The Obama campaign is launching a concerted effort this week to target women, The New York Times reports. And as long as this isn’t the kind of woman-targeting that involves trying super-hard to sell us yogurt, this seems like great news. Not because we love being focus-grouped, but because we love being listened to. And the fact that Obama’s handlers see an opportunity in this all-too-long conservative War on Women means that we’re winning.
Many have wondered why Rush Limbaugh’s recent attempt at slut-shaming law student/contraception rights superhero Sandra Fluke caused so much uproar. That is, they’ve wondered why this particular “mouth dump,” as Jon Stewart recently called Limbaugh’s regular diatribes, of all his disgusting mouth dumps, got so much attention. Was it because Fluke is a private citizen, as opposed to regular political targets like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton? Maybe. But I suspect it’s because he was calling her a “slut” for wanting basic insurance coverage of contraception, something most women in America want. I think it’s because in calling her a slut, he was calling the vast majority of American women sluts. And we don’t love that.
Ultimately, though, this is a great development. Limbaugh voiced the true thoughts of what many other warriors against contraceptive rights would never actually say. The jig is up: Now we see what many who are fighting against basic birth control really think of us. We’re more outraged, more vigilant, more willing to speak out and donate money to causes and campaigns we believe in. We understand the stakes now, and we’re not going to complacently believe our birth control will always be covered by insurance. We wish we could, because we have other things to worry about, and we sort-of thought we handled this issue a while ago, but so be it.
We’re thrilled that this means we have the president’s attention this election cycle. We should continue to wield all the political and social-networking power that gives us.