Women, Take Back Wisconsin!

Here is the speech Ruth Conniff gave at the rally in Madison on April 28 against the War on Women:

Hello Women Warriors!

Are we ready to take our state back?

Here we are at Ground Zero--our Capitol--again.

Governor Walker, the darling of the national Republican Party, declared war on workers. He declared war on our public school teachers, our environment , our democracy. But now, he has really pissed us off. He had declared war on the women of Wisconsin.

Big mistake.

You have to love the brilliance of our Wisconsin protesters. There's a woman behind me carrying a sign with an anatomically correct drawing of the female reproductive system, and an arrow pointing in. It says, "Doctor checked. No jobs."

No, pissing off the women of Wisconsin is not a clever plan. Walker is leading his party off a cliff.

There's been a lot of news lately about the gender gap.

Turns out killing equal pay protection is not popular with women. Nor is telling women that whether or not they get birth control is something their bosses should decide, or maybe the local pharmacist at Walgreens should get to choose if you get your prescription for birth control or not.

Political Editor of the Progressive Magazine Ruth Conniff addressing the crowd."
Political Editor of the Progressive Magazine Ruth Conniff addressing the crowd.

Closing Planned Parenthood clinics. Turning doctors into felons if their patients don't jump through a lot of medically unnecessary hoops. Forget it!

But the Republicans think we women are going to forget all that because HIllary Rosen said Ann Romney never worked a day in her life.

They think they can stir up a cat fight among us moms, and that will make us take our eye off the ball, right?

Wrong!

I've got news for the party of Walker and the Romneys:

We don't care that Ann Romney has her undies in a bundle over whether driving two Cadillacs and raising her kids is hard work.

We are too busy leading our regular lives and holding down half the jobs in this country, and most of the jobs that pay less than $8 an hour.

If the Romneys think, as Mitt put it, that for poor women with young children, work is a matter of "dignity," the least they can do is pay “the help” a fair day's wage!

I look around at all of you women--my mom out there with my three beautiful daughters, my friends who help each other out, carpooling and juggling school and work and all the joys and stresses of women's live—and I know, we are not taking our eyes off the ball.

We know what we are fighting for.

We know who is on our side.

And we know what we want:

High-quality, respectful health care, equal opportunity for ourselves and our daughters.

The Romneys can't divide us. Scott Walker can't divide us.

We are fighting for our lives, our children's lives, and for a decent society for all of us.

Thank you.

And solidarity!

If you liked this article by Ruth Conniff, the political editor of The Progressive, check out her story "An Interview with Tom Barrett."

Follow Ruth Conniff @rconniff on Twitter