Not Stale: Women's Issues in the Presidential Campaign

5 years ago

It's bad enough when men assume women are single issue voters, but it's far, far worse when a fellow woman has decided that if I have a deal-breaker issue, I must be a zombie following 'rhetoric' spewed by a given political party.

I am a proud Independent voter in the state of New Hampshire. My opinions are varied, and can sometimes be rather complicated to explain. However my voting choices can never be boiled down to any one single issue--they are all intertwined. My opinions vary on topics so there's probably not a single person out there who feels the exact same way on every single issue as I do.

This is why I am an Independent--I simply can't completely align myself with either political party. Which is why I bristle when another woman dismisses a woman's agency over her own choices---her family's economics, its structure and her consequent reproductive choices, as a 'one-trick pony'. So it was that I bristled over this recent blog post by none other than a BlogHer contributing editor.

Ms. Holloway fails to recognize that religion actually has no place in our government. Our government was specifically designed by our founding fathers in an attempt to ensure just that. But Ms. Holloway makes clear in her post that she believes the godless (until a floor vote) Democratic convention fell short, primarily because among many other things, they chose to champion the cause of 51% of the electorate.

How very tired that 'cause' is, she tells us. How very "stale".

Earning less, dollar for dollar, for the same work? What a quaint little complaint. Be quiet little women, you made your beds--go lay in them. But only with a man. And only to make babies.

Subjecting a woman to needless medical procedures to satisfy right-wing zealots, and ensure them that yes, they can still treat humans as chattel just so long as they are sporting a uterus. But you asked for it, ladies, didn't you? This wouldn't be the first time something was inserted into your vagina, so get over it.

Dictating that some families don't fit, and may not exist in our society, because of religious dictates that are based on a text that has been many-times-translated, and thus many-times-interpreted.A book written and edited by countless, unidentified men, with contradicting versions of the same events, hundreds upon hundreds of years ago.

So what's really stale here?

Stale is insisting that all the little women shut up already about equal rights.  Stale is telling me that I should just be quiet about equality already...there are bigger things to worry about.

Stale is putting women down by boiling things down into a single issue, and then telling us that we needn't worry our pretty little heads about it when there are BIG things like the economy for us to fret over. That way, family planning, personal agency, and choice are excised from economic issues, made into moral ones, rather that being treated like components of the over-arching economic climate. That's not inclusion. That's divisiveness.

Stale is a woman to delivering the message that everything is just hunky-dory in the equality department, when it is so clearly NOT.

I don't ride a one-trick pony. I ride my own complicated pony. And right now, it seems to me that the platform presented by the Democrats last week is far more supportive of me and my pony than that which the Republicans put forth the week before.

So call me stale, or perhaps old-fashioned if you like, but I'm going to go ahead and keep on with this whole equal pay, personal choice, love-is-love schtick a little while longer. While I do that, I'll be thinking about the fact that there were fewer choices for women when my mother was a young woman. And that if we don't do something about it, there will be fewer again for my children and my grandchildren.


Sept. 4, 2012 - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - United States Representative Carolyn Maloney (Democrat of New York) makes remarks with the Democratic Women of the U.S. House at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. .Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP. (Credit Image: © Ron Sachs/DPA/

Margaret Barney writes at Just Margaret and is a contributor at Prime Parents Club.

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