Opinion

Women: Vote for President Barack Obama!


The one issue widening the wedge between Democrats and Republicans in
this presidential election is that of women’s rights. As the gap
expands, we are subjected to increasingly more ignorant remarks about
rape and abortion, the funding of contraception, and the need for
special counseling and testing for pregnant girls and women weighing
whether or not to have an abortion. Also divisive is the blocking of
legislation addressing violence against women as well as equal pay,
which fosters a virulent form of sexism in this country. On the basis
of these current indicators, we can only predict that the situation
for women would worsen under a Romney Administration.

Would an elected Mitt Romney uphold our democratic values of equality
and inclusivity or would we expect a further erosion of women’s rights
and opportunities? Particularly problematic for women, especially
those of us who are single, lesbian, widowed, or divorced, is our
expected role in the U.S. as spelled out by the 2012 Republican Party
Platform: “The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil
society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a
nation. . . . we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one
woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for,
encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.”

Another alarming belief centers on the role of women in the Mormon
faith. Added to the Republican’s national standard promoting marriage
is the Mormon tenet that the most important goal for a girl is “to
marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority.”
Mormon girls also must be chaste until marriage, thereby making them
worth marrying. Being married and bearing many children are the
noblest of endeavors for girls. Of all U.S. states, Utah has the
highest percentage of children less than 18 years of age, 31.5%.
Because Utahan girls marry young, the lowest median age in the
country, and do not complete a college education, the wage gap in Utah
is the largest in the nation, with women earning 55 cents for every
dollar a man makes (American Community Survey in Slate.com). Although
Mormon marriages are sealed in heaven to last an eternity, divorces do
occur, but obtaining a church divorce is a complicated pursuit. After
appealing to male church authorities, a couple may be granted a church
divorce, which would break the sealed celestial marriage and free the
couple.

The LDS Church and the Mormon family are patriarchal and hierarchal
institutions, placing women in a subordinate position to men. Only
boys and men can become priests; male bishops and stake presidents
lead the local churches, which were positions held by Mitt Romney when
he lived in Massachusetts.

What role would single, lesbian, widowed, or divorced women have in
the U.S. under a Romney Administration? Would we anomalies be
ostracized or considered unworthy of respect and dignity? Women are to
marry and have children, leaving the work place to men. For the sake
of all girls and women, vote for President Barack Obama.

Anne Hoiberg

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Point Loma Democratic Club of which she is a member.