Chick-flick politics. That’s what women want!
Sorry, son. Some of us dig a good knock-down-drag-out for a good cause. And the 2012 elections represent that.
The nationwide effort to hijack the vote via phony arguments for photo ID has been as grating as a bad bunion. But the tired convictions that women are mere vessels for progeny and not qualified to determine what happens to their own bodies being trotted out this cycle? They’ve left me screaming more times than I care to count.
I’ve never heard of a piece of legislation being offered and passing a chamber of the U.S. Congress that would dictate the activities of a single penis. Not for any cost-saving measure nor for an ideological one.
Yet my vagina and its related activities, even post-traumatic ones, never fall far from legislative view. If only this same dedication were paid to efforts to ensure tranquil global relations, solid schools, safe communities or good, equal paying jobs—you know, actual issues that need our attention. Then maybe we could see a stronger economy emerge. After all, how can you subjugate more than half the population—pay them less, restrict access to healthcare and force potential physical, psychological and financial duress upon them—and expect good results? As one noted politician aptly stated, it’s called “arithmetic.”
Regardless of the flowery talk, the most cohesive “job” that seemed to emerge lately have been efforts to clamp down on every uterus bearer in America, on a host of fronts. When a hostile minority rules the majority, it’s a form of apartheid. The most egregious form of that was dismantled in South Africa back in the 1990s. I’m not hip on codifying a new form here. No one should be.
But by not coming out to vote, we would give tacit approval to said oppressive policies. Anyone willingly ceding that power is not only irresponsible, but also culpable for those infractions. Since chicks slapping each other—even if it is to wake them up—feeds into another kind of deviant fantasy, I refrain. I use words instead.
Nia Ngina Meeks is a Philadelphia-based writer and political analyst. Follow her on Twitter @nmpurpose.
Leave Our Rights Alone —There Are Much Bigger Issues to Tackle
By Linda Vertlieb
When I was asked the question of how this election has made me feel and what my perspective was as a female voter, it made me take a step back. As the wife of a veteran in the working class, I’ve been focusing on the bigger issues that affect my husband, our family and our financial futures. I want to know that my husband will be taken care of for serving our country. I want my children to be able to afford to go to college, and most importantly, I’m worried about our economy. Issues that address women should come after that. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this.
It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come in women’s rights. Here we are, having to decide between two male candidates to make decisions on women’s issues. But that’s nothing new. Of course, any issue that affects me as a woman is important to me; I believe in gender equality and women’s health issues and rights. However, I feel that tackling the bigger picture of repairing our economy and creating jobs will consequently benefit everyone.
This election isn’t only about the presidential candidates. There is a lot going on locally that we should all care about. As the wife of Philadelphia firefighter and resident of Philadelphia, it is important for me to be aware of the ballot questions being asked on Election Day. How we vote on them will affect us in one way or the other. One major question being asked is if the city should borrow $123,670,000 to put toward transit, streets and sanitation, municipal buildings, parks, recreation and museums. They are all things our city needs, but at the end of the day, we the taxpayers will have to pay for it. This is a serious question to consider when you enter the voting booth. Either way, we’ll have to pay or deal with cutbacks.
Overall, this election has been overwhelming, to say the least. It’s much different this time around, with everyone sharing their opinions all over social media; there’s no hiding from it. I’m not one to ever comment on politics. It doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion or that I don’t care. My opinions are my own and I respect the opinions of others. I just feel it’s extremely important to be educated on the issues regardless of which candidate you are voting for. Get out there on Nov. 6 and vote!
Linda Vertlieb runs FrugalPhillyMom.com
An Open Letter to the Honorable Willard Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Mass.
By Kishwer Vikaas
Dear Governor Romney,
I am not a slut.
In February 2012, Democrats invited Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify to a House committee about the importance of requiring insurance plans to cover contraceptives. Fluke and her fellow female students, 40 percent of the school’s population, were denied coverage for contraceptives by the Catholic school’s health insurance plan. But Republican members of the House refused to allow her to talk about her experience, saying she was not “qualified”—despite the fact that Fluke was the only woman set to testify at that particular hearing.
After she was finally given the chance to speak at an event arranged by House Democrats, she was vilified by talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and labeled a “slut.”
Like Fluke, I too am a law student in my final year of school. And while I attend a public university whose insurance plan covers contraceptives, I vividly recall the pains of aging out of my mother’s health insurance plan before President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ever existed.
In the years between graduating from college and getting our first real jobs, my girlfriends and I struggled to minimize our expenses. Frankly, if it weren’t for Planned Parenthood, which offered us low-cost contraception alternatives, we would probably not be where we are now—working as grad students and professionals.
You do not need identification to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. We repeat: You do not need identification to vote.
Let’s face it—the last year has been hell for women. The fight to keep reproductive choice intact was fiercer than ever before. It’s a mess, to put it mildly. But what do locals have to say about it? PW rounded up the six most memorable tweets from 2012 to give you an idea.
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide