“Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.” –Bernard Baruch
I write this letter in response to an article published by Mr. Cameron Yudelson in the last issue of The Quindecim titled “Why does the GOP hate women?”
I would first like to ask a rhetorical question directed at those who echo the preposterous claim that the Republican Party hates women. Does the Obama White House “hate” women? Obviously, the answer is no; however, here are two examples that would oppose the obvious answer. Anita Dunn, former White House Communications Director under President Obama, stated that “looking back, this place [The White House] would be in court for a hostile workplace… Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.” Another instance in the Obama White House: Christina Romer, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers, stated, “I felt like a piece of meat.”
After reading Mr. Yudelson’s article in the The Quindecim, I asked myself, “How can it be possible that the Republican Party, in which women make up 48 percent, ‘hates’ women?” How can it be possible that the Republican Party “hates” women when they themselves passed the 19th Amendment—making it legal for women to have the right to vote—after the proposal was shot down numerous times by Democrats? It is not possible, and to think that it is, is to be misinformed. One lie often repeated by liberal Democrats is that if you are pro-life, you are anti-woman. It is foolish to claim that men and women who oppose abortion—because of religious beliefs or simply they do not agree with the practice—oppose women’s rights.
In an interview, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (House Republican Conference Chair) stated, “It doesn’t fit the narrative that Democrats like to put forward. There are almost as many Republican women in leadership as Democrats, and there are more Republican women governors than Democratic women governors, more Republican lieutenant governors.” After speaking with her office, I was informed that Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers, who co-sponsored H.R. 465 “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2015,” has been a champion of modernizing the workforce to ensure women have the options and flexibility to support their families while leading successful careers.
The following is my response to the three quotations from Mr. Yudelson’s article, “Why does the GOP hate women?”
1) “Women working full-time in the U.S. earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar men earn, according to the Census Bureau.”
There are different ways to analyze the gender wage gap, some methods better than others. Mr. Yudelson was correct that the U.S. Census Bureau data stated that women make 77 cents for every dollar men earn. However, his method of choice is less accurate than others because it does not account for numerous factors. In addition, Democrats, the far left and President Obama tend to follow up with, “Women deserve equal pay for equal work,” in an attempt to gain support. The initial statistic is very different from those who say women make 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men. This rhetoric is misleading because the initial statistic shows the difference of median earnings among men and women who work full time.
When trying to find the actual wage gap between men and women, we must look at numerous factors that the previous statistic does not consider—adjusted. The Institute for Women’s Policy looked at pay gaps across the top 20 occupations for women in 2011: “Nurses (96 cents for every dollar) and cashiers (90 cents) were closer than most; accountants (77 cents) and financial advisers (66 cents) were more divergent than most.” They went on to explain that pay gaps are not necessarily the product of discrimination. Historically, men and women have continuously chosen different careers. CONSAD Research Corp found that women disproportionately major in areas that lead to lower paying jobs than men as well as take more time off from work (child care, pregnancy). The U.S. Department of Labor examined more than 50 peer-reviewed studies in 2009. They determined the wage gap “may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”
In addition, the “Equal Pay Act” was passed in 1963 as an amendment to the “Fair Labor Standards Act.” The “Equal Pay Act” requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same work, i.e., equal pay for equal work. In order to make a claim against an employer, the employee must show that they and an employee of the opposite sex are working in the same place, doing equal work and receiving unequal pay. If an employer can prove the wage disparity has a legitimate reason, e.g., that the higher earner has more seniority or more experience, then the claim will be defeated.
Finally, if women did receive unequal pay for equal work and employers could get away with doing so, wouldn’t it make sense for employers to only hire women, because then they would be saving money?
2) “Another example of the GOP’s war on women is exposed in the party’s adamant attacks on the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare].”
Republican opposition to Obamacare is the result of the government rationed health care, loss of liberty to choose whether or not to pay for healthcare, inability to choose provider, policy cancellations, loss of access to specific doctors, etc. Not because they “hate” women.
3) “Republicans even threatened to shut down the government over issues of federal funds to Planned Parenthood.”
There were many issues with the most recent appropriations other than Planned Parenthood. Putting aside the issues, the constitution grants Congress the “power of the purse”—the ability to determine the appropriations for the federal government. Congress submits appropriations to the President. If President Obama were to veto the appropriations bill he received from Congress, he would be “shutting down the government.” Therefore, unless Congress decides not to send appropriations to the President’s desk, Congress cannot in any way “shut down the government.” Thomas Sowell, American economist, social theorist and political philosopher explains that “Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity. Whether [a particular government activity] is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion.” Sowell went on to say that “members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion… the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.”
Peter Cost ’18, President of the Goucher College Republicans, explained, “[The Goucher College Republicans] believe in fiscal responsibility which is incompatible with the affordable care act and funding for Planned Parenthood.” When asked about the claims the article made, Cost responded, “This perpetuated claim that the Republican Party hates women is not only false; it is ignorant.” As a visible leader and advocate for Goucher College Republicans, Cost went on to say, “On behalf of the Goucher College Republicans and the Republican members of the Goucher community, I’m requesting Mr. Yudelson’s apology for his insulting and slanderous statement claiming that due to our political affiliation, we hate the entire female sex. More importantly, I’m requesting Mr. Yudelson personally apologize to the female members of our club for attempting to alienate them. While the Goucher College Republicans are open to other opinions, we do not tolerate deceitful and inaccurate accusations made against us in order to project a political agenda.”
As a Republican, I can say that Republicans and Democrats want the same thing: equal pay for women, to stop sexual assaults, and equal rights for women. If a woman is being paid less in the workforce due to discrimination, we need to hold those wrongdoers responsible. If a woman is sexually assaulted, we need to hold those wrongdoers responsible. If a woman is not being treated equally under the law, we need to hold those wrongdoers responsible.
As a man, a Republican and, most importantly, a loving son and brother of women, I take offense to claims in which I am portrayed in this manner.