Romney’s latest snafu


Story by Taylor Kuether, Managing Editor

Last week, official Mitt Romney campaign blogger John Hawkins tweeted, “A white woman voting for Barack Obama is like a black woman voting for the KKK.”

Hawkins’ tweet, of course, is only the latest in a long series of snafus the Romney campaign has committed (oh hey Mittens ­— those 47 percent of Americans voting for Obama “no matter what” especially aren’t going to change their mind after you ridicule them for being “entitled to healthcare, to food.” The president’s job is to work for ALL Americans, not just the 53 percent who do pay their income taxes.)

I’ve managed to keep my mouth shut for the majority of election season — unusual for me, particularly when concerning women’s issues and/or politics — but after reading that I couldn’t quell my opinions any longer. Hawkins is not only needlessly bringing sex into the electoral process, but race as well.

Let’s first get past the fact that his KKK claim is absolutely ludicrous; Hawkins’ analogy isn’t even congruent. By creating the KKK parallel, Hawkins is insinuating that a white woman voting for Barack Obama is masochistic and wishing to inflict pain and prejudice upon herself. (Not to mention his analogy draws a comparison between President Obama and the notoriously contemptuous, hateful, and highly-prejudiced Ku Klux Klan; but that’s an opinion piece for another day).

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Women — across all races and ethnicities — voting for Obama are doing so because they know they have the right to control their own bodies, their own sexual and reproductive decisions, and their own lives.

This election has become a sea of sound bytes, one of the most popular being the “war on women.” Those issues, of course, are important. I’m incredulous that we’re debating whether or not women have authority over their own bodies. It is not 1950. Or even 1960. We have gotten past this; it’s called the second wave of feminism.

I don’t know why it’s suddenly been called back into question, but allow me to clarify: Women are equal and contributing members of society. We have opinions and views on the state of the economy, healthcare and education. We are able and equipped to engage in dialogue about these issues just like anyone else, but suddenly we can’t, because now we’re busy fighting for rights we’ve already fought for before.

With Obama in office, women are more likely to be paid the same wage for the same work as men under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Obama signed into law at the beginning of his term. Women also are not in danger of having their abortion rights stripped from them; while Mitt Romney wants to overturn 1973’s Roe v. Wade, Obama will uphold it. And while Romney hopes to limit access to birth control via insurance, “Obamacare” enables more insurance plans to cover birth control, ultimately cracking down on unwanted and teen pregnancies.

Race has nothing to do with it; Hawkins’ analogy is callous and meaningless. Sex, unfortunately, does. Because the “war on women” has been made such a crucial part of this campaign, women need  to be aware that who they vote for affects whether we can continue to make progress in other areas – the economy, the budget, job creation, education, and so much more – or whether we regress to fighting for control of our bodies.