A guest submission from Blythe McCuistion

For some it’s abortion. For others, it’s taxes. For others still, it same-sex marriage. Here’s the thing- Everyone has an issue.

My issue? Women’s Rights.

I support this by participating in multiple forms of activism and…by not voting people into office that hate me.

In a local election, Senator Jim DeMint ran against Candidate Alvin Greene. DeMint’s credentials far exceeded Greene’s (probably due to the fact that Greene had no credentials). On the other hand, DeMint has been cited several times with sexist commentary- and I am sorry, retracting statements after discussing it with your campaign manager doesn’t fly with me. Guess who got my support? That’s right, the guy with no experience and no credentials.

I know there are many other issues out there to be dealt with and that this nation is in peril, but I can’t vote for someone who does not see me as an equal due to my race, religion, or sex. It’s kind of a deal breaker.

I am not a big Obama fan for many reasons. Because this post is about one particular piece of my political views, it should suffice for me to say I would really like someone else in office. So I dug in to the republican frontrunners for the upcoming primary, and first things first, I compare their views on women.

From my research, Candidate Romney is “evolving” in his tolerance of women. What does that say to me? It says he’s not there yet, and needs to be told that I am through being tolerated; I am an equal.

Romney, Candidate Paul, and Candidate Gingrich have spoken out against Planned Parenthood, claiming that its abortionist ways are not something that should be supported with taxpayer dollars. Here’s a newsflash- Planned Parenthood is not all about handing out abortions. In fact, they are pro-avoiding abortions with options like birth control. Now there’s a super radical idea.

Gingrich has stated that he wants to inject religion back into schools. What? No, thank you. I have two different ideas about this.

First, as far as women’s interests go, religion is, quite honestly, a stumbling block. Most religions are patriarchal. This may be suitable in your religious establishment, but it has no place in running a country where over half of the population is female. Patriarchy holds women back by teaching that women should always be in the role of support. This country already runs on the patriarchal model- why in the world would I want to exacerbate this by pumping religion into the mix.

Second, when Gingrich says he wants to put “religion” back into schools, I am positive he means “Christianity,” and of course he doesn’t mean all Christianity, he means mainstream Christianity. This doesn’t include you if you hold anything besides the beliefs of mainstream Christianity. Apologies. Sure, we have religious freedom, but be prepared to be penalized and ostracized if you have other beliefs.

But I mentioned Paul up there, too, didn’t I? His desire to sign a Ban on Planned Parenthood isn’t the biggest feminist beef. Paul states outright that he doesn’t believe in equal pay for equal jobs. Say what? I’ve got an idea, let’s give all women a forty percent raise and men and thirty percent demotion and see how fired up about equal pay we can get.

Candidate Bachmann is avoiding the subject all together. Go on, try to find her stance on anything gender related. When I first began volunteering as a court advocate, I wore pants and always had my hair pulled back to be as “business-like” as possible so I would be more easily taken seriously. It turns out that what I considered “business-like” and “serious” was also what I considered to be less feminine and more masculine (I have since seen the light on that, but that’s a story for another day). I have to wonder if that is Bachmann’s approach here. Is she just ignoring women’s issues because that will take away from the seriousness of her campaign? If so, that seems pretty bogus. Women have been ignored with our many WASP males in office, they don’t need to be ignored with a woman in office.

And a big thank you to Herman Cain for suspending his candidacy so I don’t have to rip apart his views on women because, let’s face it, “allegations” are when it can’t be proven that you sexually harassed two women who won’t actually speak out about it. Guilty is when four women come forward and a thirteen year mistress. Good going.

Back to President Obama. Again, I am not crazy about him for MANY reasons, and I would like to see another person in office. However, he seems to care about a few “Women’s Issues” ( I use quotes because I think of them as regular issues because they affect over half of the population). I particularly like the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Equal pay for equal jobs) and his involvement to increase women participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects.

It goes back to everyone having an issue; one particular hurdle that a representative, whether in the White House or other office, has to clear to get support, with all other hurtles being secondary. As a woman, I don’t care to be tolerated, ignored, or tracked into a supporting role. What I need- what women need- is an advocate.