Michele Bachman is a Woman: Using the Gender Card in Iowa By John Erickson

I have been flirting with the idea of writing a blog post about Michele Bachmann for a while.  When this post goes live, Republicans in Iowa will fire the long awaited starting pistol of the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination Race.  Among the citizens of Iowa and the Presidential hopefuls, one individual, Representative Bachmann, is hoping and more importantly in her case, praying for a miracle.

In the recent weeks, some frontrunners have surfaced: Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor and if I dare say, devout Mormon, Ron Paul, a United States Congressman from Texas’ 14th District, and Rick Santorum, a former United States Senator from Pennsylvania and fervent Catholic.  However, although the troupe is the typical political line up (all white, privileged, religious, heterosexual family men), Michele Bachmann is hoping to capitalize on the major factor that sets her a part from the pack: her gender.

Claiming to be America’s “Iron Lady” (a popular reference to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher), Michele Bachmann has made it her job, up until now when her campaign seems to be near extinction, to state that she is just like the rest of the big boys in American politics and that she has what it takes to be the next President of the United States of America.

I know I am not the first to say this, but let me stress that Rep. Bachmann is terribly wrong and her last ditch effort of using gender as a way to sympathize with Iowa voters is a setback to the strong feminist contributions and changes to the highly patriarchal field of American politics made by women like Hilary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro (to name a few).

Unlike past and previous candidates, Rep. Bachmann claims she has God on her side.

Although Bachmann is hoping that the religious voters she is appealing to will cast votes in her favor, she is forgetting that many of them, with fundamentalist and strict evangelical backgrounds have rigid views about gender roles and the proper place for a woman in both society and the home.

Using the gender card as a last ditch effort to get votes will prove to be Bachmann’s downfall rather than her rebirth.  At the end of the day, Bachman, like most of the policies she has endorsed during her tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives and leading up to the Iowa Caucus, is been bad for women and will cast a large shadow on the good work feminists and allies have been working towards for years.

What we see now, through the symbolic imagery of Michele Bachmann is a woman, who is against abortion even in cases of rape, incest, and possible harm to the birth mother, believes that GLBTQ individuals are abominations and sinners and need to be converted (with the help of her husband’s clinic), and many more polices that reflect poorly upon ALL women will reaffirming the conservative populous mindset that women, are not fit to rule in high levels of government.

Although America came very close to possibly having its first female President with Hilary Clinton and if I dare mention, the first female Vice-President with Sarah Palin if John McCain would have won in 2008, there is a clear distinction between Palin, Bachmann, and Clinton and it comes down to the feminist litmus test of how “feminist” on is.

The test results are not positive for any of the candidates because in the end, women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are not only bad for America but also bad for women in general.

Although Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin (and the individuals who will undoubtedly follow in the footsteps) may lose, the real losers are women in general and I am one individual, who after tomorrow will be happy to see Rep. Bachmann end her campaign for President of the United States and the destructive crusade against feminists and women everywhere.

Author: John M. Erickson

Mayor Pro Tempore John M. Erickson was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 3, 2020 with the commitment to uphold the city’s founding vision for a forward-thinking, diverse and tolerant community. Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson first planted roots in West Hollywood in 2010 when he was selected to intern for the City Council. The internship set him on a path that connected his work for social and economic justice with his passion for public service. He went on to become Council Deputy to former Mayor Abbe Land and then served as City’s Community Affairs where he advanced policies and programs to increase awareness around LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, the environment, and civic engagement. After leaving City Hall, Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson served as a Legislative Representative at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and is currently the Interim Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications, and Marketing at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. The immediate past Vice-Chair of the City’s Planning Commission, Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson’s priorities on the City Council include: overcoming COVID through sensible health practices and economic recovery; creating more affordable housing and protecting renters’ rights; reducing traffic through alternative transportation strategies, fighting climate change and making our city more sustainable; and implementing policies that make the city truly free of prejudice and welcoming to all. Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson has earned a reputation as a fearless, tenacious and effective voice for those who need one. His advocacy work includes serving a National Board member of the National Organization for Women and President of the ACLU Southern California. In 2017, he became Governor Brown’s appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and served as an organizer for both the Resist March and the historic Women’s March, Los Angeles that year. He serves on the Board of the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson was part of the End Statute of Limitation on Rape (ERSOL) Campaign, which overturned California’s statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in 2016. Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson received his Ph.D. in American Religious History from Claremont Graduate University and a Dual-Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies.

5 thoughts on “Michele Bachman is a Woman: Using the Gender Card in Iowa By John Erickson”

  1. This is a stunning example of the limitations of “equal rights” feminism, giving women rights within a patriarchal dominator system. Feminism must also be about a transformation of patriarchal values and not only about the “rights” issues of abortion and sex-gender orientation, but also about the most fundamental value of dominator societies, the “right” to dominate others in personal relationships and in warfare! Thanks.


  2. Carol,
    You are completely right. To add to the whole story, when Michele dropped out of the race she kept on saying that “She never wanted to be a politician.” What was she in the race for then? She yet again, demeaned the role of women in politics by taking away her own agency by stating that she was never there to be the President but responding the people who asked her to run.

    I just cannot believe her but I am thankful that she is no longer in the race. Now we only have to deal with the rest of them and their insanity.


  3. Hi John, I frankly find Michele Bachman to be infuriating (as I do Sarah Palin). It disturbs me that anyone would use the word feminist to describe either. Like you, I cheered when Bachman (and Palin) ended her campaign. I am anxious to get through these next five years and hope that in 2016 we will elect a female president who does honor women. Thanks for this post!


  4. What we need in the White House is a strong president, and that can be a woman or man. just look at what we are going thru now with someone who should be in assisted living not the white House. You are showing your racist attitude toward women


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