Though we’re still 8 years shy of the centenary of women’s right to vote, a lot has changed. No candidate, male or female, Republican or Democrat, can hope to win elected office without winning over a few women. While women have historically sided with the Democrats (like the rest of the poor), many who have historically voted Republican are finding themselves without a candidate. The flap about insurance coverage for contraception has triggered incendiary comments from right-wing notable Rush Limbaugh—comments that failed to elicit condemnation from any of the Republican front runners.
While Mitt Romney is catching flack for failing to repudiate Limbaugh’s comments, Catholic Rick Santorum faces his own challenges. The New York Times reports:
Even more than Mr. Romney, Mr. Santorum has made himself a champion of the traditional family with two parents, arguing in speeches that single motherhood increases a child’s chances of poverty and related problems.
The stance particularly vexes Meredith Warren, a Republican strategist in Andover, Mass. “Well, guess what?” she said. “There are a lot of single moms out there.”
The Times quoted another disappointed woman:
“Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election.
For those who thought McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate was evidence of his opinion that one woman was as good as the next, the Republican party isn’t gaining ground. What was once the party of “big business” is rapidly becoming the party of “into everybody’s business.”
Politicians, take note: American women are not the Pill-guzzling, abortion-addicted, one-size-fits-all FemBots you seem to think we are. For many of us, some footnote in the health-care bill is not nearly as big a concern as whether the children we do have will be killed in foreign wars, or be able to afford college, or be able to find a job. As long as my health insurance policy covers Viagra and vasectomies (and where is the brouhaha about that?), I’ll be turning a deaf ear to any deep voices opining on gynecology. Despite what may be your good intentions, gentlemen, it’s not your area of expertise.
Photo courtesy of ambro, freedigitalphotos.net.