Myths and Personal Truths

I was, like many Republicans, consumed with the belief that everyone has the same start in life.  My father, a very stern and prominent figure in my life, had on his car until he died, a bumper sticker that said ‘Rush is right,’ boldly tattooed on his aging Volvo.

My father was poor, and like the man before him, grew up in abject poverty in a shithole in southern Spain.  We moved from there when I was young and upon reaching the U.S. he joined the military and the cementing of the Republican mentality began.  I’ll save you the lengthy stories, but I was until late high school a very staunch and guarded Republican.  I believed, strongly, passionately, in self-made men.  I thought everyone had the same exact chance I did, and simply chose not to take the correct path to get them to success.

And then I grew up.

To say that college, and later grad school was enlightening wouldn’t do it justice.  When I left home, under terrible circumstances and much protest, I was a typical student, broke and hungry.  I learned just how low life could get and how quickly it could get there.  I was blessed to have scholarships that cared for my education and housing, but nothing else.  I remember eating leftover food on a complete stranger’s plate because I was just that hungry…and I was just that proud not to call and ask my parents for help.

I met my best friend my sophomore year, when I was 6’5 and maybe 140lbs.  He got me a college friendly job, which was to say, I showed up whenever I wasn’t crushed beneath the weight of a triple major and exams.  Oh boy, once the food started, I got fat, but more importantly, the job was life-coaching special needs students.

Education, like I received, is utterly invaluable.  Just around the corner from that education, the senate race where Oliver North ran against Democrat, Chuck Robb.  I’ll spare the details, and link the names instead, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to vote the way I’d been raised.

And so began my political rebellion.  Since then, I fiercely identify myself as neither party.

Now here’s the pitch…

I was asked to write, as a dominant male, my opinion on why women need to take special interest in this election.  Listen up.  I’m Catholic (although a bad one) and Spanish and male and as you recall from earlier paragraphs, raised Republican, BUT I think the first thing you need to consider are the reproductive rights issues that will change if Mitt Romney is elected.

I believe in a woman’s right to choose.  I am staunchly pro-choice.  I am pro-choice in spite of demographics that should paint me otherwise.  It doesn’t matter that I don’t agree with abortion, which I don’t, but at the same time, who I am will not be impacted by any law that governs a uterus.  I don’t have one.

While I don’t have children, I do have nieces and God daughters, and family.  I want those fine women to have access to healthy alternatives in lieu of backrooms and coat hangers.  I don’t believe unprotected sex (in whatever form it should take) should mean a life sentence of caring for an unwanted child.

Let’s also not forget that Republican Ryan is against abortion in any form, and no matter what he might say is the ‘Romney/Ryan’ platform, he will always feel this way.  I believe, strongly, that if they are elected, abortion rights will be attacked, again and not only will access be restricted, options such as emergency contraception will be virtually eliminated.

Just a few comments from the right:

                Joe Walsh (R – Ill) – “With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance of an abortion necessary to save the life of the mother.”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) claimed that “legitimate rape” does not often lead to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Do you see healthy sex education coming out of a Republican leadership?  They don’t understand biology and yet here they are, planning to govern it

Ultimately, how can one prevent unwanted pregnancies if they are not only cutting access to abortions, but birth control, Planned Parenthood and realistic sex education classes?  Abstinence only sex education simply does not work.

Rush Limbaugh – “What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We’re not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. Okay, so she’s not a slut. She’s “round heeled”. I take it back”

I’d like to take a moment from this comment to point out the irony that Viagra and Cialis are covered, but birth control is not.  I’d also like to note, for those suggesting that the church should not have to pay for birth control to be covered for its employees, that the immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church.  Why?  Because it is no longer accepted by a majority of Catholics – doctrine is, ultimately, interpreted and applied by the men reading it.   Men, ladies, because again, you aren’t allowed there either.

…and I continue onward…

Lilly Ledbetter, was a union worker for Goodyear tire company.  She started at the same pay as other male employees, but at retirement was making significantly less than her male counterparts.  She sued.  She lost because the court rules that the statute of limitation had passed.  However, from this was born the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

This basically means that each pay check that is submitted, wherein a pay discrepancy exists solely on gender, constitutes an act of discrimination.  This extends the window, with each check, that allows someone to bring suit against a company that is exercising unfair labor practices.

The vote divided sharply along party lines as shown here:

DEMOCRATIC 247 5   3
REPUBLICAN 3 172   3
TOTALS 250 177   6

Now, I’ve listed a few reasons why women shouldn’t support the Romney/Ryan campaign, but ultimately, for me, it comes down to this…

I learned that not everyone has the same start in life.

Read that again… not everyone has the same start in life.

You simply can’t allow a government to disregard those with less and label it as progress.