Have you seen the Daily Show for Wednesday, November 14? Stewart pointed out one of the ways that conservatives are trying to analyze and discuss the election. It seems that more married women voted for Romney, and more single women voted for Obama.
The language used in this discussion upsets me. The implied assumption about women upsets me as well. For example:
Single women aren’t the only ones using birth control. Married women use birth control. Birth control is incredibly expensive. Everyone, single or married, likes free things. This includes birth control. And it’s not even free because one has to be able to afford insurance in order to have access to “free” birth control. It’s just that birth control pills are included in insurance premiums now. Those who cannot afford health insurance do not magically get free birth control every month. And what about those who cannot have birth control pills because of other health reasons? The Pill may be covered, but other forms of contraception are not.
Also, men like not having to pay $30 co-pays for birth control, too.
Some married women don’t want to get pregnant or have kids. Some single women want to get pregnant and have kids.
Some women get married, have children, get divorced, and then become single women.
Single women aren’t the only women having abortions. Married women have abortions. Some married women have unwanted pregnancies. Planned Parenthood points out “Women face years and years of reproductive life after they’ve completed their families, and they’re at risk of an unintended pregnancy that can create an economic strain.”
Married women like having access to reproductive health care the same as single women.
Reproductive healthcare is more than just abortions. It's more than birth control. It's cancer screening, pap smears, STD and STI testing and treatment, fertility treatment, just to name a few.
According to an article by MSNBC, “half of the roughly 1.2 million U.S. women who have abortions each year are 25 or older.”
Just because a woman isn’t married it doesn’t mean she’s single. Some unmarried women live with their partners. Some will get married at some point. Some will not. Not every person who is dating, partnered, or living together will get married.
Women don’t vote with their vaginas. Saying this statement is as sexist as saying men think with their dicks. Humans think with their brains.
Single women are not “one issue voters” any more than any other voting demographic. To say that single women are one issue voters implies that single women lack depth and critical thinking in their lives. Would this statement be said about any other demographic?
The United Nations recently declared access to birth control a “human right.”
There hundreds of other reasons why women might vote for Obama, rather than abortions. Saying women voted for Obama because of abortions seems to imply that all women just love to kill babies.
There are hundreds of reasons why a woman might vote for Romney. Saying that a married woman would vote for Romney because she has a family and is concerned about her children and the future traps women in the sphere of domesticity and fails to see the complexity of women's lives.
I’m sure not every woman who voted for Obama is pro-choice. I’m sure not every woman who voted for Romney is pro-life.
Saying “married women think about the future of their children” implies that single women do not think about the future of their children. It implies that men are not thinking about the future of their children. This implies that women’s main concern is with children, when there are some women who do not even like children.
To say that single women are “one issue voters” and that “married women think about the future of their children” implies that single women need marriage and domesticity to grow and mature as human beings.
Single women care about their households. Married women care about their households. Men care about their households. This is a blanket statement that implies that a woman’s realm is within the home, that the home is a woman’s main concern in her life. This implies that women do not have concerns about other areas of life and society.
Single women care about the future. Most people “care about the future.” Saying that women who voted for Romney “care about the future” implies that women who voted for Obama don’t care about the future. The people who voted for both candidates care about the future. Voting in itself is an expression of “caring about the future.”
Men care about birth control, too. They also care about women’s access to reproductive health care.
But what do I know? I'm just a married woman.