This John Kasich Quote Proves (Once Again) That He Won't Stand Up For Women If President
In case you needed any more proof, Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich's latest quote proves he would fall extremely short on women's issues. When asked about sexual assault on college campuses at a town hall in Watertown, New York, Friday, the Ohio governor responded: "Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol." The idea that women need to change their behavior in order to avoid invasive sexual advances from men not only ignores the underlying problem of who commits rapes, but also blames victims for putting themselves in a "dangerous" situation.
Before giving that offensive bit of advice, Kasich said he wants services for victims to be easily accessible on campuses so perpetrators can be caught. He told the crowd: "We think that when you enroll, you ought to absolutely know that if something happens to you along the lines of sexual harassment, or whatever, you have a place to go where there is a confidential reporting, where there is an ability for you to access a rape kit, where that is kept confidential."
Having appropriate care for victims is important, but it's not enough — sexual assault and rape have to be prevented as well, and telling women and girls to be more careful doesn't get to the root of the problem.
In a statement sent to Bustle, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said: "John Kasich's plan for combating sexual assault as president is to blame women who go to parties. John Kasich's pattern of dismissing the concerns of women is disturbing enough... A John Kasich presidency would punish women. We can't let his dangerous agenda into the White House."
Kasich's abortion record in Ohio already raised serious questions about the kinds of policies he would support as president. Although he's claimed in his presidential campaign that he favors exemptions for cases of rape, incest, and danger to the mother's life, he signed a 20-week abortion ban in 2011 that only included very narrow exceptions for mothers' health. Two years later, he approved the state's budget that had a provision forbidding state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring rape victims to abortion providers. He also passed laws requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, which contributed to eight of the state's 16 abortion providers in the state when he took office to close their doors.
The Republican's shortcomings on women's issues reach far beyond abortion and sexual assault, though. For starters, he's made sexist comments on the campaign trail, such as: "We just got an army of people and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and to put yard signs up for me." Because all women stand in their kitchens baking cookies all day.
On the subject of the gender pay gap, he said in October: "Well, a lot of it is based on experience. A lot of different factors go into it. It's all tied up in skills. Do you not have the skills to be able to compete?" When someone called him out for saying female workers are less skilled than their male counterparts, he said of course that's not what he meant, a woman's running his campaign. However, arguing that you aren't sexist because you employ a few women is just like saying you can't be racist because you have black friends — one doesn't cancel out the other. Considering this is his stance on why women are paid less and he doesn't have a plan to combat the wage gap, it's safe to assume he won't do much to tackle sexist employer behaviors if elected.
Kasich's latest victim-blaming quote is just the tip of the sexist iceberg that is his campaign.