You know what? I’m not trying to let Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “Binder Full Of Women” comments from the second 2012 presidential debate slide. Nope. I mean, Romney’s notion that he was actually doing something when he allegedly had his staff pull together “binders full” of female candidates for positions in his cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts is so outlandish, it’s laughable. Think about it: He’d run his own company for decades and was very much a grown man when he (finally) supposedly made the push to include women. Which basically means that during his entire lifetime up until that very moment, Romney never worked with any women with enough intelligence, leadership and skill to be good enough for a position at his governing table. So he had to tell people to go find them. Marinate on that. (Maybe the women were hiding in the same hole with all the intelligent, talented blacks and Latinos nobody seems to be able to find when it’s time to fill leadership positions. o_O)
But you know what? As it turns out, even Romney’s claim that he searched for qualified women for his cabinet was a bald-faced lie. Apparently, Romney had such a tin ear for the need for gender diversity in his cabinet that a coalition of 40 (!) agencies came together and, according to The Phoenix, did the research, put together those binders, and presented Romney’s administration with the list of women who could get the job done. Romney did not ask anyone to assemble the candidates. The binder was left on his doorstep with urgency from a coalition that was all, “Um, so, where all the women at? What, you can’t find any? Here you go. Get some estrogen in your life.”
That Mitt. He really knows how to tell a story on his feet, doesn’t he? He also has the uncanny ability to not give a damn that it takes all of two seconds to figure out he’s lying. Whoever said that the presidential candidate who lies to you while he’s running for office will lie to you when he’s actually in office is dead right.
But beyond Romney’s lie about his commitment to hiring women for his cabinet, I’m mad that Romney thought he could get away with tossing out that anecdote as an answer to his stance on equal pay for women. The truth is, I’m concerned about how much power he shared with women in his positions of authority, but not as concerned as I am about how much money, autonomy, flexibility and respect he gave, say, his secretary. Did she get a decent salary for her work? Proper maternity leave when she was pregnant, and adequate flex-time so she could take care of her new family? Were her hours conducive to her getting home to her family? And if she did extra, did she get paid extra? Did she have a chance to move up in the ranks if that’s what she wanted? Did he even “see” her? Or was she as unnoticeable and dispensable as, say, the janitor? Did he give a rat’s patootie that the very tax deductions and safety net programs he seeks to eliminate—college tuition, healthcare, medicare, etc.—would raise her taxes and, quite possibly, cripple her ability to make ends meet?
My guess is, hell naw.
So, there we have it. More anecdotes showing just how little Mitt thinks of women. Let’s recap, shall we? As the head of his own company, Bain Capital, and the governor of Massachusetts, he’s done practically nothing to put women in positions of power. He thinks insurance companies should not be required to cover contraception. He’s totally down for eliminating a woman’s LEGAL right to get an abortion, even in instances where she is raped. He wants to eliminate the very tax deductions that basically save the asses of the middle class every April 15th, get rid of Obamacare, which is a dream for those of us who are trying so hard to afford healthcare for our families, and he’d be quite happy to dismantle social net programs that save families from starving and living on these streets. Oh, and let his performance in this week’s debate tell it, he thinks gun violence would be eliminated if more people got married. (But only heterosexuals.) Apparently, we have single moms to blame for all the senseless killing plaguing communities from Harlem to Wichita.
I said it on debate night and I’ll say it again here: Any woman who votes for Mitt Romney, KNOWING his stances on women’s rights, pay, family policies, maternity leave, contraception and tax codes that deeply affect our families DESERVES to suffer. Period. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am raising daughters. And I don’t want to elect to office any man who thinks so little of my gender that he would actively, deliberately put in place legislation that would send us right back to the Stone Ages. Or, my God, the 50s. Mitt’s got 99 problems—and women is one. Hit me.
Read more on the issue from these amazing voices from around the web:
Mitt’s Binders and the Missing Women (The New Yorker)
The Difference Between Equity and Binders Full of Anybody (Colorlines)
Why Do Americans Hate Poor People So Bad? (The Black Feminista)
Michelle Obama Pens An Open Letter To Women (Elle)
Tagg Romney Invested in Ohio Electronic Voting Machines (!!!!!) (Politicol News)
Millionaire Ann Romney and the Fake Mommy Wars: What We Moms REALLY Want (MyBrownBaby)
Equal Pay For Moms NOW (MyBrownBaby) <– this one is a throwback to a post I wrote in 2010, but I find that it still holds true. Which is the shame of it all.
Do your part, folk: tell everyone you know about how Romney really feels about women. And then vote. Just, stop this Mitt madness and vote. Do what is right for women, for mothers—for our families. Seriously.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.