How to talk

Satirical GOP “how to talk to women” guide mirrors reality for the sexism-plagued party

Here’s something you don’t see everyday: satire so spot-on, it’s actually true.

The satirical video above was made by American Bridge 21st Century, a semi-mysterious progressive PAC that describes itself as “committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions”.

The organization has been pushing this admittedly hilarious parody video, which they are pitching as a “secret Republican training video” to teach much-needed lessons to GOP officials about what not to say about women and their health care. (The group is up-front about the fact that they’re behind the lampoon.)

But here’s the kick: earlier this month Republicans were uncovered to be offering actual lessons on how to speak with women. As reported by Politico:

“The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it’s meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say — or not to say — on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman.

Speaker John Boehner is serious, too. His own top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female constituents.

‘Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn,’ said a Republican staffer who attended the session in Boehner’s office.”

The Party has also seen its efforts to woo women voters profiled in the New York Times. While it’s no secret that the Republicans have a gender problem (and with good reason), it’s still sort of shocking to see the layers of travesty we’ve reached: these days, even the most extreme satirical scenarios mirror the GOP’s farce-filled reality. Amazement aside, I find the video funny and effective at getting its point across, as it engulfs modern day GOP head scratchers such as Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” misadventure into 1950’s style narrated lessons on what-not-to-do’s. Do check it out.

Also, it’s worth saying again every time we bring up this topic: the GOP definitely has a problem when it comes to its gender politics. But calling this a “war on women” leaves a lot of people out (especially relevant in light of the ongoing #DearCisFeminism conversation happening on Twitter this week).

I have been unable to find a transcript for the video, but if anyone is able to leave on in comments it would be much appreciated.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • Laura

    Hey, I put together a transcript for the video if anyone is looking for one:

    Announcer: Congratulations! You’re running for office as a member of the Grand Old Party! Did you know that the 19th Amendment guarantees women the right to vote? And sometimes, they even try to run for office. Fancy that! But don’t worry, the GOP is here to help you! Can you spot what our friend Todd does wrong?

    Todd Akin: From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, uh, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

    Announcer: (laughs) No, it’s not that he tried to explain science to their female lady-brains. Keep watching old Dick here.

    Richard Mourdock: Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is, uh, something that God intended to happen.

    Announcer: Didn’t catch it? When talking about taking away a woman’s right to choose, don’t say “rape.” Try using a more pleasant euphemism, like “method of conception.” Watch how Paul does it.

    Paul Ryan interviewer: …want to know exactly where you stand, specifically when it comes to rape, and, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped.

    Paul Ryan: Well I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and, um, I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.

    Announcer: Forced ultrasounds? (chuckles) That sounds scary! So reassure women that it’s not that bad.

    Scott Walker: I’ve said, you know, to me, uh, I don’t have a problem with ultrasounds.

    Reporter: …making them watch, and uh, seeing, did that go too far?

    Tom Corbett: Uh, I don’t know how you’d make anybody watch. (clears throat) Okay? ’cause you just have to close your eyes.

    Announcer: And women love a good sense of humor. Try a joke.

    Chris Christie (to audience member): You know, somethin’ may go down tonight, but it ain’t gonna be jobs, sweetheart. (crowd whoops)

    Scott Brown radio interviewer: Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren’s comment about how she didn’t take her clothes off?

    Scott Brown: (laughs) Thank God! (both laugh)

    Announcer: And if worse comes to worst, just lie!

    Paul Ryan interviewer: You voted against that act, didn’t you?

    Paul Ryan: Right, yes, and so you know, Lily Ledbetter was not an equal pay law.

    Announcer: So remember, you don’t need to change your conservative views just because women voters find them horribly offensive. Just change how you talk about them! Now go out there and get those dame votes!