Save the vagina, save the world

 By Melissa Angell

           I am not a Republican nor do I hold any conservative views politically. I grew up in an open minded liberal household in the corner of northern Whatcom County, where cows outnumber people and being a liberal is the equivalent of trying to fit a square into a circle.

            Traditional values were more often than not set aside while my sister and I were growing up. Our parents supported each of our ideas and still do today. They encouraged us to pursue our passions no matter how outrageous they were or still are. They taught us that everyone is equal regardless of gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, or ethnicity.

            Sometimes I feel like I’m lucky to grow up in a household like that. To grow up in household with a mom and a dad who encourage and inspire me every single day. Even in today’s society, 2012, 40 years after the women’s rights movement, 92 years after women gained the right to vote, women are still being told that they are inferior to men.

            What boggles my mind is that women’s rights are a legitimate concern in the up-and-coming presidential election. After all that women have fought for in the last 100 years, people still want to limit what women can and cannot do.

            Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student, was called a slut across the media by conservative commentators in February of this year for wanting her college’s insurance plan to offer contraceptives without a co-pay.

            The state of Arizona has been passing laws making it near impossible for women to get an abortion.

            Our country has even gotten to the point where, thanks to Todd Akin’s ever enlightening views of the female reproductive system, “legitimate rape” has to be defined.

            As an American woman, this pisses me off. All of the hard work our ancestors have fought for, the equality they wanted so badly is under threat in an era where issues such as education and employment are taking a back seat.

            Just the cherry on top of this nightmare is the fact that the Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan has voted against women’s health issues. Ryan supports banning abortion for any reason whatsoever, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and has compared Roe v. Wade to the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision. His presidential running mate Mitt Romney holds the same views. These are the guys who could potentially be running our country for the next four years. Four. Years. Let that sink in a little bit.

As a 20-year-old woman I want to be able to take contraceptives to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Personally, at the age that I’m at, I think I’m too young to be responsible for a baby. I want contraceptives to be available because I know so many women who use them for menstrual related problems. Does that make them sluts and prostitutes?

As a 20-year-old woman, I want to know that if I ever got raped that the definition wouldn’t have to be redefined over and over again. I also would like to know that the politicians, regardless of their political affliliation, who define rape are intelligent enough to know that a woman’s vagina cannot close at will. It cannot prevent rape.

            This debate shouldn’t be an issue today. This debate has already been fought and it angers me that the Republican Party wants to strip away what has already been gained.

            To them, they want their women “barefoot and pregnant.” Well Republican Party, if you ever ask me to go make you a “sammich,” I’m going to tell you “What about my sammich? I’m hungry too!”  

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