Now that March elections are upon us (in some localities) you may have noticed the political rhetoric warming up. Soon all of us women will feel the real heat, the real passion of politicians who were bowled over by the gender gap last November. They are, as we speak, getting revved up to woo you with sweet talk and flowery promises. Beware, and be aware of the hidden stinger of the bees in their posies.
One of our major political parties is now is serious disagreement with its past policies regarding their announced intentions to overturn women's reproductive rights. This is a difficult time for them as over a third of their membership and more than half of their financial backing is flat out ANTI-CHOICE and demand that it be shouted out.
"Well, yes. So are we," say the others, "but we can't win elections by shouting this out. Look what happened to us last November. We must woo the dumb broads, the loose lezzies and the scuzzy radical feminazis so they will vote for us. We must embrace their issues lovingly and deep six any mention of our anti-choice program. O.K. Keep it in the party platform but just don't call attention to it."
In addition to the above, this political party has directed its faithful to "sponsor and finance women candidates because women vote for women" and "if a suitable woman is not available, then the male candidate MUST be handsome since women vote with their hormones."
(Swoon, gasp.) In the face of these obvious deceptions, whatever is a woman to do? Answer: VOTE.
What if a candidate is a woman who says she is pro-choice? Check her record. Has she put her influence and power where her mouth is? Is her record consistent with her party's platform or yours? We are all for getting more women into political leadership roles but must realize that some times the woman for the job is a man with a proven track record who has consistently supported human programs.
The concept of "women's issues" like the concept of "soccer moms" has been used to marginalize women and put them to one side in the political process. Our issues are human issues and we should not allow politicians to manufacture or control our rhetorical meanings and we should certainly not ape them ourselves.
We just flat out don't need to. We've already got them running scared from the gender gap of the November elections. They know now that we are cohesive group, a powerful political force to be reckoned with.
So don't let them get away with blathering about women's issues and sweet talk you into supporting programs that are harmful to the health of human beings -- women, children or men. Be an informed, adult voter and a wise old owl. Leave the phonies at the alter!
We want to thank all of you who responded with suggestions concerning what steps we may take to access our health care providers in safety and freedom from proselytizing. We were reminded that our plans might be better kept within secure women's groups and/or posted in clinics, for example. So we're sending on your suggestions to some of these groups to disseminate.
Once again we want to tell you how much we appreciate your interest and remind you that we are trying hard to keep up with your comments/suggestions, and the ever increasing number of people subscribing to this list.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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