Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

I'm coming to you from the swingiest of swing states. And I don't mean like THAT, I mean like Ohio - the land where they inundate you with campaign ads on TV, on the radio, lawn signs lining the road, mailboxes stuffed full of mailers - THAT kind of swing state.

I'm losing my ever-loving mind. There's so much at stake these days in terms of women's rights and basic human rights, in general. Keeping the government out of our uteri, and all that jazz. Four years ago I had a 12 week old baby. I dressed him up with an Obama sticker, took him to the polls, and dropped him off at daycare while I went to work to earn a paycheck, like so many millions of other women do. I came home that night and stayed up late to watch Jon Stewart and Colbert call the election. It was so exciting. Once it became clear that Obama was going to earn the 270 electoral votes that he needed to secure the Presidency, the phone calls started. I celebrated with friends and family members from all over the country. It was incredible - we had taken a huge step forward.

I hope that we can do it again, today. Sure, the economy is still not as robust as it was in 2007. But, we had a huge hole to climb out of, and we're slowly but surely working our way up. I sound idealistic and naive? Ok, but my husband was laid off as a result of the economic crash - so I'm not saying that from a place of untouchable privilege. We had to adjust to a different standard of living and figure out how to manage without that portion of our household income. But we did it - that's one of the reasons I've always been happy to be a working mom. I knew that there could come a time when I would need to support my family, and I wanted to make sure that I could do it. And to be fair, the husband sure made the most out of it. He started his own business, something that he had always wanted to do, and it has been largely successful. And I do recognize that not everyone has that option - not everyone has the knowledge, the expertise, the second income that makes it possible to live that kind of dream. But not everyone has the option to "borrow money from (their) parents," either, as one candidate suggested during a campaign event.

More importantly, I hope that we can recognize that women's rights are incredibly important and that the government has no business dicking around in our personal business. My contraceptive choice is my business, my reproductive choice is my business, and my hot-button issue has nothing to do with getting home early enough in the evening to make dinner for my family. Moms (women!) need support - we need supportive employment policies, allowances for time to pump breastmilk for our babies, affordable childcare and healthcare options. We need to be recognized as economic and intellectual equals - we need to be paid the same as a man doing the equivalent job. We need to not be penalized or "mommy-tracked" for producing the next generation of humanity. We need to stop the mommy wars, too - stay-at-home-moms and working moms need to come together to make sure that we are all treated fairly and that we all have access to the basic needs of our families. No one should have to choose between feeding their family and getting medical care, and it's a sad state of affairs that so many people do.

And so for those reasons, as well as so many others that I couldn't possibly find the time to blog about, I cast my vote for the Obama/Biden ticket. I want four more years of a party that will fight for what is right and what is just. Four more years of progress, four more years of fairness, and four more years of helping to protect and care for those who need it most. I'm so thankful that we're able to fully support our families, and I have no problem helping to support programs who help others in need.

Now I'm going to hibernate under the bed until the results start to roll in. Poke me when it's safe to come out!

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