In such a contested election, Romney and Obama are fighting for every vote they can get. Women, as a large percentage of the electorate and a large population of undecided voters, have been and continue to be a target for both candidates. This election is especially interesting in terms of the female vote for two reasons in my opinion:
1) There are more undecided women than usual, especially among women without a college degree
2) The term “War on Women” has been coined as Republicans’ efforts to take away some women’s rights.
One of the main reasons that many women remain undecided is the state of the economy. While many women agree with Obama’s stance on reproductive rights, they are skeptical about the future of the economy, and their ability to continue to support their family under another Obama administration. It seems like these women seem to feel the need to decide between their own healthcare rights and general efforts towards greater gender equality, and the improvement of the economy. Why should this even be a choice? What is being communicated that makes these women feel this way?
video: The Women’s Vote
These undecided female voters feel the need to make this choice because that’s what the memes have been telling them. Romney keeps emphasizing how we still have high unemployment, and that most people are not better off than they were four years ago. Obama has certainly been playing up the “War on Women” to highlight his more equitable stance on women’s rights, and emphasizing Romney’s offensive remarks such as “binders full of women.” I feel that these memes have given these undecided female voters a sense of cynicism, and the idea that they need to decide which candidate is the lesser of two evils.
Personally, I am a little offended in what seems like a “contest” to win the female vote. I feel that both candidates are guilty of purposely coining terms to win the female vote, either scaring them about the economy or scaring them about women’s rights. With some of Romney’s claims to support women reproductive rights after previously stating otherwise, I question his authenticity in making such claims. Is he just saying that to win female voters?
These undecided women voters need to look beyond the claims and memes in both parties and evaluate which candidate would truly have their best interests in mine. Personally, I feel that Obama’s economic plans, healthcare plans, and general advocacy for increased gender equality are in my best interest, but I respect that other women may feel differently. That is besides the point. The best way for women to exercise their right to vote, fight for their rights and equality, and demonstrate their views is to look beyond the memes that are part of the contest to win the female vote.