Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Other Problem With the Term "War Against Women"

I'm deeply opposed to the GOP dragging this country back 60 years as if things really were better when the only people who could get ahead in society were able straight white cisgender men of means.

But "war against women"? I have a few problems with that term, in case it wasn't already abundantly clear.

But this time around I'd like to focus on the use of the word "war" here. I can't help but think it is dangerous that we'd frame this dissolution of liberties as a war.

Let's look at other "war against" phrases: The war against terror. The war against drugs. The war against pornography. The war against poverty. The war against alcohol.

There is no doubt that these so-called wars were declared by politicians with a sincere if misplaced concern about real social issues. But there should also be no doubt that when you call efforts to improve social issues a war, you make people defensive, and they start looking for enemies. It's rather hard to build common ground when stuck in an us-versus-them mentality. Unfortunately, that mentality appears to be ancient. Fortunately, it also appears to be flexible if we allow ourselves that flexibility.

What we should be doing is ridiculing anyone who thinks that holding back well over 50% of the population--cisgender women, transgender women, trans men, genderqueers, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, people of color, people of disability, the impoverished, and those deprived of education--is anything other than a pathetic attempt to cover up their goddamn insecurities. In the long term everyone benefits when everyone can benefit.

That's not a war. That's common sense.

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