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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

My vote isn’t female

During this home stretch to the election, gender has suddenly become the hot button issue. Binders of women, birth control rights and equal pay have everyone talking.
But why is this still an issue?

I am a woman. I can write, read and speak like most males can. I can cook a meal, and I can throw a football. I am an American with supposedly equal rights, but during this election, it seems that all the candidates are trying to do is win my vote because I am different than half of the population.

Recent polls have shown a 10 point drop in female support for President Barack Obama, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been gaining the ground he lost. Amid a tight race, I am becoming the deciding vote.

I don’t want this.

I want a candidate to win my vote because I support his goals and ideas, not because he may use emotional rhetoric in a campaign commercial.

Obama campagin recently posted, and quickly took down, an image of an e-card on his Tumblr. The card showed a flapper-esque young woman standing next to the text “Vote like your lady parts depend on it.”

Excuse me for saying this, but I vote with my brain and not my vagina.

I am part ofhalf of the population of this country, not a minority.

Candidates, please do not use my gender as a bargaining chip. In the words of a feminist group slogan, “this body is not a political battleground.”

Now, I am fully aware that this election could change many of the rights that I may have as a woman, and I am not belittling the importance of these issues.

In fact, women’s issues are very influential in my voting decision. 

What I’m angry about is the fact that we still have to talk about these issues, and that I still have yet to find a candidate that realizes that being a woman doesn’t make me any less of an American desiring equality.

Should my paycheck be equal to my male counterparts?

Should I receive government support for contraceptives?

Should I be able to get an abortion if I became pregnant from anything other than a rape?

Should I be able to look men in the eye?

What I’m angry about is the fact that many will skim this article, quickly labeling it as feminist rantings. I quote a bumper sticker I once saw that read, “Feminism: The Radical Notion that Women are People.”

Those of my gender have had the ability to vote for 92 years and have been people since the beginning of the human race, yet treating me equally and giving me the right to control my own uterus is still an issue?

This is the 21st century, and I really wish we would all start acting like it.

­— crshelle@indiana.edu

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