A Take On the U.S. Presidential Election from Across the Pond
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.
More articles by Category: Feminism, Politics, Religion, Violence against women
More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Rape, Reproductive rights, Abortion, News, Women's leadership, Elections