The University’s chapter of the College Republicans would have you believe that Monday’s panel titled, “Republican War on Women,” was “blatantly fallacious,” partisan and offensive. I wholeheartedly disagree. First, a disclaimer: I identify as liberal, as a male and as a feminist. If my political affiliation, sexual identity or intellectual position offends you, perhaps you aren’t prepared for my opinion.
First, the panel sought to discuss the media’s portrayal of the political treatment of women’s bodies, not debate the legality of abortion. One might claim that the panel was partisan for lack of a Republican journalist, but none seem to be writing about this issue. It’s also offensive to group the panelists as “feminist journalists” occupying the same perspective. While each may be a feminist, this doesn’t guarantee a shared partisan stance.
But Rachel Jankowski of the College Republicans raises a larger issue, claiming that the panel was fallacious. We might ask, “Does the Republican party wish to reduce a woman’s control over her own body?” Indeed, we can answer this factually: yes. The GOP platform, approved at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, explicitly opposes all acts of abortion and silent on exceptions.
The question that follows, then, is “why?” Answering this question may, for some, be informed by moral or religious beliefs. Attempting to respond to this question from a normative position is, necessarily, partisan. But answering the first question requires only observation.
As a student, I am grateful that the University hosted the panel and others like it. If, as a campus, we only discuss issues that are apolitical, little else remains to be discussed. Our professors and invited lecturers should be paid to discuss such issues from the perspective of scientific observation. In this sense, we might engage in political science, not political silence.