By Eliska Counce, TSB Columnist
Hey, girl. We gotta talk politics. Because no one puts baby in a binder, right? If you’re a female, there’s really only one choice for you this fall. And I get it. Most of you here in the Collin County Texas area, you’re Team Romney, Team NObama; I get it. Some of you even are so misguided, you believe it doesn’t matter who gets elected, that it’s just one millionaire against another and it doesn’t matter who is elected. I wish I understood. As a female voting in 2012, however, it’s crucial to ask yourself some hard questions. Because it does matter who runs our country for the next four years. Riddle me this:
Who’s the candidate working for equal pay for women? Women are still paid 75 cents for every dollar men are paid. Obama gets this, because he was raised by a single mom. Are you familiar with Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act to help women get equal pay for equal work? Because that’s the first bill your president signed into law.
Got education? Obama’s making it within reach. If you were to divorce or lose your job, you could be educated to take the reins for yourself. Education shouldn’t just be for the rich in this time of soaring educational costs. Have you seen the tuition rate at the University of Texas? That’s why he doubled funding for Pell grants, fought hard to stop student loan interest rates from rising, and worked to raise the standards in our K–12 schools so our students are prepared for college.
Got daughters? Malia and Sascha are two more reasons to vote Obama if you’re female. Let’s face it folks, Sasha and Malia are adorable.There’s just something about young kids in the White House. Decisions that are made day in and day out in the White House have real consequences, sometimes for generations. Children help keep us keep grounded, and serve as Mother Nature’s reality check. And the president is surrounded by a family of females, so he has a real window into how best to empower the women he is raising with Michelle.
Which candidate believes in our equality no matter where you start from? And let’s face it, folks: where you end up pretty much depends on where you start. The fundamental American dream is that no matter who you are or how you started out, you can make a better life for yourself and your family if you’re willing to work for it.
Who will fight for our right to make our own health-care decisions? Thanks to the historic health-care reform he signed, insurance companies will have to provide access to preventive services like contraception and cancer screenings without a co-pay. And they’ll no longer be able to make us pay more for health insurance just because we’re women. Before health care reform, women were much more vulnerable than men to high health care costs. Before health care reform, simply being a woman was considered a preexisting condition. Insurance companies would regularly charge women nearly double for coverage, even when maternity care was not included.
According to Bernard Whitman, author of 52 Reasons to Vote Obama, Under the new provisions in the Affordable Care Act, women will have access to the care and family planning services they need, saving some women up to $600 annually, or about $18,000 during the course of a lifetime. More than 50 percent of women 18 to 34 say they’ve struggled to afford birth control.
Providing contraception coverage will also save employers money. The National Business Group on Health estimated that employers would pay 15 to 17 percent more not to provide coverage than they would to provide it, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of potentially unintended and unhealthy pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity.
So, ladies, I get it. You like Romney for some reason: you’re probably wealthy. You think “Tagg” was a cute name choice. You’re a fan of dancing horses. Okay, actually, I’ll admit it: if you’re a female and voting Romney, I don’t get it at all. We females know that money for weapons and congressman’s salaries are not our priorities. Education, health care, and equality for females is good for our country. And only one candidate didn’t need to call for a binder of women to get their opinions.
So think about stepping outside the box, ladies. I know I’ll get some blowback from my dear conservative readers here. But we can keep it our little secret, ladies. You don’t have to tell your husband or family. We’ll keep it on the DL, if you must, your vote for Obama. But don’t set America back. Don’t set women back. A vote for Obama is a vote for women.