Gov. Romney, I was disappointed but not surprised that you made no strong public statement condemning the attack on Fluke. All you said was this: “It’s not the language I would have used.” That’s not good enough.
You know what else isn’t good enough? The fact that you and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, the same act that now gives my little sister the kind of coverage I didn’t have at her age. And also appalling is the fact that you want to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and have a vice-presidential candidate who voted to defund Planned Parenthood four times.
Gov. Romney, the women of my generation are not sluts. We are responsible adults who make our own decisions about when we want to start our families. We are students, mothers, wives, daughters. But we are not sluts. We are voters. And we’re listening. And come Nov. 6, you’ll hear from us.
Kishwer Vikaas is a freelancer and contributing writer.
Rape Is Not a ‘Women’s Issue’
By Tristin Hightower
This election season may be the first time in my voting career that I felt I needed to vote. I started out feeling indifferent. During preliminaries, no one was really wowing me. Some candidates gave me pause but I expected that anyone who wasn’t up to the task of governing our country wouldn’t make it as a final candidate. I trust the process and I trust people.
Toward the end of the Republican primaries, I became impatient with the negative ads. Tell me about what YOU are going to do to make the country better for us, not why the other person is going to ruin it. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Fast-forward to knowing who the candidates are. I don’t think things are great under President Obama and I was willing to listen to Romney and consider if he may be able to do things better. But both candidates continued their negative campaigns. I was really turned off and started tuning out. I was slowly realizing it was unlikely I would vote.
Then, candidates for the Senate started opening their mouths about rape and it all changed. Perhaps I’ve had my head in the sand previous years, but I don’t remember politicians bringing up rape as much as it has been brought up this election. As a rape survivor, my spidey senses were activated and I began to pay attention again.
What do you mean “legitimate” rape? When women are really raped, we won’t get pregnant? No, wait, we could get pregnant, and if we do, it’s a gift from God? Another thing to consider: If you have the misfortune of being raped or molested or in any other way violated against your will, what resources do you hope are available to you? Justice? Counseling? Medical treatment? What if it’s your sister? Wife? Brother? Friend?
Rape is not a “women’s issue.” Men can also be victims of rape and there are men in our circles of trust who would be impacted if someone they cared for was a victim. However, it appears as though women are the ones whose rights are being questioned since we are the ones who can have the babies. That is the real issue. When is an embryo considered a person, should abortion be legal, and if so, under what circumstances?
After rape and abortion became political issues in the 2012 elections, I started paying attention and I needed to be sure that I made my voice heard through my vote. Regardless of the issues that are important to you, whether they are women’s rights, the economy, unemployment, health care, or any of the other possibilities, you should make your voice heard as well.
Tristin Hightower was named Geek of the Year at the 2012 Philadelphia Geek Awards.
Where Is the Revolution of My Youth?
By Linda Slodki
I’ve been listening to and watching the presidential and third-party debates. Because they’re supposed to matter. Because I vote. Because I have photo ID.
But most of the time, we are either poor, or part of the system, or dependent on the system, or we depend on each other. Maybe, in reality, we are a bunch of small communities, caring for each other. The truth of the matter is, the system is engaged in war, trying to head off nuclear destruction. The world as we know it is changing for the worse. The rich run the country, the third parties have little to no voice, the Electoral College makes the final decision, and at the end of the day, it’s the rich who really decide it all. The rest is illusion.
So, what’s that say for me? Perhaps still the idealist, certainly the child of the ’60s and ’70s with a vision for making a better world. It makes me sad, particularly around election time.
Presidential debates continue to make me feel frustrated and unsatisfied. What is the point? Where’s the democracy of the founders of this country? Oh, that’s right—winning without substance. “Soften your approach, get the women’s vote.” Or is that the power to impose your vision? I see false claims, no vision for the future, lies and shortcuts.
I’ll tell you what I want the candidates to address:
• I want to know your plans for the future. I want know how you’ll defend a woman’s right to choose an abortion—not what a “real woman” is supposed to look like. I don’t want my daughters forced into ultrasounds. There is no such thing as “legitimate rape.” I don’t want to watch as more restrictions unfold. I want the politicians out of my bedroom. I want the right to make my own choices about my body and my health care. I want those same choices to continue and broaden for future generations.
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.
Immigrants are not a zombie invasion
PW's Fall Guide 2014