The Good Ol’ Boys?

The Good Ol’ Boys?

Though we’re still 8 years shy of the centenary of women’s right to vote, a lot has changed. No candidate, male or female, Republican or Democrat, can hope to win elected office without winning over a few women. While women have historically sided with the Democrats (like the rest of the poor), many who have historically voted Republican are finding themselves without a candidate. The flap about insurance coverage for contraception has triggered incendiary comments from right-wing notable Rush Limbaugh—comments that failed to elicit condemnation from any of the Republican front runners.

While Mitt Romney is catching flack for failing to repudiate Limbaugh’s comments, Catholic Rick Santorum faces his own challenges. The New York Times reports:

Even more than Mr. Romney, Mr. Santorum has made himself a champion of the traditional family with two parents, arguing in speeches that single motherhood increases a child’s chances of poverty and related problems.

The stance particularly vexes Meredith Warren, a Republican strategist in Andover, Mass. “Well, guess what?” she said. “There are a lot of single moms out there.”

The Times quoted another disappointed woman:

“Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election.

For those who thought McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate was evidence of his opinion that one woman was as good as the next, the Republican party isn’t gaining ground. What was once the party of “big business” is rapidly becoming the party of “into everybody’s business.”

Politicians, take note: American women are not the Pill-guzzling, abortion-addicted, one-size-fits-all FemBots you seem to think we are. For many of us, some footnote in the health-care bill is not nearly as big a concern as whether the children we do have will be killed in foreign wars, or be able to afford college, or be able to find a job. As long as my health insurance policy covers Viagra and vasectomies (and where is the brouhaha about that?), I’ll be turning a deaf ear to any deep voices opining on gynecology. Despite what may be your good intentions, gentlemen, it’s not your area of expertise.

Photo courtesy of ambro,


About the Author

Kathleen M. Carroll is the managing editor for the book department at Franciscan Media. She loves reading, gardening, animals, babies, baby animals, and extreme recycling. She is the stay-away-from-home mother to four really good-looking children. And no, she will not read your manuscript.
  • Joseph F Geleney Jr.

    Sorry, Ms. Carroll, but the issue still not about contraception, at least from the Church perspective. It’s about religious freedom. And is part of the Church’s area of expertise.

    • Katie

      Hi Joseph!

      Thanks for the comment! I agree the Church has some legitimate complaints about being required to provide services it finds morally objectionable. I’m simply disappointed in the Republican party’s apparent myopia about central political issues (I will grant Ron Paul an exception here). And with at least ten states already requiring insurers to cover contraception and the imbalanced attention to male vs. female contraception, I don’t see anyone presenting even a consistent message, much less a compelling one.

  • Wbua

    The NY Tmes is Satan’s personal newspaper.They will twist the Democratic Party’s
    -let any perversion ride-into woman’s rights;while being lenient to criminal
    rapists.After the Bill Clinton episode,how can a moralist woman ever consider voting
    for those baby-killers.


  • Mary Hoffmann

    Hi Katie,

    My name is Mary Hoffmann.  I’m just an old maid who never had to worry about contraception. 

    I believe this issue is about both religious freedom and contraception.  Contraception drugs cause the death of human lives which begin at conception.  Human lives that end prior to their full term births are still children. 

    I’m not saying that you personally are in favor of the funding of contraception drugs but while reading your blog I felt it was not high on your priority list.  I think all Catholic media should promote the Catholic Church and bishops’ teachings.  We have an uphill battle for religious freedom and against contraception drugs and abortion.  As you said we need compelling and consistent reasons to support these issues.  So, I think all the Catholic media should support these issues and provide the reasons especially when the political candidates are ineffective. 

  • Katy

    Katie, I couldn’t have said it better myself.  The economic facts about single motherhood may be valid but a lot of highly visible male (mostly GOP) politicians can’t seem to get past the “awkward first school dance” approach to women.  The subjects of human life and sexuality have a clear need for ministry and pastoral care.  But advocates for the church’s position on contraception should either get some male and female lay spokespeople out in the media (who have personal familiarity) or increase focus on male contraception, too (would condoms be part of insurance coverage…?).  Even better, the church should do both.  This is an opportunity for the church (lower case “c,” which is a body of members, not just a group of religious) to educate others on why it believes as it does. 

  • Smartuckus

    Katie,  I think you’re missing the boat on this one.  This isn’t about women’s issues.  It seems you’ve fallen into the liberally contrived trap that seeks to pit men against women and poor against the “wealthy,” also known as those who earn an honest living.  Falling into this trap obscures reason.  For example, concerning Rick Santorum’s statement from your blog: “Santorum has made himself a champion of the traditional family with two parents, arguing in speeches that single motherhood increases a child’s chances of poverty and related problems.”
    That’s a fact; it isn’t an opinion.  It isn’t a slight against women either.  Those who are bothered by a factual statement are usually the types that see bias in everything even where none exists.  This is akin to CRT – what do we have now, Critical Gender Theory?

    All people should be concerned about the footnotes in the “healthcare” mandate.  Abortion is murder – some contraceptives are abortifacients.  The contraceptive mentality led directly to the abortive mentality – as predicted by all those stodgy old conservative men  – the ones who spoke fact yet were slandered as mysoginists.
    When a society doesn’t appreciate life, none are safe, as history has illustrated from time immemorial.

    Should eveyone’s healthcare premiums rise because men want viagra?  I don’t think so.  Let them purchase it themselves.  But two wrongs don’t make a right.  Women want conservatives out of their “bedrooms?”  Fine – then stay out of everyone elses wallets.  Let’s stop murdering innocent unborn children too – they don’t get a choice.

    As a parent my primary concern for my children is their eternal well being.  If we parents emphasize the freedom to contracept and abort over salvation and what it takes to attain it, we are set a bad example for our children.  A rebellious generation begets a revolutionary one.  Is “equality” the real goal, or is it the “pearl of great price?”   Those consigned to Hell are equally damned.  I hope that’s a compelling enough reason to shift focus.