Last week, you, like lots of reasonable Americans, were probably up in arms at Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus’s tortured analogy that the “war on women” allegedly being waged by the GOP would just as easily be a “war on caterpillars” if the Dems said it were so and the media propagated it.
Now look. It’s difficult to deny that the Republican party seems hell-bent on blasting women’s rights back to the ’70s (yes, to the 1870s). So the conventional wisdom is that Priebus was attempting to pivot the debate by using the old magicians’ trick of misdirection: “We don’t have a war on women. Furthermore, it’s the media’s fault for bringing your attention to it.” Why debate the facts, when you can pin it on your political adversaries and that trusted GOP hobby horse, the media!
Now lots of people have suggested that Priebus’s choice of analogs—caterpillars for actual female human beings—was at best unfortunate and at worst symptomatic of the pathological Little Man Syndrome that permeates much of social conservatism and presents as a need to control every aspect of their baby-makers’ lives.
What’s more diabolical is that the GOP is actually waging a war on caterpillars. It’s the old hide-in-plain-sight gambit, and they would have gotten away with it if these
actually real [Editor's Note: fake] memos had not been leaked to The Philly Post. Here, uncovered, are the five planks in the GOP’s evolving anti-caterpillar agenda:
1) Caterpillars are known as voracious feeders (caterpillar rule No. 1: Don’t metamorphosize on an empty stomach). Republicans see liberals and their entitlement-gobbling minions as voracious consumers of the hard-earned profits of American heroes: the 1% job creators™ who, for the purpose of this analogy, are, I guess, just born as beautiful butterflies. Why should butterfly nobility be forced to compete for sweet delicious nectar with nouveau riche butterflies they helped create?! Especially when many of those butterflies lay more eggs than they can possibly ever care for without help from, you guessed it, butterfly nobility.
2) Since the landmark ruling in Monarch v. Inchworm—which established a caterpillar’s right to decide when and if it will form a cocoon, and ultimately its right to terminate a said cocoon—Bird-and-Bees-thumping species conservatives have fought to have the case overturned. Metamorphosis is just God’s way, they argue, and metamorphosis begins the moment of hatching. Opponents of cocoon termination have gone so far as to propose laws that punish the caterpillar should its cocoon be attacked by spiders or cats, and that mandate trans-chrysalis ultrasounds. The cocoon-rights movement has responded with demands of “Keep Your Laws Off Our Pupae.”
3) The establishment has long sought to keep caterpillars out of positions of power based on the premise that, “y’know, you just can’t trust a caterpillar to make a big decision when it’s, ahem, pupating. They get a little emotional.” This argument was also used for decades to deny caterpillars suffrage.
4) Similarly, the establishment still gets away with paying caterpillars 25 percent to 50 percent less for the same job, figuring they’re just gonna go on cocoon leave and then be more focused on their new wings than the job—not a problem you have with your garden-variety slug.
5) Let’s face it: Not all caterpillars know when and where they should form a cocoon. And lots of less-fortunate caterpillars simply can’t afford the sort health care that moneyed caterpillars take for granted. Thanks to an organization called Planned Metamorphosis, those caterpillars can have access to regular health care and resources to help them decide if and when to make the difficult choice to form a cocoon (or, the always difficult decision to terminate an unwanted one). Of course, there are those that say a cocoon is god’s will, and that attempts to dictate when and where one occurs interfere with his grand plan (conflicting accounts of which have been dutifully dictated by secondary sources and then published in politically motivated translations in wildly varying versions of the above-mentioned holy tome Birds and Bees). The government almost shut down earlier this year over funding to Planned Metamorphosis.
As you can see, it’s definitely not women the GOP is waging war against. It’s caterpillars. So relax. It could be worse. You could be a caterpillar.