The Politics of Women’s Healthcare
Unless you live under a rock, or like Viggo Mortensen, you don’t own a television or surf the web (it’s true, I heard him say it), then you are probably keenly aware of the current debate over Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, women’s health, and women’s reproductive rights.
It’s a raging debate, and frankly, it also insults the hell out of me. But then, when it comes to politicians and their political, politician games, I get insulted quite often. Mainly because I get sick and tired of politicians presuming to speak for me. As if I am not able to speak for myself.
I am one of those much talked about (and apparently very powerful) registered Independents – the swing voters. I like to think of us folks in the middle as the real silent majority. We’re the ones that are usually not ideological in our politics. We generally don’t show up to political rallies, or Tea Parties, or Occupy Wall Street protests. It’s not that we don’t care. It’s just that we prefer to speak with our vote. And when we do it’s usually pretty loud and clear. Just ask Martha Coakley, she’ll tell you.
As a woman, I’m also in a voting demographic that is a hot commodity this political season. You may recall all of the brouhaha with Sandra Fluke and free birth control for Georgetown law students recently; Rick Santorum’s supremely ignorant comments about birth control; and no doubt, you remember Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic rant about Sandra Fluke, so I won’t even go there.
Now, the Obama administration and Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, have both decided that it’s going to be women like me, and you perhaps, who determine the outcome of the 2012 presidential election. It’s game on – on both sides of the aisle. This is where I start to get testy. That’s because I don’t believe any politician has my best interests in mind. I’m an Independent voter, remember?
Yes, I know it has been politics and politicians who have passed laws which have directly benefited women, and I do appreciate that. What I don’t appreciate is being used as a political pawn. But even more than that, I deeply resent the assumption that I’m too stupid to see through the political posturing, the slogans, and the ideological warfare intended as nothing more than to influence how I might think about certain issues, and who I will vote for as a result.
Are we just silly women who can be politically persuaded and led about by our ovaries and our uterus? Do they honestly believe that all it takes for me to vote for a specific candidate is to inflame my feminist passions by suggesting there is a “war on women?” Seriously? That’s what you think of me Mr. Politician?
Newsflash gentlemen: Like you, I read. Like you, I reason, and contrary to what you might think, I am not an uneducated dunderhead who believes every piece of political propaganda set before me. Yes, I care about women’s rights. Yes, I care about women’s health, and yes, I care about women’s reproductive rights. But unlike some of you, I don’t think with what is positioned between my legs.
So please, enough with this pseudo war on women. I’m not feeling it. At least, not in the way you probably wish that I would. If you really want to inflame my passions, recite Lord Alfred Tennyson to me while you’re dressed as a Gladiator, ala Russell Crowe. That will get me every time.
Magnolia Miller is a women’s freelance health writer at The Perimenopause Blog