The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 2, 2012

What women really want (and how we can get it)

NEW YORK — This election is making me feel oh so special. One party is gallantly protecting me from the other party's "war on women." The president wants my vote so badly that he's trying to scare me with his opponent's plan to return to "the social policy of the 1950s," which I assume means back-alley abortions. Both parties are aggressively courting me in their quest for the women's vote.

"Women's issues." "Women's reproductive rights." How will I ever readjust to being a mere segment of the human race when I have been singled out for so much special treatment?

Easy. I find the Democrats' one-track appeal to women demeaning. What women want isn't that different from what men want: a job that pays well and offers opportunities for advancement; a good education for our children; access to health care; a government that protects our inalienable rights and keeps us safe.

Focusing on our bodies instead of ourselves actually sets the women's movement back to, well, the 1950s, when men went to work and their wives stayed home to cook and clean and raise the kids. In appealing to women on a single issue, albeit an important one, Democrats, in their own way, are doing exactly what they accuse Republicans of doing: waging a war on women — on our brains, not our bodies. They are treating us as if we're too narrow-minded to see beyond abortion. The economy? Leave that to the men. You women focus on the home. It's insulting, if you ask me.

Why all the focus on women? There are more of us. Of the likely voters in the 2012 presidential election, the demographic breakdown is expected to be 52 percent women, 48 percent men, according to a Gallup analysis. In 2008, those shares were 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

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