June 25th, 2022


GOP takes break from alleged war on women, elects batch of remarkable female leaders

Christine M. Flowers

By Christine M. Flowers

Published Nov. 10, 2014

GOP takes break from alleged war on women, elects batch of remarkable female leaders

Break out the Hershey's bars and nylons: The war on women is over!

Yes indeed, folks, the hostile aggression against 51 percent of the population by that pseudo-cabal of old men, Supreme Court justices (who are old men,) and women who can no longer reproduce is over, and we can celebrate the great electoral victory that has delivered us from Republican evil.

What's that you say? The wrong side won? The GOP vanquished those valiant defenders of our ovaries? Can it be that we are destined to remain in that reproductive, mommy-track bondage that has stripped us of our humanity?

OK, let's not panic. There must be some mistake here, because I was under the impression that some women actually won high elected office. A review of the electoral results should be able to clear this up.

Let's start with the heartland of the country, the place where solid, John Wayne-type values are delivered to the newborn like mother's milk and political careers are launched. It's my impression that Iowa just elected its first female to Congress, a Senator by the name of Joni Ernst. Lt. Col. Ernst is a combat veteran, a mother and a former state legislator with master's degree in public education. You would think that progressives would be thrilled with that example of achievement, right?

And just because she happens to know how to castrate pigs, shoot a rifle and thinks that unborn life is a precious enough commodity to protect by legislation and not the fickle option of the mother, she's still an amazing female role model. So that's one in the "win" column, sisters.

Moving in a southwesterly direction toward the beautiful state of New Mexico, I hear they just re-elected Susana Martinez as governor. Martinez is bilingual, a former district attorney, the proud descendant of Mexican immigrants and has the distinction of being the first Hispanic female governor in the United States. She was also a Democrat until, in 1995, she was struck off of her horse on the way to Damascus (or Santa Fe) and changed her registration to Republican. So you have diversity and accomplishment all rolled into one sabroso package.

Sure, she's in favor of securing the border, having firsthand knowledge of what it's like to live alongside it. Yes, she supported Mitt Romney in 2012, opposes same-sex marriage and thinks that her state's medical marijuana program is a big mistake, but you shouldn't hold that against her, girls. She's one of us, after all, a strong and savvy example of immigrant excellence.

And speaking of immigrants, Nikki Haley of South Carolina was just re-elected to the governor's house in South Carolina. The daughter of Indian Sikh immigrants, she's an accountant who led her mother's family-owned clothing firm into a multimillion-dollar company, was on the board of two chambers of commerce, and served as the treasurer and then president for the National Association of Women Business Owners. She's been a state legislator, a majority whip for her caucus and is the youngest sitting governor in the United States.

And she speaks Hindi.

OK, she welcomed the endorsement from Sarah Palin, and yes, she's supported laws that would have made it much more difficult for a woman to get an abortion in South Carolina, but her record of accomplishment is staggering for someone who hasn't even celebrated her 43rd birthday.

C'mon ladies, this is good stuff!

And I haven't even gotten to the best. Mia Love, former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, was just elected to Congress. She is proof positive that those awful conservatives really don't hate women of color. Here we have a 38-year-old Haitian-American, the child of political refugees whose father was almost murdered by the vicious secret police known as the Tonton Macoute. Love cites this as one of the reasons she is so proud of her native country, its willingness to give her family safe harbor and provide her with opportunities she could never have experienced in the West Indies. Her father once told her that she should never be "a burden to society" but that she should "give back." That's typical of immigrants and in particular, immigrant women.

All right, she's pro-life. And she knows how to shoot a gun, to the extent that her first date with her now-husband was at a shooting range. But this is a sign of strength, ladies. This is the kind of independence we try to instill in our daughters. We want them to think for themselves, right?

Or do we? The day after the midterms, I came across a post on the website Jezebel which essentially blamed young people for not voting and saddling the country with a Republican majority. It was accompanied by a photo of Mitch McConnell hugging Rand Paul with the caption: "We F---ing Did This To Ourselves."

From where I sit, what we did was elect strong, conservative women. But apparently, unless we elect Texas blondes who wear pink sneakers and crusade for abortion rights (which we didn't — shucks) we are still the embattled prisoners of a patriarchal war.

I'm not buying it. Now can you hand me a Hershey's bar?

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Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.