We are at a point in American politics when candidates want to test their toughness and strength as leaders. But some are taking it a little too far. On Wednesday, Rick Perry challenged Donald Trump to a pull-ups competition in what I assume is a clever ploy by the Democratic Party to kill two old men. But if you really think about it, the whole absurd ordeal shows just another example of when male politicians have disappointed voters, once again proving why female politicians are necessary.
Trump told the Daily Mail on Wednesday that he questioned Perry's strength. He said, "I think that he's trying so hard, but it's not about trying. It's about energy, it's about brainpower, it's about toughness." Perry's immediate reaction was to challenge Trump to an arms contest (literally), saying, "Let's get a pull-up bar out there and let's see who can do the most pull-ups."
We might as well pick our presidential candidates with a carnival test-your-strength meter or by making them undergo the same challenges as the American Ninja Warrior crew. Though I doubt Perry and Trump will actually install a pull-up bar at the Republican debates on Aug. 6, this is a prime example of male politicians turning serious issues into pissing contests.
But a few awesome ladies have broken into the Washington boys' club: Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe, for example. They've done some amazing things for the country during their tenures as government leaders. They fight crucial battles such as justice for rape victims, protection against domestic violence, and support for women in business. They have built a road for more women to come after them.
Unfortunately, Congress is currently 80 percent male, which is pretty disturbing for 2015. Especially if you consider these eight moments when male politicians really messed things up.
That Birth Control Panel
You might remember the time the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hosted a panel to discuss birth control policy in the Affordable Care Act and didn't invite any women to participate. Chaired by Republican Darrell Issa, this panel consisted of eight men who said they felt persecuted by the legislation. Apparently, no one thought any women would have opinions on birth control.
That Insane South Dakota Bill
This one is hard for me to even grasp. A bill in South Dakota would have made it legal for people to murder doctors who perform abortions, saying the act would be in defense of a fetus. Sponsored by State Representative Phil Jensen, it would have changed the justifiable homicide definition.
Those Physical Fights
Oh yes, it's true. Congressmen have actually gotten into physical fights in the middle of sessions. The most famous was in 1858 when Pennsylvania Republican Galusha Grow and South Carolina Democrat Laurence Keitt came to blows regarding a slavery-related issue. In fact, governmental violence occurred as recently as 2011, when California Assemblymen Warren Furutani and Don Wagner got into a physical fight.
That Public Abortion Records Bill
A 2012 Tennessee bill would have required demographic information about every woman who has had an abortion in the state to be made public. A woman's age, race, nationality, marital status, education, number of children, the location of the abortion, and how many times she has been pregnant would be public, along with the name of the doctor who gave the procedure. With a record of violence toward abortion providers, Tennessee would have put its citizens in danger with the bill.
Jeanette Rankin, the very first American congresswoman, was the sole vote against the United States declaring war on Japan in World War II. Since then representatives such as Barbara Lee and Bella Abzug have fought against foreign wars. Sometimes, it takes strength of mind to know when to stay out of conflict.
That Single Parenthood Bill
Legislators in Wisconsin seemed to think that being a single mother should be a crime. A 2012 bill would have made non-marital parenthood a contributing factor in child abuse. The bill points a finger at women as it attempts to decrease divorce and pregnancies out of marriage.
Perry was involved in another political challenge. During a 2011 debate, Mitt Romney bet him $10,000 that would settle an argument about Romney's history on health care issues. Again, I am rolling my eyes at these testosterone battles.
That Miscarriage Bill
In Georgia, a 2011 bill would have criminalized miscarriages and made abortion illegal statewide. To make this even more insane, having an abortion or a miscarriage could have been punished by death. By death! This legislation was sponsored by the same state congressman who wanted to change the wording of domestic violence "victims" into "accusers."
Yes, there absolutely are competent men in federal and state congresses, and not all female government leaders support other women. However, we really need to vote some more women into elected positions. Just take another look at these reasons as proof.
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