White woman in a black suit with white shirt underneath and necklace with shoulder length brown hair standing at a mic with a blue background, her mouth in a form like she's talking

Last month, Ohio’s lieutenant governor Mary Taylor made headlines by not getting the endorsement for governor from her state party and subsequently putting them on blast for doing so. In a speech madeto the Ohio Republican Party’s State Central Committee on February 9, Taylor – who is up against Ohio’s attorney general Mike DeWine for the gubernatorial nomination following months of reshuffling within the party– did not hold back. She opened her remarks by calling the venue “Mike DeWine’s living room,” thanked the press for coming so they could televise DeWine’s “coronation,” and went on to slam his campaign for its “air of inevitability” as well as the Ohio Republican Party for “all of the good ol’ boy bullying and backroom deals that have gotten us to this point.” By the end of her speech it was clear Taylor wasn’t actually gunning for the endorsement, nor did she want it in the unlikely event she received it. It also didn’t matter that she walked into the meeting with an endorsement from our dear buttfaced governor, John Kasich. Taylor was there to make a point to the (indeed) mostly old, white male crowd that holds the power strings in our state’s ruling party and make it she did -- assuming the Republicans in the audience were aware or even cared that a woman was talking. Not surprisingly, the committee opted to endorse DeWine by a vote of 59-2.

While it’s obviously hard to feel bad for Mary Taylor these days – with all the standing by silently she’s done while Kasich and the Ohio Republicans aggressively attacked women’s rights, or because of all the posturing and pandering she’s done to the Trump-loving baseof her party – she does have a point. Ohio’s GOP has not been friendly towards women in the state with policy or candidates for years. Out of 107 elected Republicans serving at our state or federal level, only 13 of them are women. While the party used to boast such women like former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Jo Ann Davidson and former attorney general Betty Montgomery (who are very close according to some reaches of the internet– but let’s face it, Ohio’s GOP is fraught with that kind of hypocrisyanyway) it really has slowed its roll when putting women in leadership roles within the last decade. Taylor’s role as Kasich’s sidekick for eight years was just another political move to make the governor seem more, shall we say, “likeable,” perhaps similar to why he got himself a wife and daughters(again, Ohio’s GOP is fraught with that kind of hypocrisyanyway!)

Interestingly enough, Taylor wasn’t the only female Republican at the February meeting who dared to call out the party’s “good ol’ boy” antics. Sandra O’Brien, a former Ashtabula County auditor seeking the Republican nomination for state treasurer, also blasted the committeefor having “a woman problem” that she said was only worsened by the endorsement process. She pointed out that women often enter politics later in life, giving their male counterparts more time to rack up networking contacts and financial credentials, and made the case to let Republican voters decide the nominees in the primary. Of course, it’s hard to say how many of those voters would even be women and who they would support. Nonetheless, O’Brien somehow lost her endorsement to state representative Robert Sprague instead. Funny how that worked out.

But so it goes with the Ohio Republican Party. And while some may jump to point out that the party’s chair is currently Jane Timken(a real live woman!) it should also be noted that Timken only landed her post because of her ardent support for Donald Trump during the 2016 election process, when the Ohio Republican Party maintained its unrealistic and unrelenting backing for Kasich all the way to the convention under their previous chair, Matt Borges. That means even the top serving female in the Ohio GOP got her job because she defended an obvious misogynist who has been accused of sexually assaulting women for decades and regularly insulted them on the campaign trail, from Rosie O’Donnell to Megyn Kelly to the “nasty” woman herself, Hillary Clinton. Thanks for all your work to break the glass ceiling, Jane! Indeed, it’s clear that Timken didn’t take much to Taylor’s talk last month either, issuing a glowing statement after the endorsement processthat called DeWine “a pro-growth, pro-family candidate” who will “lead Ohio boldly into tomorrow.” Hooray!

And yet, these words from the Ohio GOP’s leading lady contrast greatly from Taylor’s, who said that DeWine“is a creature of the establishment… A shill for the entrenched special interests and lobbyists who stalk the halls of the statehouse.” I think we can all agree that no man could mansplain it better.

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