Lately on FB, I’ve seen an uptick in pictures like this one, with the tagline Self-loathing women for Romney/Ryan 2012:
If you recongnize this picture as coming from your wall, please don’t take it as a personal attack. This particular picture was shared by three people (a large part of why I chose it), and it’s not the first such pic I’ve seen. The insinuation, here and elsewhere, is that a woman can’t vote for the Republicans without somehow betraying her gender.
Let me be up front: if you choose to choose between Obama and Romney, I believe that Obama is absolutely the best candidate on women’s issues. Setting aside abortion access + contraception (which is important but not the defining issue in a “war on women”), there are economic issues. Romney has five sons and a wife who’s never worked outside the home, so he doesn’t really know a lot about the realities of being a woman in the workplace. His comments about binders full of women and his attempts to reach out to women betray a mindset trapped in the Mad Men era. As a woman, I always knew that if I voted for Romney it would be in spite of these views, not because of them.
That’s the thing, though. A woman can decide to vote for Romney because she has priorities other than the traditional “women’s issues.” Just like a homosexual person can also be fiscally conservative and decide for whatever reason that his economics views will trump his views on gay rights in deciding who to vote for; he can still be a good member of the gay community by working for those goals through nonpolitical means, or by trying to make arguments that will change conservatives’ stances on gay rights, or whatever. Frankly, I have a hard time understanding why someone would vote for Romney, but I suspect there are some reasons since some of my friends and families (intelligent people I respect) will probably b voting for him in two weeks. If that’s the case, then I can see a woman voting for Romney because there are other issues crucial to her as a woman.
On the issue brought up by the picture…. I’m assuming the people passing it around have te Violence Against Women Act. I was upset wen that didn’t pass, becuase for me domestic violence is right up there with kid-cancers and suicides in the realm of scary shit we need to fight with all our might. And that applies to the undocumented women, particularly those whose status was making them vulnerable. But I can imagine a woman being okay with that bill for some reason I don’t understand. I can also imagine her voting Republican in spite of things like that bill, if other priorities matter more. (Why other priorities can matter more is a hard question…)
This is important. Growing up I was told that I couldn’t be a Christian unless I was pro-life. I was told that this week, actually. Twice. And it hurts. Our allegiances to groups aren’t so neat that we can reduce being a good woman (or Christian, or philosopher, or cosplayer, or whatever) to a checklist of items a person needs to tick off. That’s the kind of thing you might expect to find in a binder — and if recent weeks have proved anything, it’s that binders are no place for women, or any of us.
As someone who’s been on the receiving end of this kind of talk, I thought I’d throw my $.02 in. I like to think most Americans on’t cast their ballots for Sir Mittington. But if they do vote for him, it may well bef for the right kind of reasons. Condemning whole goups of people because of a vot eyou don’t have all the facts for doesn’t seem all tat cool to me.