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Sarah Fister Gale

Sarah Fister Gale
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birthday
August 07
Bio
Sarah Fister Gale is a freelance journalist, novelist and wine-drinker based in Chicago. She is agented by the fabulous Jacquie Flynn of Joelle Delbourgo Associates who is currently seeking a good home for her novel, Losing Jenni, a story of a little girl who drowns in the Chicago River, and the amazing choice her mother makes to cope with her loss. Follow her on Twitter @SarahGale.

NOVEMBER 9, 2012 11:48AM

A Message to Republicans – why I will never vote for you

Rate: 3 Flag

In the days leading up to the last election I had a brief but contentious argument with a friend over why I would never vote for a Republican candidate.

I asked her how she could choose a party that was so anti-women. How she could support a group that is anti-choice, anti-birth control, and anti Planned Parenthood – an organization that so many healthy women have relied on at some point in their lives.

“Are you really going to choose a candidate based on that?” she asked in surprise.

“Of course,” I responded. Then we agreed to change the subject. But I could not get the argument out of my head.

Here is the thing that the Republican party doesn’t seem to understand. If you ask women what their most important political issues are, they will almost certainly mention the economy, jobs, and education before legal abortion or birth control come up. But that doesn’t mean they will vote for an anti-choice anti-reproductive rights politician, no matter how much  prosperity he promises.

The problem Republicans face is that they are asking the wrong questions.

As  a 44-year-old married college-educated white woman, access to birth control and the right to choose may not be at the top of my political agenda, but they are the baseline minimum requirement for any candidate to win my vote. They always have been.

I can say without hesitation that I will never vote for a politician who does not support a women’s right to choose, who talks about the rights of a rapist’s zygote without mentioning how that life will impact the actual woman who was raped, or who would dare to suggest that their religious beliefs should somehow  dictate what medical and preventive care I should have access to.

I will also never vote for a party that doesn’t publically and righteously condemn people like Rush Limbaugh who think it’s okay to call a woman a slut for demanding reproductive healthcare, or who kowtow to whack job tea partiers who breathlessly cite God’s will to defend their every ugly, anti-woman stance.

So yes, the economy is top for mind for me. I would like my home to some day be worth more than I paid for it. I would like the unemployment rate to drop, and I would like to be able to send my kids to college. But the Republican party can promise all the dreamy economic vitality that we all crave and it will still never win my vote, or the vote of most educated thoughtful women.

In fact, until they stop acting like what we do with our uteri is any of their goddamned business, they will never even be considered.

Author tags:

republican, democrat, women, choice, rape, vote

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The religious right is the American Taliban. That 49% of the vote went to Romney is terrifying. R
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post.... you beautifully articulated my own position about the virulent anti-woman Republican Party. I continue to be surprised that any woman would vote for a party that wants to control such a fundamental part of her life.

Stranger still are the number of people -- women! --- who ask why I, a 53-yr-old lesbian long past childbearing, should care about reproductive rights. I point out that anyone who can decide what you do with your body and your fertility controls every choice you can make. Why is this such a difficult concept for people to grasp?

In a bizarre twist on t
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post.... you beautifully articulated my own position about the virulent anti-woman Republican Party. I continue to be surprised that any woman would vote for a party that wants to control such a fundamental part of her life.

Stranger still are the number of people -- women! --- who ask why I, a 53-yr-old lesbian long past childbearing, should care about reproductive rights. I point out that anyone who can decide what you do with your body and your fertility controls every choice you can make. Why is this such a difficult concept for people to grasp?

In a bizarre twist on t
Seems so obvious. And the election results, with Obama's "gift" (Romney talk) to women of maintaining their reproductive health access, should have given the Repubs a wake-up call.

Also, it's baffling that people seem to think of women's reproductive health matters as only affecting women! We don't live in some separate kingdom (queendom) where men are not affected one way or the other by our health, fertility, ability to make a living, etc.
@Cicero - that's another thing: If it doesn't affect me-me-me here-and-now, I shouldn't care about it? I shouldn't care about other people? I shouldn't care about (as you point out) the further ramifications?
Sarah...you hit the nail squarely on its head in this essay...and you did it in such an authentic way. This essay is spectacular. I almost never "rate" any posts (only two or three in the three plus years I've been at OS, because I prefer to save that function for very special occasions)...but I will rate this one.