As the presidential campaign inches closer, the political debate between parties has grown. Recently, the “war on women” has been greatly publicized as well as criticized. It seems as though political leaders want to move backward instead of forward and take rights away from women that they already have. This without a doubt angers many women and makes the political debate surge. However, it seems as though women have more concern for the economy, the job market and education cuts than this “war on women” that political leaders are so anxious to jump into.
With the approaching presidential election there has been much talk on issues concerning women- abortion and contraception at the forefront. With an election, political leaders want to make their beliefs and their itineraries known so voters can decipher which is the better fit for the country and them. In doing so, certain political leaders have offended and angered many women with their views. These issues are undoubtedly a concern for women voters, but a recent survey found that these issues are taking a backseat to other priorities for women: jobs, the economy and education costs. It’s these issues that women care most about and in fact, many women and men alike feel as though the “war on women” is being used as a way to divert attention from the real issues our country faces.
Not to say that a “war on women” is not a real issue- it certainly is. However, it’s all too convenient that political leaders are deciding to make these issues large in light of the bigger issues we face as a country. Our job market is still entirely too weak to be recovering and the economy hasn’t improved either. On top of all of that, the rising costs of education make it more difficult for women to secure a healthy financial future for their children. It’s these issues that take precedent over contraception and abortion debates. Jan Dorner, president of the nonpartisan Illinois League of Women Voters, was quoted in the Daily Journal as saying, “I see it as, ‘Hey, I’m a woman and my big issue is small business, the economy, jobs.’ And I would say those are probably the issues for the majority of voters right now.”
After all, this was already a war that women fought years ago. These issues of abortion and contraception were prevalent 30 or 40 years ago and for them to re-surface makes a lot of women angry, no doubt, but financial issues come first. That is why many women believe that this war on women is a distraction from the real issues that political leaders need to tackle. Laurel Bault, a 54-year-old suburban Chicago mother that talked to the Daily Journal, was quoted saying, “I really think, especially in Illinois, people have taken that and run with it as a diversion. So while we’re standing on the corner with signs saying, ‘I’m not livestock,’ they’re selling our state out. It’s kind of a divide-and-conquer tactic to distract from things that are really going on.”
In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center they found that for both men and women alike, the most pressing issues “are the economy, jobs, the budget deficit, health care and education. Issues identified as least important are gay marriage, birth control and abortion.” It is these issues that voters must focus most of their attention on. That’s not to say that the “war on women” issues shouldn’t be a priority, but without a healthy economy and a strong job market these other issues start to seem trivial. Without jobs and without the flow of economy in our country, we can’t really begin to address other issues. The unemployment rate is still unnaturally high and the number of jobs being created each month is still below the average numbers. To focus on other issues right now makes it too easy for political leaders to sidestep the real issues we face.
What do you make of this “war on women?” Do you see it as a way to distract us from the real issues at hand? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @nicole_spark.