The War on the War on the "War on Women"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 13 2012 4:48 PM

The War on the War on the "War on Women"

Ed Kilgore takes issue with my story about the life cycle of the "War on Women" talking point.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

It’s not like any of the raw material Democrats used in talking about a “war on women” has been trashed; new examples are popping up almost daily. Arizona just became the seventh state to enact an abortion ban directly challenging Roe v. Wade, and Georgia will soon become the eighth. The Catholic Bishops just announced a summer campaign to make its attacks on the contraception coverage mandate a matter of existential importance. Mitt Romney is going to have to very conspicuously bend his knee to the Christian Right, with its anti-choice and anti-feminist preoccupations, in choosing a running-mate. The present and perhaps imminent behavior of the Supreme Court could make judicial appointments—and the tenuous nature of reproductive rights—a bigger issue than it’s ever been in a presidential election.
Advertisement

Indeed, and I don't disagree with any of this! In the story, which tracks the various bills and statements and outrages that fed the "War," the reader should grok that the Democrats were not making stuff up. They were just convinced, for a while, that the way to talk about various bills that could hurt poor women was to wrap and tie it all up with one term.

Blue Girl chimes in.

Sorry Dave, but you whiffed this one. One impolitic comment does not a wholesale surrender make, nor does it truncate the actual policies that GOP lawmakers are instituting nationwide to disenfranchise old women at the ballot box and to turn young women who have sex into brood mares. It doesn't undo the attacks on our access to abortion, it doesn't undo the fact that equal pay provisions are being rolled back, that women's jobs have been eliminated at the state and local government level when funding for schools and healthcare are slashed (most teachers and nurses are women) and it doesn't obviate the fact that there are people who, in all plaintive seriousness, want to make contraceptives illegal.

See above re: "Nope." What I was trying to do: Split the talking point from the underlying narrative,* like The Hulk being cleaved from Bruce Banner.

*This is an irritating word, I agree.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.