For the last few weeks, the political machine has been in full force. Both “major” parties are out, trying to fire up their base and vie for the votes of the “independent” or “nonpartisan” voters.
In listening to some of the speeches and seeing some of the demonstrators around the conventions, I want to say something to all of the politicians, pundits, pollsters, reporters and anyone else involved in the political cycle:
I am a Woman Voter, not an Interest Group.
I am a fully formed, well read, intelligent, overly-educated, opinionated woman.
(Seriously folks, let’s get the terminology right. This is not a vagina. This is a costume of a Vulva. Big difference.)
I am more than a Vagina.
Women are 50% of the country, but in watching coverage of BOTH conventions, it would seem like the only thing that women should care about is the what someone is telling me what I can or can’t do with my uterus. Don’t you believe that I want more for my daughters, and maybe, free birth control is not one of them?
Talk to me about Women’s Health, health not revolving around my reproductive organs. Just talk to me about health in general. Talk to me about Heart Disease or Pestisides in our Food. Talk to me about why we are paying Farmers to plant only Corn and Soybeans. Talk to me about Immigration, Taxes, the Economy. Explain to me why my family pays close to 30% in taxes, but other families (using creative accounting) pay less.
Explain to me how cutting teachers’ salaries or linking teacher performance to test scores is going to improve education in our country. Talk to me again about the American Dream of Home Ownership and then reason why a 2 bedroom shack in my area will run you close to $600K and how you need to be independently wealthy to even qualify for a home loan? Why can’t I get a tax break for renting?
You want to talk about reproductive choice? Let’s talk about why homebirth is illegal in some states? What about a woman’s choice for a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC?) I hear the cries for FREE contraception, what about FREE labor, delivery and recovery? (Of course, we know there is no such thing as “free,” someone is paying for it.) If the government will let me end a pregnancy anyway I want, why can’t I bring a living one into the world anyway I want? Why are midwives illegal in some states? Birth choices should matter too.
Aren’t those important or is it only important that I NOT get pregnant and if I do get pregnant that I can get out of the “situation” as seamlessly as possible. Why not tell me how a woman can raise her child and finish school, or keep her job? And while we’re on it, tell me how $7.25 an hour (set back in 2009) is considered a “living wage?” And speaking of wages, we’ve heard a lot about the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a great step in the right direction of Equal Pay for Women. But here’s the thing, it still involves people finding out for themselves if someone is making more than them for doing the same job. I don’t know about you, but when I was working, people weren’t so quick to share their salaries and in some places, you could even be fired for revealing your salary to another. How is that for equal pay?
As a fellow woman voter said to me:
I’m sick of “women’s health” meaning “things that happen in and around the vagina”. I’m a woman with multiple chronic illnesses. Those are “women’s health” conditions by definition, but they don’t get pandered to whatsoever. In fact, the “women’s health” issues that everyone loves to talk about are one of the few well functioning parts of my body!
On Nov 7th I’ll still have PCOS, doctors still won’t know what the eff causes it, and they’ll still be prescribing BC for it, as if that were a cure.
I also hate being told as a young single woman that I should only care about the government not paying for me to have sex wherever, whenever, and with whomever I want. What if I don’t want to have sex? What if I’m totally fine with being (struggling to be) chaste, and I’d prefer to focus on other things, like how there’s currently no grace period for paying back college loans and the interest rate has just doubled?
I hate that abortion is political. So, I have to choose with life first.. but my husband is also military, so I don’t like that his pay is being threatened, his vote, our healthcare.. none of it makes me happy.
All I want to say is this: Stop pandering to me and my fellow women and thinking that we ALL only care about one issue. Especially if you want my vote.
**I’m also with the last commenter in this post. I also choose with life first and at the same time, that makes me the single issue voter that I am griping against being treated as. I dislike politics.**
Do you feel represented by the “major” Political Parties? Do you think that Women are being talked down to?