by Tina Henold
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped in it again last week when she characterized Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as someone who is involved with beating women. During a round table discussion on women’s issues at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, she stated, “Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality.” She went on to add, “What Republican Tea Party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch.” As the Chair of the DNC, I would think that Ms. Schultz would be more careful with her choice of words and she would have the best interest of her party in mind when she speaks publicly as THE Representative for the Democratic National Committee, but apparently she and I think differently.
While it isn’t easy for me to lay politics aside, this is one of those situations where it is necessary to do so because Ms. Schultz appears to be speaking for women as a whole-regardless of party affiliation. She may be addressing Democrats, but her statements make one wonder if she thinks she is the unofficial spokeswoman for women in general. She is adamant, she is direct, and she is seemingly sure of herself and what she is saying. However, she does not speak for me nor do I know any woman for whom she speaks.
The root of all of this is the so-called “War on Women” (insert dramatic music here). I hear about this war on a daily basis. Granted, it is usually some talking head babbling about a policy he or she wants implemented, but the heads are quick to remind all who will listen about this horrible war that is being waged on women of all parties, all social standings, and all religions. We are lumped together in some abstract group with which somebody has declared war. Who declared the war? Where is the battle field? Where are the soldiers who are bravely fighting this grotesque war on women? Why am I not battle hardened to this war? The answer to the last question makes the others of no consequence. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is no war on women. It is a sound bite, a means to raise money, a phrase to whip women (pun intended) into a door-knocking and voting frenzy.
As a woman who has been around the political block as well as many other blocks, I absolutely detest any statement said by any person of any party which assigns me victim status. The DNC Chair claims that a man can just grab us (collectively) by the hair and drag us where we don’t want to be. Before we delve any deeper here, please allow me to make some disclaimers. I understand that this kind of behavior happens on a daily basis in some homes across this great nation. My comments are not intended to make light of the countless women who endure such treatment from a person who claims to be a man but is instead a cowardice and pathetic excuse for a human being. Let me be clear-I am speaking for me in my personal situation. I do not claim nor do I want to be burdened with the job of being a spokeswoman for all women. That being said, ANY man who decides to grab me by the hair and drag me somewhere had better pray he never sleeps because his below the belt region would be the recipient of a swift and violent attack perpetrated by a crazed woman (that would be me) with one of those cast iron skillets from days gone by.
Comments like the comments Schultz made do make light of the women who are in some cases forced to deal with domestic violence as part of their “regular” lives. To use such words to describe a public figure with whom she disagrees is both disgusting and in poor taste. The irony of this whole situation is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz clearly does not understand the heartache and oppressed lives some women lead. As a woman, one would think that she would at least try to understand. The question is this: Does she want to understand or is making political hay more important? Maybe I am wrong. Perhaps there is a War on Women. If so, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a commander in the army.
NOTE – Ms.Wasserman Schultz later backed away from her comments. As part of her heart-felt apology, she stated, “I shouldn’t have used the words I used,” Wasserman Schultz said, “but that shouldn’t detract from the broader point that I was making….”
I rest my case.
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