NaBloPoMo Entry 4: What are your thoughts about tomorrow’s election in the United States?

November 5, 2012 in NaBloPoMo, Personal, Politics, Sexism, Slideshow

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt took me rather by surprise; as a politics student, it feels like there’s just too much to say on this matter for a quick daily blog post. With that in mind, I decided to focus on something which most of you know is an important issue to me; gender equality and the importance of women voting in the US election. 

I know by this point some of you will already be rolling your eyes and thinking ‘not this again’, but the fact is it matters. Aside from the historical reasons  for voting (remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote in the US, after many were jailed for picketing the White House) but because the 2012 campaign trail has at US women were granted the been littered with issue relating to gender equality.

Here are a select few:

  • Abortion: Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping on abortion issues has raised many an eyebrow in the lead up to tomorrow’s election. One time a pro-choice politician, Romney had a change of heart while serving as governor of Massachusetts and has since gone on record as opposing abortion except in a few specific circumstances. Conversely, throughout his first term as President, Barack Obama has maintained the position he held during his presidential campaign in 2008; he supports a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions.
  • Contraception: Mitt Romney has never taken a firm, specific position on the issue of contraception and whether he believes in a woman’s right to have access to or coverage of contraceptives, and Obama was forthright in his belief that a woman should have access to contraception and that “contraception has to be part of the education process.” He followed through in his first term by including full contraceptive coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Rape: Who could forget the ‘legitimate rape’ scandal? In August 2012 Todd Akin, a Republican member of the US House of Representatives, candidate in the 2012 U.S. Senate elections in Missouri, and long-time pro-life advocate, made the claim that women victims of what he described as “legitimate rape” rarely experience pregnancy from rape. The implication that some kinds of rape are ‘legitimate’ led to an understandable uproar.

I could go on about gender gaps in education, income disparity, sexism and the degradation of women in the media., but I won’t – what I will do is leave you with some infographics from Mother Jones illustrating why I feel it’s so important for the women of the US to vote tomorrow – whoever you choose to vote for.