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 a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

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

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