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Women with(out) rights

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Your vote counts and may determine who will run the country for the next four years. Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.
The 2012 elections have been a battle between the subjective and the objective with women’s right hanging in the balance.

With politicians completely detached from the reality of women and disillusioned about the decisions they are allowed to make and the country we live in, it seems as if the value of a women is diminishing in America.

President Barack Obamaand presidential candidate Mitt Romney have been battling it out in commercials and debates for months with big issues such as the nation’s economic debt, social security, immigration, foreign policies and women’s rights taking center stage.

However, as Election Day draws closer it is women’s rights that seem to be fading into the background. Women on social sites argue as to whether women’s rights should even be discussed with “bigger” issues such as the economy looming over the nations head.

Newspapers and websites bash President Obama for focusing his campaign on social issues. Some disrespectful and ignorant politicians say things like, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” according to the article, “Rep. Todd Akins Didn’t “Misspeak” About Legitimate Rape” posted on Delaware Liberal.com, flow on to the media streams.

In a CNN poll of 1,015 people, 53 percent said that the economic issues are the most important compared to 32 percent of people who said that abortion is an extremely important issue, according to the CNN.com Poll taken in 2011.

It should be a conundrum to many as to why Americans wouldn’t be discussing women’s rights along with the rest of the nation’s big issues, with 50.8 percent of American citizen being female according to the United States Census Bureau, “Quick Fact” page for 2011 and 46.6 percent of women making up the labor force in 2011, according to Catalyst.com article “Statistical Overview of Women in the Workplace,” posted in June.

The issues discussed and voted on are equal pay, abortion, Planned Parenthood, birth control and health care, with both Presidential candidates Obama and Romney taking completely different stances on each issue.

Romney is Pro-life and often talks about his view on abortion. Romney wants to overturn the Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.

He also wants to cut government funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that focuses on sexual and reproductive care and offers educational programs along with contraceptive services, according to http://2012.presidential-candidates.org/Abortion.php.

Romney also did not support the Lilly Ledbetter Act in 2009, that makes it easier for women to sue companies for unequal pay and has yet to officially take a stance on the issue, according to the Huffington Post’s article, “Mitt Romney Adviser On Lilly Ledbetter Act: ‘He Was Opposed To It At The Time’ [UPDATE].”

Rick Santorum is against women taking on professional jobs saying, “radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness,” according to an article posted on About.com, “ Rick Santorum’s Views on Women’s Issues: Santorum on Women in His Own Words.”

Santorum is also against contraception and health care reform mandated contraceptive converges.

Santorum said, One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” according to the same article on About.com. http://womensissues.about.com/od/thepoliticalarena/a/Rick-Santorums-Views-On-Womens-Issues.htm

It is not the personal beliefs that should raise eye brows because each person is entitled to their own beliefs. However, it is the forcing personal beliefs on an entire nation that should alarm all Americans.

What better time than now to talk about, make noise about and vote on such issues. Women’s rights are tied to the success of our nation as a whole, this nation is not just made up of men making the world go round with jobs but women as well.

What is the logic behind the law of lower pay for women? A woman who is capable of doing a job a man is doing should not be paid less then he, do to her sex. Nor should women be penalized by her job for being pregnant.

It is as if our country has secretly said that it is OK to discriminate against women and take away our right to control our bodies. It seems that the way the republicans are setting up the society women will only be good for producing babies.

How can future girls look forward to big dreams of being doctors and lawyers, TV broadcasters, and politicians if the odds of them making it through college are against them because of lower pay, high health care, no contraception and no opportunity for abortion if you are not ready for the child. Planned Parenthood is just that, planned. It is giving the person the right to decide when and with whom to have children with.

How dare someone force another into having a child that was conceived through sexual assault? What type of society would we be creating if we are forcing women to have children they are not emotionally and financially ready to have? These children would affect our economy. These types of decisions affect our society.

All of these issues affect women at their core and for those who are silly enough to think that these same issues do not affect the nation we live in are sadly mistaken.

“In 2010, 104 million women in 59 of the world’s economies started and managed new business ventures, generating millions of jobs and contributing substantially to their domestic, as well as the world’s, gross domestic product… In the US women of color own 1.9 million of the 7.2 million firms with a majority-female ownership, generating $165 billion in revenues and employing 1.2 million people,” As stated on American Progress.com in an article titled, “Unleashing Women’s Economic Potential,” posted March.

What better time to vote on the issues of women’s rights then now when the economy is at stake? Increasing the amount a women makes can increase the amount of income coming into a single parent home, which could help a mother get off government assistance and could generate more spending within the economy.

Hillary Clinton said it best, “Unleashing and harnessing the economic potential of women, we will see a new and better future, “according to American Progress.com.

In Colorado, women make 77 cents for every dollar paid to a man, making a more than $10,000 gap for full-time working men versus full-time working woman in the state, according to http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/PageNavigator/issues_work_wagegap_map_co.html.

It is even misleading to say that these are women’s rights. These rights are already given to us through our Constitution, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The right to vote, the right to think for ourselves, the right to decide when to have a family, if we even want to have children, the right to have affordable health care and the right to equality.

Our country was founded on the right to choose for ourselves, not with government intervention, deciding what religion we should have and what moral compass we should live by. How can a woman prosper with a man telling her how to live a life he knows nothing about and diminishing the opportunities she has by restricting her to her gender capabilities?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your vote is solely focused on economic issues and everything else is insignificant. There is a bigger picture and it is our jobs as voting American citizens to see that picture.

We should not allow the government to sneakily discredit such strides for equality by sending us back to a place of complete inequality and objectification. It is time we as women and citizen force the government into equality.

No more dilly dallying on whether things are moral and religiously right. We are American with a back bone constitution that says equality for all, that says we have birth rights that should not be ignored. When can we expect these things? Who else will demand these rights if we don’t? Citizens are who politicians are talking about so we should be letting our voices be heard.

When students graduate and go to the workforce they will be met with these dilemmas made from this election and then it will be too late. The President will have been chosen and the government will be deciding for you the things you bothered not to care about.