STRONG WOMEN

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What is it that makes some conservative men react so negatively to strong women?  One is inclined to think only extreme hate—or fear—could produce such contempt and belittling of women who dare to assert themselves.  Or, maybe their attitude is merely an outgrowth of ignorance and insecurity due to inevitable changes in culture as history moves on.

Case in point: Mitch McConnell’s truly deplorable silencing of Elizabeth Warren on the floor of the Senate as she tried to read into the record a letter written by a (female) civil rights icon.  He then showed his true colors as he said not a word when several male senators read into the record that exact same letter!

Does the word hypocrisy come to mind at all?

The Republican Party is not without its share of strong women.  Susan Collins and Nicole Wallace, for instance.  But mostly Republican men seem to honor only strong women who assume a “proper” female role: supporting a man from a clearly subordinate position.  Women like Nancy Reagan and Ann Romney—proper students of Phyllis Schaffly.

The usual attack leveled at a woman who dares to take a stand on some social or political issue is to belittle, to disparage with contempt.  They hold up to ridicule some aspect of her appearance (her preference for pantsuits) or use a silly nickname (Pocahontas) to demean her as a person.  These are the tactics of weak men, of bullies.

Such men would, if they could, turn us back the 1950s—if not, indeed, to the 19th Century.  The 1950s.  That’s when Rosie the Riveter was told to put down her wrench, go back to the kitchen, and let the big, brave man handle things again.  Trouble was Rosie would not—or could not—just go back to the bad old days.

Few would want her to now.  After all, women account for a huge percentage of the America’s work force today.  It is highly unlikely that those “persistent” women will just sit down and shut up.

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