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Female GOP legislator: Republicans need to 'bring it down to a woman's level'

Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina told a panel of conservatives last week that the way to help win against the Democratic narrative of the GOP 'war on women' was to bring down policy discussions to a woman's level.
U. S. House of Representatives, Wikimedia Commons

There's nothing like clawing at the glass ceiling of true gender equality with a woman who doesn't believe women are as intelligent as men, but that's the kind of equality representation you get with North Carolina congresswoman Renee Ellmers. She thinks that the reason the Republican Party isn't connecting with women voters like Democrats might be due to the way politicians in the GOP present their arguments. In a panel discussion last week on what should be done to combat allegations of the GOP's "war on women," Ellmers said that Republicans need to dumb down their message to women.

Slate reported July 15 about a much-underreported report out of Washington concerning a "war on women" strategy session sponsored by the House's conservative caucus. The panel convened to brainstorm ideas about how to best combat the Democratic Party's narrative that the GOP has been conducting a systematic and ongoing "war on women." They decided that it wasn't GOP policies that were turning women voters away but their "messaging" that was lacking, and they needed a way to make GOP positions more acceptable to women voters.

Rep. Renee Ellmers agreed, according to the Washington Examiner, stating, “It’s how we are able to articulate ourselves — make sure we get the point across that we care.”

She went on to say that policy discussions were just too complicated for women to understand.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers told the panel. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”

She concluded: “We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go."

So it's as easy as that. Since women aren't intellectually capable of following policy discussions or understand what the different colors on a pie chart represent, the Republican Party, in order to appeal to more women voters, need to bring it down to a woman's level. That is to say, they need to dumb it down.

Apparently, the North Carolina congresswoman did not exactly comprehend the full meaning of the words that came out of her mouth. Or, if she did, it is unclear if Rep. Ellmers was using herself as an example.

(One might want to ask about now: Whatever happened to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's call for the GOP to stop being the "party of stupid"?)

Still, her words were spoken like a true representative of a state where its legislature has still not seen fit to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, even though it was given over to the states for ratification back in 1972.

The problem with the GOP's disconnect with women might not actually be that women are trending to vote more independently or liberally because they cannot understand graphs and pie charts and all that complicated policy stuff. The problem the GOP could very well be facing is that all those women voters turned off by the "war on women" slate of issues where Republicans seem to be attacking their individual liberties and constitutional rights is that they very much do understand the policy issues (not to mention all those visual aids as well). And in understanding and fully comprehending what the GOP is doing, women are finding it more and more difficult to align themselves with a political party that sees them as inferior.

With political representatives like Rep. Renee Ellmers to help women in their move toward equality under the law, it could be a while before the gender gap closes, because with people like her working on the "messaging," the Democrats don't really need a narrative. Sometimes the "war on women" is an inside job.

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