Henry Rollins: The GOP's Disdain for Women Is Appalling
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
Only a few short weeks into the new year and the GOP is busy. The president's recent inauguration speech got them all fired up.
Within minutes of its conclusion, the right wing went to work. The speech was "an ode to big government" (sayeth Chuck Krauthammer) and not outreachy enough, to paraphrase John McCain, a maverick whom the American people didn't find to be commander-in-chiefy enough to put in the Oval Office.
Of all people, Newt Gingrich praised the speech. I can't tell you how much it would please me if he wore his underwear outside his trousers in public appearances from now on.
President Obama had the audacity to say the word "gay" during the speech. This particular orientation check got the low-level Obama haters all foamy. But shortly before that he said something that no doubt pricked up the ears of the more historically informed members of the GOP and infuriated them:
...We the people declare today that the most evident of truth, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall...
It wasn't the civil rights reference of Selma or the gay-awareness nod of the Stonewall riots of 1968 that ticked them off; Afrophobia and smearing the queer are always sure fundraisers for the think-tanksters. It was the mention of Seneca Falls.
See also: Here Comes a Regular
The Seneca Falls Convention in July 1848 was one of the first organized meetings of American women on the topic of voting rights and other matters of gender equality. At the time of the two-day event, the Civil War and the resulting 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were years away. Probably none of the women in attendance lived to see the 19th amendment pass in 1920, which would have given them the right to vote.
By mentioning Seneca Falls, the president told all women in America that he acknowledges their struggle. Talk about elections having consequences.