Men and Women Want the Same Thing: Jobs

October 26, 2012 | Elizabeth F.

Halloween before an election promises to be a politically charged parody of recent public debate. Unemployed Big Birds, oppressed ladies stuffed into binders, and now maybe a few fake horses and bayonets – though props if they are real- are sure to make appearances. Though these inevitable costumes will generate some laughs and political jabs, they are sure to miss the mark in regards to what still matters most in the upcoming election – to men and women alike.

I would suggest that if you are using the political theme this Halloween, you should consider a much classier attempt at humor that embraces a political message that people actually care about:

As a passionate follower of international politics, I have had to accept that as much as I would like this election to be about the tragic situations in Syria and Benghazi, it is not. Rasmussen shows that 80% of likely voters say that the economy is very important in this election. In fact, the economy is at the forefront of the minds of at least 12.1 million Americans who are still unemployed. With all of the hyperboles, gaffes, and loud distractions of this election, it is sometimes easy to forget what is at stake. As Americans for Prosperity’s chilling silent video portrays, the seriousness of the economic situation for many Americans often goes unsaid.

What is even more understated, however, is the fact that these economic worries concern all Americans, men and women alike. A recent Gallup poll found that the economy ranks number one in importance in this election with 37% of Americans selecting it as their top issue.  Perhaps even more telling is the consensus with which those polled selected this issue:

Women and men put nearly identical emphasis on the economy and unemployment as the nation’s most important problems.

Gallup goes on to explain that although women selected abortion as their top issue in a recent survey of 12 swing states, only 1% of women consider it the most important issue on a national level.

Putting this in context, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently explained on Greta van Susteren’s On the Record that the women she meets simply want jobs, just like anyone else in America. To put the importance of this into perspective it should be noted that Secretary Rice has often maintained views of her own that align with a less conservative take on some social issues. As she explains, however, those who overplay social issues in this election are purposely sabotaging a national discussion on what is truly and tangibly important to both men and women:

I would like to say to people that I am not always in agreement with everything that’s written in the Republican platform about social issues…those who talk about a war on women are not just engaging in hyperbole; I think it’s far worse than that. It is condemning people who are going to be reasonable, and who are going to take into account the views of those with whom they do not agree.

This, of course, does not mean that social issues are unimportant in any respect. It simply means that they are not the driving factors of this year’s election. Women, it should be understood, do not comprise a homogenous voting bloc, and they certainly maintain different concerns and interests than do men. It should not, however, be assumed that during the miserable economic performance of our country, women somehow desire economic opportunity less.

Radical feminists are the first to wave the banner of equality for women, but, for some reason, this same political bloc has failed to attribute equal economic values to women. Rather, they have been the first to distinguish between genders. Yes, women are different from men – and this should be celebrated – but when it comes to desiring economic opportunity, they are quite the same.

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