Feminism | Posted by Gina S on 09/5/2012

A Take On the U.S. Presidential Election from Across the Pond

I am not someone who attacks others for their personal beliefs. I do not openly ridicule people for having a specific belief system…unless that belief becomes a law by which I am forced to live my life.

I’m sure you’ve all been hearing about the current hot topic of women’s reproductive rights in the American presidential race. I’m sure you’ve gathered that there are many Republicans who are in favour of not only making some types of contraceptives illegal, but also banning abortion, despite whether the pregnancy was due to rape and/or incest — and I hope you’re angry about it. I consider myself lucky to live in the UK, because while our government is in no way perfect, they’re not telling me what to do with my body, either. And yet, despite being a citizen of the UK, I find myself constantly angered at the attack on personal freedoms reported every day that happen in the USA.

The upcoming presidential election is fraught with tension and polar opposites. While some of Obama’s choices in other sectors may displease some people, it’s important to be aware that ultimately voting Republican means a step back for women; it’s not just a vote against Obama, but also a vote for a halt of progression towards equality — and possibly even regression. Not only is the banning of abortion a step back into the dark ages, but it means women are more likely to turn to unsafe – and often extremely dangerous–methods because they can’t legally get the safe medical procedures they need.

It worries me that the people being put in positions of potential power are (still) rich, white, heterosexual, strongly Christian males with a hatred of anything that opposes their religious belief system. They are being given a dominant voice and a chance to change the most powerful country in the world. If the day comes when the American president tells women that they have no choice but to give birth after being raped, condemns the LGBT community as an ‘abomination’, and entertains the idea that if raped, a woman’s body can ‘shut the whole thing down’ without any biological evidence existing, what hope is there for progression in worse off countries where freedom is just a dream? As feminists, as believers in equality, it must be acknowledged that for a whole country to be restricted by the president’s religious beliefs, more bigotry, sexism and intolerant behaviours will not only become tolerated, but legally acceptable.

If a Republican becomes president of America and the aforementioned bans on contraception and abortion, illogical, made-up arguments about rape, and the slandering of the LGBT community goes ahead, the country with arguably the most potential to lead others to more equal, progressive and tolerant societal values will be wasted and replaced with a corrupt society where being a woman or LGBT is even more dangerous than it already is. Instead, we will take a step back into the dark ages, reinforcing the power of rich white males to make decisions for – and against– all individuals of varying backgrounds, race, sexual orientation and genders.

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  • Raphaela @ at 1:56 pm, September 5th, 2012

    THANK YOU!! I feel the same way when I hear about the elections in the US. I’m from Germany but I lived in the US for three years. I don’t get why abortion, LGBT rights and birth control are such important topics in the election. Why is one of the most advanced nations worldwide discussing whether or not to grant its people basic human rights? If the Republicans do get elected, I would feel very sorry for every female in the US.

  • Calliope @ at 7:05 pm, September 6th, 2012

    If Republicans get through, America is screwed. Even though I’m Christian,I don’t believe women should be forced to have a baby out of rape or incest.

  • Isabel @ at 2:05 am, September 7th, 2012

    As an LGBT woman I must say that you are MY HERO!

    The funny thing is that it looks to simple and logical when you write it down but here in America, people have a way of twisting things so horribly.

    Hope you don’t mind me sharing a few quotes on Tumblr :-)

  • Emma E @ at 9:10 am, September 8th, 2012

    As a Canadian, I’ve always paid more attention to American politics because our politics are boring. It almost seems like abortion is the only thing anyone wants to talk about. It’s practically ever Republican’s entire platform. Luckily, I sincerely doubt the Republicans will get elected, because Mitt Romney is almost *too* crazy for even some Republicans.

  • Gigi @ at 7:34 pm, September 8th, 2012

    @Isabel – wow thanks, that’s incredibly flattering and I’m glad you like it. Feel free to quote.(:

    Thanks all for your feedback!

  • Alisa @ at 5:58 pm, September 10th, 2012

    I don’t support Mitt Romney or the Republican Party, but… seriously? Articles which are full of generalizations, exaggerations and clear factual inaccuracies like this one are not helping clear things up. For example, Romney has openly stated that he does support abortion in the case of rape and incest, and yet this article seems to conveniently assume that he wants to force women to give birth in these cases. The only thing I get from this is that neither side is capable of presenting a reasonable argument.

  • Gigi @ at 5:26 pm, September 11th, 2012

    Alisa, I have seen many an article claiming that Romney is against abortion in all situations, and he is also continually changing his viewpoint on certain issues. There are no generalizations or statements that are not backed up by sourced from which they were gathered from.

  • Gigi @ at 6:29 pm, September 11th, 2012

    @Alisa – Additionally, if you want to look at ‘factual inaccuracies’ then I suggest you start with a clearer study of Romney’s campaign. For example, his stance on abortion has changed more times than I care to remember. In the 1990’s he was an outspoken pro-choicer, and then he suddenly changed his mind and became ‘pro-life’, while simultaneously claiming that a fetus has a right to live over the choice of the woman carrying the baby, claiming that it was not even a women’s rights issue. You can find this handy info right here: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_conversion/2012/02/mitt_romney_s_abortion_record_flip_flop_or_conversion_.html

    Mitt Romney has demonstrated MANY times during his campaign that he is absolutely not for equality in the case of women’s rights, the rights of those who want to be free from religious dogma and bigotry, the LGBT community and those at the lower end of the social class spectrum. Every time he opens his mouth he shoots his campaign in the foot, and the message conveyed in the article that him becoming president would result in a lot of inequality is both true, and easily proven.

  • Jack Klark @ at 6:05 pm, September 12th, 2012

    1. What United States president developed a foreign policy emphasizing worldwide human rights?
    2. What change was made in 1969 to the South Carolina constitution of 1895?
    3. Why were rural counties able to control the South Carolina state senate until the early 1970s?

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