The Femo: On being a female voter

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by Olivia Conetta

Despite my political writings, I wasn’t sure how to vote in this election. Not being tied to one party or the other, I had no party identification upon which to base a voting decision. Any savvy reader can discern that I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney’s policies for women. But while his social policies are woman- and gay-friendly, President Obama’s unrestrained spending has me worried about the country’s future debt, and his bloody foreign policy is too ruthless. Which is more important: my being a taxpayer or a woman?

Caught between two lackluster alternatives, I wondered if other women had the same dilemma. Should we women vote as women, with our unique interests in mind, or do we vote as citizens who happen to be women, considering all the issues at stake in the election?

There’s a range of policies that affect us in ways men won’t be affected. Whether you get pregnant via rape, incest, or some unforeseen accident; whether your life is in danger during pregnancy; whether you value women’s access to birth control; whether you’re a transwoman who wants her rights protected — these are issues which impact us uniquely. The state of the economy, foreign policy, and other social issues are, of course, important, but we as women must keep in mind that we might like the state to protect certain rights men have less stake in.

I’m not arguing for one party over the others. You cast your own ballot based on the issues you value most. But don’t forget that you’re a woman. The choice you make on Nov. 6 could dictate the choices you’re able to make in the future as an American woman.

 

photo of Mitt Romney by Robert Huffstutter