Obama on Equality for Women



The right is not known for its record of promoting or esteeming (other than objectifying) women. Ersatz leader, philosophical guru and GOP Cultural Minister Rush Limbaugh is known for his scathing insults toward Women’s Lib and to women in general.Theirs is a role of subservience to men and we’d`all be far better if women would only learn their place.

Limbaugh’s views on woman’s place in society are clearly illustrated by an anecdote he shared in ‘The Way Things Ought To Be,” penned by Rush in 1992.

One of my fabulous routines concerns a San Francisco men’s club which lost its battle to exclude women from membership. The courts ruled that they had to admit women on the basis that businesswomen were being unfairly denied opportunities to do business. This is specious. How much business did women think they were going to get as a result of forcing their way in?

Anyway, after one year, the female members demanded their own exercise room. They were probably tired of being ogled by a bunch of slobbering men while they pumped iron in leotards and spandex. The men offered to install the first three exercise machines in the women’s new workout room. The ladies were thrilled. When they arrived on that first exciting day they found, to their stunned amazement, a washing machine, an ironing board, and a vacuum cleaner. Heh, heh, heh. (p.142-45)

I thank my lucky stars that at least on this issue, reason reigns in the Obama administration. Despite crises both domestic and international, President Obama today still found time to observe Women’s History Month, celebrated each March. In the president’s weekly radio address, Mr. Obama said,

Women are still more likely to live in poverty in this country,” the president said in his weekly radio address.

Noting areas like mathematics and engineering, where women were vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts, Obama observed,

This is especially troubling, for we know that to compete with nations around the world, these are the fields in which we need to harness the talents of all our people. That’s how we’ll win the future.

One of Obama’s first acts as president was to approve legislation permitting women who allege salary discrimination to air their claims in court.

He expressed disappointment that the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill designed to eliminate pay inequities between genders  had failed in the Senate.  He promised, however, not to give up on the reforms contained in the bill.

“Achieving equality and opportunity for women isn’t just important to me as president,” Obama said. “It’s something I care about deeply as the father of two daughters who wants to see his girls grow up in a world where there are no limits to what they can achieve.”

Now, I don’t have daughters. But I do have a wife, sisters and a mom. Each is smart, talented, nurturing, loving, dedicated, hard working and deserves every courtesy, benefit and right extended to men. When we treat women like second class citizens, it diminishes us as a nation. After watching the struggle of women in America, I find it difficult to fathom how Neanderthals like Limbaugh have a platform from which they can spew their hate and even harder to understand how such views find fertile ground.

Thank you again, Mr. President.

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