Carrie Lukas and Sabrina Schaeffer are co-authors of Liberty Is No War on Women, pushing back against some of the more exaggerated and misleading rhetoric this election season. Schaeffer takes some questions from National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: You contend that there is no “war on women” in the United States. If that’s the case, why does the Left seem to think it’s an accusation with traction?
SABRINA SCHAEFFER: There is absolutely no war on women. And the claim that one political party is openly hostile to more than 50 percent of the electorate should strike any reasonable person as absurd. You don’t have to be a political scientist to know that women – single or married, rural or urban, young or old, mothers or childless — are not a homogenous voting bloc.
The reality is the “war on women” rhetoric is a despicable use of gender politics and fearmongering by Democrats to try to shore up a critical constituency — single women — whom the president won by a 45-point margin in 2008. These single female voters are a critical part of the Democratic base, and they are the basisfor Sandra Fluke’s fame, the “Life of Julia” infographic, and the “war on women” narrative.
LOPEZ: How is it “sexist” to argue that there is a war on women? Obviously it comes out of a belief that women should be treated fairly.
SCHAEFFER: The message behind the “war on women” should make women cringe. It assumes that women are inherently less capable than men of learning, working, standing on their own, and caring for their families. Over and over again, women are viewed as damsels in distress in need of a knight on a white horse (read: government) to come in and save them. But I’m pretty sure this is one of those “sexist” ideas our 1960s feminist forebearers were a little upset about. Only now, the paternalistic figure is government rather than a man.
LOPEZ: Does Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment bug you?
SCHAEFFER: Absolutely not. This is just the latest distraction by the Obama campaign, which is desperately trying to hold on to the “war on women” narrative, despite its ineffectiveness.
LOPEZ: Has our understanding of liberty in America changed over history?
SCHAEFFER: Absolutely. Americans have always had conflicting views of liberty. But liberty is not a war on women. And neither is the freedom that choice entails.
Choosing to major in psychology rather than computer science is not an injustice. Choosing to leave work — or work part time — to raise children is not discrimination. And choosing to have a really big soda, to be vegan, to drink raw milk, or eat salty popcorn are all choices a free citizen should have. And history has demonstrated over and over again that when government tries to make choices for us, the outcomes are always worse — worse schools, worse health care, worse economic growth.