Women have been the focus of this upcoming presidential election. By accident? Maybe. I don’t think the presidential campaigns purposefully started out as campaigns in which women were thought of as the secret weapon; or not. However, both presidential campaigns have promoted ideals and platforms that have made this political campaign personal for many women who stand on both sides of the political spectrum. Are the messages to women from both parties a mere tactic to get the women’s vote? It depends on who you ask.
The Republican Party has focused on the economic issues they claim have been created by the Obama administration. Additionally, Republicans have repeatedly expressed that President Obama is diverting the attention from his failed economic policies by focusing on rhetoric about women’s rights. Moreover, the pro-life stance of the Republican Party is intended to strike an emotional nerve with women and as such, the Republicans (divided by the issue on if and when abortion should be “allowed”) are appealing to the maternal instinct of women by telling us that they will protect life in the womb. However, we all have heard what many men and women in the Republican leadership have said about women, abortions, rape, and so on (including the latest comments by Murdock), which in my opinion should make all women (and men) angry.
In the other hand, Democrats are appealing to women’s votes by focusing on their track record on women’s rights. President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which states that women must earn the same pay for the same work as men (the wage gap is that White women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes; this gap is even higher between men and women of color). Obama also banned employment discrimination based on gender identity which helps women and girls increase their access and participation in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). The Affordable Care Act also prevents insurance providers to discriminate against women (women pay higher health insurance premiums than men). Furthermore, Obama stands to protect women’s reproductive rights by supporting access to contraceptives free of copay and women’s right to choose. Additionally, the President signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which allows gender crimes to be prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
Based on what we know so far about the presidential campaign, how well are Republicans and Democrats playing the woman card? As a woman and a voter, the Romney campaign is doing an excellent job at pushing women (at least the ones that are not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome) away, if you ask me. Obama has professed he wants his daughters to have the same opportunities as every other son in America will have and his record proves it. As a woman, I cannot vote for a party that is so wrong when it comes to women’s rights. Some may argument that we (angry women pro Obama) are just suffering from hysteria. Well, men would be in rage too if any woman candidate would tell them what to do with their penises and testicles and impose on their right to procreate (or not). I wonder how men, especially those from the Tea Party, would react if they were the ones being regulated, raped, and denied to choose what’s best for their bodies. We would definitely be reading a different set of stories. But for now, it is up to us, women and the men that place the women in their lives in high esteem, to go out and vote for our rights and the only candidate who has supported and defended our rights. That candidate is Barack Obama!