Pandering to women done in ignorant fashion

Amanda Monthei

In regards to women’s issues, three specific moments have characterized the upcoming election for me.

The obvious first is Governor Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment at the second presidential debate, a phrase that he coined when answering a question about equal pay for women in the workplace (women in the United States are paid 72 percent of what men are).

The second is President Barack Obama’s seemingly last-ditch effort to secure the votes of young, female voters with a commercial that likens voting to having sex for the first time.

The commercial in question includes the sort of “look, I’m young and cool” charm of HBO’s “Girls” producer Lena Dunham, (the arm tattoo really drives the point home), who in a single minute managed to enrage Fox News more than anything else this weekend (which is pretty impressive, if you ask me).

The third moment took place last Thursday, Oct. 25, when I was drinking coffee at the Coachlight Restaurant in downtown Marquette.

While I was there, Mitt Romney’s niece Ronna Romney McDaniel walked through the door on one of her many “Women for Mitt” round-table discussion stops this election season.

“Paraded” might actually be a better verb for what happened. Within minutes, she had a fleet of women racing around with cardboard boxes full of Fourth of July candles, tablecloths and centerpieces in their arms.

Moments later, in a display of human efficiency that only Mitt Romney’s niece and her fellow lady patriots could accomplish, they had plastered “Women for Mitt” yard signs, hand-drawn American flags and “We Love Mitt” posters all over the floral wallpaper of the Coachlight Inn’s backroom.

These ladies meant business and not just any business: they meant lady business.

Now these three situations all have one common objective: to pander to us girls in an attempt to get votes for a respective party. It’s a little pathetic.

Take the aforementioned “first time” commercial that, aside from romanticizing the voting process and bringing up some strong points for the President, the Obama administration obviously used to target young, easily influenced first-time female voters.

I am a first-time voter, and I have to say, you’re going to have to do better than having an obviously progressive, but still very biased female tell me that Obama’s policies are what us girls want.

I, for one, am not so much interested in the “women’s issues” as I am with the issues that affect all of us.

Sure, I enjoy my freedoms to use contraceptives as I see fit. I sure like to see my fellow ladies getting their fair share of pay compared to the guys in the office, but this pandering towards women must stop.

Most women don’t care solely about sex, babies and finding a husband. They are just as much concerned about taxes, immigration, foreign policy and the ever-dwindling state of the environment as the next guy who seems to only be concerned with the “men’s issues.”

That being said, we’ve come a long way in women’s suffrage to be so passive in the issues we are concerned about.

The fact that both candidates are “focusing” on women’s issues in the final weeks of the election is arrogant and misleading. We’re being courted. Women have suddenly become an important part of the population worth focusing on.

The single issue that Mitt’s niece Ronna covered in her round table (it was actually rectangular and had a pink lace tablecloth on it, for the record) discussion was the economy and how American women, those that grocery shop and “manage the checkbooks” and care for the kids, are having a hard time in this economic instability.

Ronna cited that five million women are out of work and that our poverty rates are the highest they’ve been in 17 years.

The women discussed their own keen ability to plan things and added that Obama does not have a plan that is up to their super-mom planning standards for the next four years.

But does Romney?

What I’m saying is that both administrations and candidates have and will lie to get votes, from women, from minorities and from the public in general.

Both candidates will do their pandering, they will incorrectly cite statistics and they will tell you that they relate to women because they have wives and gosh darnit, they love their wives.

Women are not idiots, and I hope that before any women go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, that they look at both candidates’ position on every issue, not just the one’s that women are told they should care about.

See, us girls, we can form opinions (gasp!) without being misled by debate talking points and the influence of the big, strong men in government positions. More importantly, women accounted for 54 percent of voters in 2008 and will surely account for a majority of the votes in this election.

While issues like contraception coverage, equal pay and abortion rights are important to women and our future, women need to remember that our eventual leader, once in office, will be dealing with more than just issues pertaining to women’s ovaries.

All Americans will be affected by policies put in place by the candidate that becomes president.

Don’t be influenced by what the candidates claim they will do in the next four years.

Check the facts, the track records, multiple sources and all the issues, not just what is being spoon-fed to you in the form of lies, catchy commercials and fear-mongering.

Vote on the issues, not just the women’s issues both candidates have been discussing.

All of the issues in the election are women’s issues. Keep this in mind when you enter the polls on Election Day.