Stealth Misogyny: Bush?s War on Women

| March 24, 2003

?All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,? wrote George Orwell in Animal Farm, thus inspiring the archetype of the sexist pig. Secretary of Education Rod Paige took a similar stance recently when he pledged his support for Title IX?a law mandating equity for women in public education?then later proposed guidelines allowing ?a reasonable variance.? If implemented, such changes would alter public policy regarding graduate school admissions, scholarships, and university hiring, reports Richard Goldstein in The Village Voice. Yet, Paige continues to commit to Title IX, thus giving ?the impression that he favors equality.?

When it comes to women?s rights, this ?attack-and-cover-strategy? is the modus operandi of the Bush administration. After proclaiming Women?s Equality Day, President Bush drained the funding from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the women?s equity office at the Department of Education. At his senate confirmation hearing, Wade Horn of the Department of Health and Human Services stated he was against promoting marriage via welfare, then, upon appointment, attempted to withhold funds from unmarried mothers and cohabitating couples. Even scarier than the administration?s hypocrisy is its moral superiority. As a physician, Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee member David Hager refused to discuss contraception with unwed female patients and prescribed prayer to remedy PMS. President Bush has refused contraceptive coverage for federal employees.

Why haven?t more Americans expressed their outrage over these attacks? Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women?s Organizations, explains, ?They?re doing it through regs, policy changes, executive orders. All of this under the radar for most citizens.? To learn more, see New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney?s fact sheet about Bush?s global war on women?s rights.
?Erin Ferdinand

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