still barely.
Valenti also says that Romney’s stance on pay equity is to “make sure women can get home in time to cook dinner for their families.” This is in contradistinction to Obama’s stance on pay equity, which is to pay his female staffers 18 percent less than his male staffers. “Forward!”
The most ludicrous claim of Valenti is that “It’s not hyperbole to say that women’s lives hang in the balance.” Yes, actually, it is hyperbole. Spreading fear of a Romney presidency, the fear that women will be killed under his term, is precisely what hyperbole is, in fact. Valenti supports her claim by correctly saying Romney wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned, something he on his own cannot do. But she leaves out the part about Romney wanting abortion laws to be left up to the states–which is all that would happen should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned. This seeming ignorance on Valenti’s part leads her into crazy land and saying that if abortion is outlawed, women will die because they will just abort the babies themselves, inadvertently bleeding themselves out in the process.
“American feminists have had their hands full,” says Valenti. “We’re so busy trying to hold on to the rights we already have that any sort of push for forward-thinking policy and change has been out of the question.” Presumably taxpayer-funded condoms are one of these exalted, “forward-thinking” rights for which Susan B. Anthony fought the patriarchy so fervently.
Without any trace of irony and with an evident lack of self-awareness, Valenti laments, “The future of feminism is at stake.”
The future of feminism is not at stake; by virtue of the fact that a self-proclaimed feminist believes women are so weak and helpless that they need a man from the government to protect them, feminism is already dead, and feminists like Jessica Valenti are the ones who jammed the knife in its back.