I don’t like to talk about my political views but I can stay silent no longer. Mitt Romney insults me so deeply every time he talks about women that I can’t even look at him anymore. As I watched last night’s debate, I felt sick at the idea that this man might become our next president. From the “binders full of women” to his false concern for “gender equality,” every comment he makes about women is condescending and antiquated. Let’s not even get me started on his views about women in the workplace and who gets to control a woman’s body. Actually, you know what? Let’s.
Here’s a question for you, Mitt: Did you think about the “binders full of women” comment before you said it? Were you aware of how ignorant and sexist it sounded? “Look, Bob! The woman on page 3 can read, write and looks dynamite in a skirt!” I’m 99.9% certain that no strategist on his team told him to talk about these “binders.” If they did, they should be fired immediately. I’m convinced that he thought of that one all by himself. I think a lot can be learned from what people say when they haven’t been prepped. This provides us a great insight into the mind of Mitt. Women are all the same size and shape and, as such, can be gathered into binders where men can easily sift through and find the ones they like. Here’s some news for you buddy, I don’t fit in a binder. None of the extremely intelligent and gifted women I know can be contained by a 3-ring hole punch. If you’d paid one iota of attention during your many years of spectacular leadership at your companies, you’d know that. But, clearly, you didn’t.
The follow up to the famous “binders” comment had to do with flextime. Now, here the Mittster and I agree. Flextime is an important addition to the workplace. I have long been a huge advocate of flextime. I am not a morning person. I am an afternoon person. I can get twice as much done between the hours of 2pm and 6pm than I can between 8am and 12pm. Let me work when I want to work and I will give you a better product. Guaranteed. I will add that the same is true for my husband (who is a man, Mitt, so pay attention). He defines the term “night owl.” His most productive hours are from 10pm – 2am. I kid you not. If you let him work from home and have flextime, he will crank out an excellent product. If you force him to go in at 8am, he will have a much harder time. So, flextime is good. We are agreed.
Here is where I take issue with you, Mitt. Instituting a policy of flextime so that women can “get home and cook dinner” is not the right way to promote your forward thinking. Yes, I want to be able to spend time with my family during the week. Yes, I happen to be the primary person who cooks in my family. No, my family will not starve without me. No, I do not spend all my free time in the kitchen, barefoot. Again, this comment about women getting home to cook dinner is an insight into that prehistoric little mind of Mitt’s. Did it occur to you, Mitt, that I want flextime so that I can be more productive at work? How about wanting flextime so that I can go to my kid’s games? Or, even better, what if I want flextime so that I can give back to my community through volunteering? Why do you assume that all women want flextime because they need to go home and make dinner? That is insulting not only to women but also to the many men who get dinner on the table every night for their families. They should be recognized for the roles they play at home as well as those at work and in their communities. So should women. We are complex beings, Mitt. We are capable of doing much more than having babies and cooking for them.
And speaking of having babies, Mitt, let’s chat about this whole rape/abortion thing. I’m glad that you have moved into somewhat more recent times and can say that you support a women’s right to choose whether or not to have a baby if her life is in danger from the pregnancy. That’s big of you. You should also congratulate yourself, as I know you do, on agreeing that in cases of rape and incest a woman should also have the right to make a decision about the future of her body and her life. Here’s the thing: how is she supposed to prove that she was raped or a victim of incest? And when the doctors realize that her life is in danger because of the pregnancy, are they supposed to act first and see if they will go to jail for performing the abortion later? What is your timeline on when women will get their cases heard for having a “legitimate reason” to terminate a pregnancy? I’m not sure if you know this, but pregnancy only lasts 10 months. It’s a finite window for women to make the call. Given the sloth like speed of government, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone would get the green light in time.
But, what does that matter, right? It’s not about the woman or how her life will be affected. It’s about the baby. It’s not about a woman not having the right to make choices about her own body. It’s about the baby. It’s not about whether or not the woman can emotionally, physically, and financially support the child. It’s about the baby. (Oh, wait. Ok, well, just ignore that last point because they seem to be one and the same. Oops.) Besides, everyone knows that if legal, women would be running out every five minutes to have abortions. It’d just be like another form of birth control, right? The decision to terminate a pregnancy has little to no emotional toll on the mother. It is one that every woman can enter into lightly. That is why government should ban the procedure. It’s really a matter of saving women from making those uneducated, rash decisions they are so famous for. Right, Mitt?
It’s evident that Mitt Romney has a ridiculously old-fashioned view of women. That’s fine. Seriously. It is. He can think whatever he wants about women. What he should not do is be allowed to put policies into place that bring these absurdly out-of-date opinions into the lives of women throughout the country. We have worked too hard to get where we are and we still have a very long road ahead of us for true gender equality. The thought of having a president (and political party) who takes us back decades makes me truly angry. I’ll be watching the polling results on Election Day to see if my future holds steps towards equal pay, equal opportunities and equal respect or simply a trip back to the kitchen.