I asked a married male friend what he thought women's issues were and he said: "If I am a guy and I do what the woman tells me, I am per se not a woman's issue. Of course good conduct does not mean I won't piss her off." Doesn't that just sound like a guy?
What would you say if someone asked you to define men's issues? My first thoughts are behaviors such as leaving the toilet seat up, making a mess in the kitchen, putting shod feet on the coffee table, and hogging the remote control. But those aren't men's issues. Those are issues I have with men (my adult sons, in particular) about their actions that I find annoying. But those things say nothing about them and their concerns or issues.
One of the women's issues I struggle with but I don't have an answer for is generalizations. Just as I just did above by lumping all men into the sloppy, remote-hogging category, others do it to us.
I took the 11-year-old daughter of a friend shopping and pointed out some cute socks with little cats and flowers on them, suggesting she might like them because I know her mom wears such. "I am not my mother," she said. "I don't like socks with little things on them." That put me in my place for making an assumption about her taste. But she, like all of us, is her own person.
It is that time of the year when we are pelted with political advertising, some of it aimed at women because we apparently are going to decide which way the presidential election swings. Sadly, when candidates and their "mad men" create these ads, they generalize about what women are most concerned about and they love to push buttons that some of the noisiest of us are obsessed about.
Does it bother you that ads aimed at women are always about social issues? Do they not think we care about the economic health of our country, the futures of our children, safety in public places and whether or not we will have Medicare and Social Security for our children or ourselves?
Online political ads about women being afraid, that blow small issues out of proportion and mask the important ones, are making me mad. In addition to assuming that we don't care about the real issues by making generalizations based on gender you are being unfair, blatantly sexist and incredibly rude.
Don't tell me it is a scary time to be a woman. It is only scary if we don't get some direction in this country and turn the economy around. You don't make a dent in problem-solving by focusing on unrelated issues that play on the emotions of a few who chose to debate social issues over facing the more difficult task of working together to fix our country's economic problems and give our families a better future.
To the women who support this generalization: Please don't tell me that I want to or should pay for your birth control or that you are entitled to it because you are a woman. No woman is currently prevented from purchasing birth control and all women can choose their actions that may or may not warrant it. Don't tell me that I want to share or discuss that with other women or the government.
Because we are women does not mean we all have the same moral code, the same personal lives or the same sense of entitlement. And don't make claims about lack of choices for women; women have equal rights, now, in case you have forgotten.
You think times are only scary for women? That just isn't how it is at all. It's scary for everyone because our economy is a mess and we don't know if we will have money to send children to college or pay our mortgages.
This smokescreen is another ploy to divert discussion about important issues that have an impact on everyone, and that we can do something about. I'm not going to try to change your moral compass and your ads on unrelated subjects will not fix the problems and your campaign avoids talking about. So stop trying to use women as your cover-up. We're better than that and we won't stand for it.
Right now my annoyance quotient has been reached. I can only speak for myself. Ad men and candidates can't speak for me about things only affecting women; your "scared" actresses can't speak for all women. I'm fed up. I'm no longer tolerant of being generalized. I am insulted by your lack of respect for women. You have made life scarier for me. I cannot speak for all women, but I have a good feeling that I am not alone.
Do you really think that women care so little about the future of our economy that they would base their vote for president on a social issue? I hope not, and I sure don't think most women would be that shortsighted. The president serves all the people and he doesn't write nor pass the laws. I would vote for a president who values the vote of a woman who votes for what is right for her fellow Americans, not for issues that are decided by bipartisan legislators and affect only a few.
Please, candidates, instead of telling us how scared we are about social issues, bring us into the discussion about issues that matter to everyone. 8.2 percent unemployment. That's scary. $16 trillion national debt. That's scary. Now, boys, put down your remote controls and come up with some constructive ideas for how to engage more women in fixing the big problems.