Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Where are all the women at? We’re at war. (video)

Women wearing burkas. (Photo Credit: Second City Style.)

No longer just a punchline from Blazing Saddles— “Where are all the women at?” became a rallying cry for feminists across the country when a male-dominated Congressional committee refused to allow women to testify about insurance coverage for birth control.

Two Congresswomen– Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Eleanor Holmes (D-DC)–walked out of the committee hearings because no women were included in the list of wittnesses dominated by male religious leaders. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif) made the now-infamous decision to block Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke from testifying and labeled her an “inappropriate” wittness.

That fateful day in February, the Republican Party’s latest barrage in the War on Women unfolded.

What began as political grandstanding on contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act, snowballed into dozens of invasive, crackpot bills proposed by Republican Legislatures across the country. Requiring women to submit to (and pay for) vaginal ultrasound examinations prior to having an abortion, requiring women to watch an abortion before having one, giving employers the right to deny insurance coverage for contraception based upon any vague “moral” grounds, giving employers the right to question female employees about their contraception usage, defunding Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions… the list goes on.

Couple these bills with the Bible-thumping piety from all of the Republican Presidential candidates, most notably Rick Santorum, and you have a bare-knuckle fist fight over women’s health, contraception, and choice.

Two months into this latest round in the War on Women, the Republican attack on the country’s largest voting block has resulted in an 18-point lead by President Obama among women voters. Obama leads R2publican challenger Mitt Romney 2:1 with women under 50. In this MoveOn.org video, women quote the nonsense the Republicans have been spouting.

On the local level, Republican candidates for CD8 (former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ district) have all jumped on the anti-woman bandwagon–ironically, even Martha McSally. In a recent Arizona Public Media televised debate, candidates Frank Antenori, Jesse Kelly, Dave Sitton, and McSally all agreed that contraception should not be covered by insurance, that a fetus’ life sacred (unlike the lives of people they would bomb), and that women don’t have the right to choose. Senatorial candidate, right-to-lifer, and current Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake–a hardened Teapublican–voted for the Blunt Ammendment which would have vastly expanded conscience exemptions to birth control coverage.

As for the Democrats, Senatorial candidate and former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona has been the most outspoken critic of the Republcan’s wrongheaded fight against women’s health. In a commentary on the Huffington Post, Carmona wrote, “A recent push to block women from getting access to contraception shows the Arizona legislature is not operating from an evidence-based or reality-based point of view.”

Congressman Raul Grijalva and Phoenix-area State Senator and Congressional candidate Kyrsten Sinema also have made strong statements, attacking the Republicans’ War on Women.

In my opinion, the political upshot of the War on Women will be a rebirth of the feminist movement. You can see it on facebook and Twitter; social media has fueled the outrage. Prime examples are the backlash against Rush Limbaugh for his slutty comments about Fluke (and resultant loss of advertisers) and the flood of bad publicity targeting the Komen Foundation when it tried to defund Planned Parenthood (and the resultant fundraising loss to Koman and boon to PP).

You can also see it in the nationwide Unite Against the War on Women movement, which is organizing women and protest marches across the country on April 28– including a march in Phoenix. Although the Republicans wanted to frame the anti-abortion and anti-contraception debate as a fight for religious freedom, it is all too obvious a continuation of their long-standing War on Women. They can’t put this genie back in the bottle.


23 comments on “Where are all the women at? We’re at war. (video)

  1. tiponeill
    April 6, 2012

    You go girl 🙂


  2. Carolyn_Classen
    April 6, 2012

     Interesting that you posted a photo of women wearing burqas in Afghanistan.  On Tuesday my husband and I watched “Love Crimes of Kabul” which was a documentary about the crimes that women there are charged with — premarital sex (up to 15 years if convicted), adultery, etc. But the film (part of the Human Rights Watch film festival) did show that Afghan women were asserting themselves now for divorce, alimony, dowries, etc. which surprised us.


  3. Robert Rowley
    April 6, 2012

     What CD8 candidate Jesse Kelly would like you to forget

    Article: Citizens United Endorses Jesse Kelly in Special Election  http://j.mp/w4YGg8
             About “Citizens United”: http://j.mp/zz409s

    Article: CD8 candidate Jesse Kelly’s and Tea Party’s economic platform similar to Communist nations http://j.mp/zBKXth

    Article: CD8 Republican Jesse Kelly Calls For New National Sales Tax http://j.mp/xNFoui

    Article: Giffords Opponent, Jesse Kelly, Held June Event to “Shoot a Fully Automatic M16? to “Get on Target” and “Remove Gabrielle Giffords” http://j.mp/zsqdwJ and http://j.mp/A5to9a

    Article and Video: Jesse Kelly: “Oil Is A Renewable Resource” http://j.mp/xlm23i

    Article:  Jesse Kelly Supported by Groups Tied to White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis http://j.mp/Ax5lXO

    Letter:  Tucson Tea Party Co-Founder: 13 Questions for Jesse Kelly that must be answered before you vote http://j.mp/zCtsMM

    Simply put, Jesse Kelly has neither the brains, credibility or honesty for public office, the will for fighting or the compassion to represent the people of southern Arizona either CD8 OR CD2.


  4. Mark_B_Evans
    April 6, 2012

    Not that this has anything to do with your post, but being a worshiper of all things Mel Brooks, I need to correct your quote. I believe what Sheriff Bart said was “Hey, where the white women at?”


    • Carolyn_Classen
      April 6, 2012

      Mark, you’re right, that quote is on youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGQ-ISsDm8M. I too am a Mel Brooks fan & loved his comedic verson of Adolf Hitler in “To Be or Not to Be”, when he says he just wants “some peace…a piece of Poland, a piece of France, Hungary”,etc.


  5. toughteri
    April 6, 2012

    Hmmm, Carolyn, I’ll bet those Afgan ladies have been stoned to death already.


    • Carolyn_Classen
      April 6, 2012

      Yes, we wondered about that as we watched that film. One woman (allegedly a divorcee) who had been sentenced to 10 months for meeting wth a man in private at his house, said the new shame was likely to force her family to “drown” her if she returned home after her sentence.  Check the movie for yourself.


  6. unrepentant_commie
    April 7, 2012

    “…the Arizona legislature is not operating from a…reality-based point of view.”



  7. Carolyn_Classen
    April 8, 2012

    From Blog for AZ political calendar:

    Saturday, April 28, 10:00 a.m.: The national “Unite
    Against the War on Women” March, sponsored by UniteWomen.org at the AZ
    State Capitol Building – House Lawn, 1700 W. Washington. Help defend
    women’s rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the
    United States on April 28th, 2012, as we come together as one to tell
    members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states,
    “Enough is enough!” The Capitol Buildings will be closed. We are
    providing porta-pottys. We are providing bottled water. There are trees
    providing shade on the House Lawn, but please plan for a late-morning to
    mid-afternoon, April Arizona day — don’t forget your sunscreen! GUEST SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
    Congressman Raul Grijalva, CD-7; Lilia Alvarez, Candidate for Maricopa
    County Board of Supervisors; Wenona Benally Balendegro, candidate for
    U.S. House of Representatives, CD-1; Scott Michael Prior, candidate for
    State Senate LD-16; Frances Causey, Co-Producer/Co-Director of the
    documentary Heist: Who Stole the American Dream, and a CNN Journalist;
    Diane D’Angelo, Chair City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission.
    ENTERTAINMENT INCLUDING: French Girls – with more to be added. A bus
    from Pima County to the state capitol in Phoenix has been arranged. For
    more information and to RSVP, please contact Laurie Cirrincione at crinkster54@msn.com or (520) 625-3133. Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/UniteWomen and Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/NatlWOW, and watch us on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/unitewomen.


  8. fortbuckley
    April 8, 2012

    Here’s what Pam Powers Hanniey forgot (?) to tell you about the Fluke testimony incident—the Democrats deliberately pulled a media stunt:


    In short:  Fluke wasn’t the original witness.  Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State was.  At the last minute, the Dems switched Lynn with Fluke.

    That’s against House rules—you have to give 72 hours notice of witnesses for Congressional testimony.  Hence, the House leadership said no to Fluke.

    No problem!  The Dems had their media stunt, which Maloney and Holmes Norton executed on cue.  And, they have people like Pam Powers Hannley to tell the “right” story.

    As for that GOP War on Women…


    “The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
    (D-Mo.), on Sunday condemned the charge by some Democrats that
    Republicans are engaged in a ‘war on women.'”

    Pam!  You’re getting sloppy!


    • BajaDemocrats
      April 8, 2012

       Sloppy??? Doesn’t change the fact the Republicans in charge of the committee chose to invite ONLY males to testify about women’s contraceptive issues, and several of them didn’t even have any experience in sexual activity as they’re forced by their church to lead celibate lives in order to have any leadership role in their church.

      However Fluke came to testify in front of the Democrats, she testified honestly and frankly about contraceptive issues facing her, and for doing so was called a “slut” and was told she should post video of her sexual encounters for (straight) men to enjoy, by a leading voice in conservative politics. Courageous Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for President, courageously declared that wasn’t the words he would have used – without bothering to offer exactly what words he would have used.


      • fortbuckley
        April 8, 2012

        Having problems with reading comprehension, BajaDemocrats?  (“Two women testified in the hearing’s second panel, but Maloney and her fellow Democrats ignored that.”)

        If you Democrats want to compel the Catholic Church to violate its tenets of faith, I triple dog dare you to try.

        As for Sandra Fluke, who apparently feels entitled to receive Cadillac birth control at someone else’s expense, thanks for making her the face of today’s Democratic Party.  We Republicans prefer empowered women, thank you.

        As for your party’s respect for women, a leading voice in liberal politics—and one million dollar donor to the Obama campaign—(a) is on record as saying that Bristol Palin “got f**ed so hard that a baby fell out and (b) was thrown off of Craig Ferguson’s talk show after joking about masturbating children.  And, your party can’t get enough of this guy.


        • tiponeill
          April 8, 2012

          If you Democrats want to compel the Catholic Church to violate its tenets of faith, I triple dog dare you to try.

          No need to “triple dog dare to ‘try'” when it’s already done 🙂


        • ProgressiveVoice
          April 9, 2012

          “compel the Catholic Church to violate its tenets of faith,”

          Why shouldn’t the Catholic Church be compelled to violate its tenets of faith? Why is it even an issue? We aren’t compelling them to hire women as priests. We allow them to refuse to officiate at weddings for anyone but Catholics.

          If a Church, of any faith, is operating a non-church business – hospital, school, whatever – it is operating outside its tenets of faith. It has no right, any more than a non-religious employer does, to force it’s beliefs on those whom it employs.

          By the way, The Church, like corporations, is not a person and therefore, has NO rights under the Constitution or Bill of Rights. We the people have individual rights; non-human entities do not.


        • BajaDemocrats
          April 9, 2012

           If the Catholic Church wants to continue to deny women any meaningful role in the Church and violate the basic tenets of biology by forcing men to deny their natural needs & wants for intimacy with a willing ADULT partner in order to have any leadership role in the church, that’s their religious freedom to do so. And their members have the right to continue to leave the church in droves.

          Having problems with reading comprehension, Don? Sandra Fluke WORKS for her medical coverage – her medical insurance is part of her compensation as an employee. She’s just saying her employer doesn’t get to say contraceptives aren’t included in her medical coverage, any more than an employer gets to tell a male employee his Viagra prescription or a vasectomy isn’t included because he finds it “objectionable” to his beliefs.


  9. fortbuckley
    April 8, 2012

    Here’s the first few paragraphs from Byron York’s story on L’affair Fluke:

    “Given the intensifying political fight over Rush Limbaugh’s
    about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University activist/law student who
    was not allowed to testify at a February 16 House hearing on the
    contraceptive mandate issue, the question arises: Why didn’t Republicans
    just allow Fluke to testify?  The testimony she ended up giving at a
    Democrats-only meeting a few days later wasn’t particularly compelling,
    and, had Fluke appeared before the full Oversight and Government Reform
    Committee, Republicans could have pretty easily challenged her
    positions.  Yet the GOP refused to allow Fluke to appear, and events
    have raced along since then.  So why not let Fluke speak?”

    “‘The Democrats played games with us the day before [the hearing],”
    says a Republican committee source.  “After days of asking for a
    witness, they waited until the last minute, the afternoon before the
    hearing.  They asked us to invite Rev. Barry Lynn [head of Americans
    United for Separation of Church and State] and Ms. Fluke.  We said we’ll
    invite one, per standard procedure.  We formally invited Rev. Lynn, and
    the Democrats, at 4:30 pm, changed their mind and said they wanted
    Fluke.  We said too late.  They told Rev. Lynn not to show up the next

    “When the hearing took place, Democrats proceeded to clobber
    Republicans.  “Where are the women?” asked New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney
    as she looked at the all-male first panel for the hearing.  (Two women
    testified in the hearing’s second panel, but Maloney and her fellow
    Democrats ignored that.)”

    It appears that Pamela Powers Hannley ignored it, too.


    • tiponeill
      April 8, 2012

      Well if nothing else, you have to admire the Dems telepathic powers in forcing the Repubs to hold public hearings showcasing old white priests inveighing against birth control 🙂


    • fortbuckley
      April 8, 2012

      Ummm, BajaDemocrats, based on Byron York’s story—the Democrats only invited one female witness themselves—Fluke.   So, when Carolyn Maloney yelled “Where are the women”—who was supposed to bring the “women” (plural) that Maloney expected to see? 

      For the record, I’ll stipulate that it’s no surprise that the panelists who opposed the mandate were all male.  The Catholic Church, a prime target of the HHS mandate, is a male-dominated institution. 

      I’m surprised that supporters of the mandate summoned only one female witness—Fluke.  Your side couldn’t find any other qualified female advocates. 

      If she’s the best advocate the pro-mandate side of the argument has, that’s great news for mandate opponents.  I suspect, though, that Ms. Fluke was simply there to enable a media stunt. 


      • BajaDemocrats
        April 9, 2012

        “For the record, I’ll stipulate that it’s no surprise that the panelists who opposed the mandate were all male.”

        – Glad we can finally agree on something, Don. I’m not surprised either – the Republicans only invited males who knew almost nothing about the subject matter (female contraceptives), but who they knew would simply parrot the party position. Kind of like how they do things in North Korea.


  10. Bianca zaffarano
    April 8, 2012

    I read with disbelief about the diminishing rights of women in Arizona… women of Arizona, where are you?  Why is it that men are not required to have a doctor’s note and a 24 hour waiting period to purchase condoms? Men, prove that your condoms are for medical reasons, only.  What is good for the goose must be good for the gander – except when the ganders are dictating procreative rights to the goose, which is what is happening.  Is the push to keep women pregnant and barefoot? Can we as a country REALLY be backsliding so much?    Wake up, women of Arizona! You have a voice and a vote.


  11. toughteri
    April 8, 2012

    Oh Bianca, chill out why don’t you.  You’re being played, don’t you realize that?


    • tiponeill
      April 8, 2012

      Right – Repubs know how weak minded and gullible females are 😉


Comments are closed.

Follow Me on Twitter

Follow Tucson Progressive on WordPress.com


The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

%d bloggers like this: