Wednesday’s debate, the first of three presidential debates, was scheduled to address domestic concerns. And honestly, if reproductive health and wage gaps aren’t domestic issues, then I’m pretty confused about the definition of the word “domestic.” Or maybe it’s just that we aren’t important enough to talk about! We’re only half of the United States population, after all! Then again, that whole 47% debacle wan’t mentioned either. It’s really disheartening not to see either candidate speak about women’s issues, even if at least half of what was said was destined to be offensive and irritating.
One of the problems here is that women, particularly any woman who leans even slightly to the left, are expected to vote for Obama. He isn’t doing the best for us, and could sure as hell be sticking his neck out for the ladies a little more, but he’s not rolling us back 60 years either. Mitt Romney is trying pretty hard to force us back into the kitchens and the birthing beds, and Democrats are taking our desire not to be dragged into the Republic of Gilead for granted. That is a mistake. They’re right in that I and most other women I know, including some fairly conservative Catholic women and my own mostly anti-choice mother, will vote for Obama because they’re terrified of what the Romney/Ryan team will do to women. The thing is, Democrats should not be counting on this. They need to court our vote and respect us as women, and respect those who value women. In the year of the War on Women, this has never been more important.
There is a chance that we’ll get some love (or hate) a little later. The next debate is scheduled to cover both foreign and domestic issues, and the last will cover foreign issues only. And let’s not forget the vice presidential debate, where Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will do verbal battle over both kinds of issues. I imagine that we’ll actually have a better chance of seeing women’s issues come up there because Joe Biden takes no shit and Paul Ryan is a raging misogynist. I do have some hope that someone will remember the ladies at the October 16th Obama/Romney showdown, which will be townhall — style and will feature questions from undecided voters. At least one of those voters will be concerned about birth control or healthcare or wages, right? Right?