You can feel it in the air as our political suitors and their hired guns rev up their verbal motors. The hunt is on and 'Gappers are the hunted.
As we have noted before, the gender gap has been increasing over the years and it has not escaped the notice of the political parties. They are out to woo and win us because we represent a political force. Sadly, some women just do not recognize this and refuse to inform themselves and vote or we would be even stronger.
There is not much new, though, in the advances from the Demogs. With only a few bumps here and there, their love has been constant. Most of them actually loved us before there was a gender gap. The really fun thing to watch and experience are the mechanized, untrained groping of the Repugnats. However, we must not let the rhetorical musk, created by their lust for our votes, cloud our vision.
We know from experience that we cannot trust the media for factual information on candidates so we must get our facts from prior performances. In either party, there are those who have consistently supported women, but just as the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree and leopards don't change their spots, political conversions are always suspect.
[Time out. We should again clarify our position on religion or spirituality for our new subscribers. We support every person's right to her own concept be it Goddess, God, Nature, The Force or Whatever. We *oppose* those who try to force their religious beliefs on others politically. To make clear what we are writing about, we always use the term "political/religious" to delineate exactly what we are opposed to.]
The word has been given to Repugnant candidates that they must soft pedal the abortion issue. Policy advisors see their opposition to women's reproductive choice as a major reason why many women withdrew from their party. In addition, the irreligious right and the unchristian coalition have secretly indicated to candidates that they will be allowed to deviate from the god (political/religious) position so they will not alienate women. These candidates are further assured that they will still receive campaign funds but if they are successfully elected, in the words of Pat Robinson, "it's payback time."
Specifically, that means unwavering support of the agenda set by the political/religious right groups. On this agenda for congresspersons are mandated prayer in schools and, overturning the President's veto on choice. This is the veto that assures women's human right to consult with her doctor and have any medical procedure necessary for her health and well being. Men have that human right, it is only women who are targeted. It is only women that are threatened by a Congress pledged to overturn the President's veto.
There are those who profess to stand in the gap while mounting a stealth attack against women's human rights. We, however, ARE THE GAP. We occupy this space and we will not be stepped on or crowded out.
We must independently and fearlessly check out and assess the records of those people who offer themselves as candidates. We cannot allow ourselves to abandon our good judgment and vote for every woman candidate simply because of her gender. Likewise, we cannot vote for every person according to her/his political party. Just as there are women who identify only with the male political/religious power structure there are men who refuse to follow their political party's anti-woman platform.
Above all, we must be adult enough to know that no office holder can *always* perform exactly as we deem correct. Just as there are political conversions there is political expediency. What we've got going for us is the knowledge of our political power and their knowledge that we know we've got it. Some candidates still think of women as airheads, empty minds that will fixate on a cute guy candidate, or vote because the candidate is a woman, or believe that our human right of choice is unimportant.
We will increasingly be looking at, and evaluating, love from both sides of the political arena as the '98 Congressional elections and those in 2000 approach. We've "been faking it" long enough, let's be aware that many politicians still are.
"It's love's illusions I have found, I really don't know love at all."
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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