Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Gifts of Trump Administration to the Ladies

I get that Trump's tweets are fun to take apart, and I get that other similar behavioral and linguistic outrages are what draws most attention.  But what ultimately matters to all of us are the policies.  Those boring granola topics which nevertheless can bring you security and comfort or pain and anxiety.

So let us see what the Trump administration is promising to women in their policies:

First,  the Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights enforcement by arguing that the changes are just to make the system more prudent and efficient.  But the real intent is to make it easier for firms to discriminate against women and/or minorities:

The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.
The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.

Read the linked article to find out why this move will make it harder for workers to learn if they are the victims of discrimination.  If they don't find that out, they won't sue or complain!  A win-win for the various bases in the Republican Party, including the MRAs and the corporations.

Second, the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ("Obamacare") is going to be further weakened.  Remember the Hobby Lobby case?  It allowed certain employers  an exemption from the mandatory coverage of birth control in employer-provided health insurance policies.  If your god felt that women should not have the right to prevent pregnancies, then your firm could refuse to include birth control in the health insurance you offer to your workers!

Now those exemptions might become much wider:

According to a leaked May 23 draft of the rule obtained by Vox, any employer — including colleges, universities and health insurance companies — would be allowed to seek an exemption on moral or religious grounds. Currently, only houses of worship and some companies are exempt.
I bet you anything firms can't get an exemption from covering Viagra on moral or religious grounds.

This move is a good example of the bizarre value clashes that are far too common in politics, mostly (but not entirely) on the right side of the aisle:

The people who oppose the birth control mandate in the ACA are often the people who are adamantly opposed to abortions.  That abortion rates are higher among the poor suggests that subsidized birth control would decrease them.  But nope!  The sluts can't have their fornication subsidized, even though fornication via Viagra is subsidized.*

Third, the Trump administration has given earlier nasty presents both to women in poorer countries and in the US by vastly expanding the global gag rule and by paying a lot less attention to violence against women at home.

I'm sure my list is not complete, either.  Note how these small policy changes pile up over time, then note who it is they are going to harm.


* It's intellectually exciting to figure out which basic value statement stops these two values from clashing.  I'm sure you can figure that one out.