Friday, February 26, 2016

GOP Candidate John Kasich’s Comments and How This Isn’t New to United States Politics

Courtney Lynch 2/26/16

GOP Candidate John Kasich’s Comments and How This Isn’t New to United States Politics

John Kasich, a current Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election and current governor of Ohio, recently made a comment at one of his rallies that caused an uproar across the nation. His comment stemmed from his conversation on a previous campaign for state legislature from 1978, where he claimed that he was elected into office at such a young age due to his “army of supporters.” However, he then stated that among his supporters were women who “left their kitchens” to campaign on his behalf. Now, this comment can obviously be seen as one of misogynistic interest, especially seeing that it is coming from a GOP candidate who has in the last week signed a bill that will defund Planned Parenthood in the state that he governs. Backlash came upon him almost immediately, as a woman who attended the rally questioned Kasich about his remark:
"First off, I want to say your comment earlier about the women coming to support you? I'll come and support you, but I won't be coming out of the kitchen.” Kasich responded with a simplistic, “I got you,” and the rally carried on.
Now some can say that his comment wasn’t an attack on what the status of the modern day woman should be in the United States, rather than a remembrance of how the times were back then, when many women did in fact stay at home. Nevertheless, this definitely isn’t the first time that a male politician has made unfavorable and invalidating comments towards women in their public rallies, interviews, speeches and statements. Whether it be former Republican Congressman Todd Akin making his incredibly dismissive and misinformed comment on the female anatomy in 2012; "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” or Wisconsin State Senator’s very insightful comment and concept referring to his vote that would repeal an equal pay law devised to go against income discrimination between men and women;
“Money is more important for men. Take a hypothetical husband and wife who are both lawyers. But the husband is working 50 or 60 hours a week, going all out, making 200 grand a year. The woman takes time off, raises kids, is not "go go go." Now they're 50 years old. The husband is making 200 grand a year, the woman is making 40 grand a year. It wasn't discrimination. There was a different sense of urgency in each person.”

While these are two more current examples of what two men think women are capable of and want within their own lives, male opinion of women and the issues that women face has always been prevalent in United States politics, and can be traced back to the likes of the ‘Founding Fathers’. Thomas Jefferson made many public quotes on his opinion of women, including themes that are still commonplace within recent history, such as “how women should dress and appear.”
"Nothing is so disgusting to our sex as want of cleanliness and delicacy in yours." Thomas Jefferson once stated (As cited in Nock, 1966, p. 59). He also once stated, as cited in Miller, 1995, p. 184, “The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor I.”
To women in the 21st century, these dated comments may not seem as decrepit as they actually are. Kansas Republican state senator Mitch Holmes recently stated some very controversial opinions on how women in political office should dress, and established an “11-point dress code that explicitly prohibits women from wearing low-cut blouses and certain skirt lengths when addressing the Senate committee.” When asked if Senator Holmes believed that men in political office should have a dress code, he thought about it, but then decided against it, stating, “[he felt] men didn’t need any instruction on how to look professional.” Thank you, Senator Holmes, us women do indeed need instruction from you so badly. However, it seems as you may need some yourself.
Women facing comments made by male politicians at this point is just so commonplace that it has become something that seems accepted. It has to have been, if the themes of conversation from the 1700’s can be carried on into present day.