Monday, September 15, 2008

What Women Want

Both Sides Seeking to Be What Women Want By KATE ZERNIKE Published: September 14, 2008 What Women Want By Julia Baird NEWSWEEK Published Sep 13, 2008 From the magazine issue dated Sep 22, 2008 It's big news - the politicians are trying to figure out what I - a real, live, flesh and blood 57 year old woman - wants! Ha! Why don't they just ASK ME. BUT I NEVER get a telephone call from a political pollster (and yes, I do vote). Just who the hell are they talking to? Are they just pretending they're talking to REAL women, and making it all up? This question is not rocket science. All they have to do is ask more than a "cross-section" of 100 women what they want, and they'll get the right answers - provided they actually do read them and accurately compile the information. Geez! ECONOMIC SECURITY We want our Social Security. We've worked for it all our lives - we've earned it. We want to get equal pay for equal work. We still haven't achieved that and, in fact, many of us are falling farther and farther behind because our annual wage increases are less than the rate of inflation. HEALTH CARE We don't want to go bankrupt caring for a sick child or elderly parent. We ALSO don't want the minimum care that Medicaid provides, particularly for our elderly parents, in sub-standard under-staffed nursing homes, over-crowded, smelly, with undertrained, uncaring, minimum wage staff. The government can do better for us - and for our most fragile citizens. We want the companies that promised our husbands health care when they took retirement to own up to their promises and not be able to weasle out of their commitments by filing bankruptcy. PERSONAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS We want the government to stay out of our bedrooms and medicine cabinets. If we get a prescription for birth control pills, no one should have the right to deny us the right to purchase our prescription. We believe in personal choice with regard to abortion, even if we wouldn't choose abortion for ourselves. That decsion should be between us and our doctors only and private. Keep your noses out of our churchs and our charities. INTERNATIONAL POLICIES We want illegal aliens caught, arrested, and shipped back across the border, no matter what. Solve the problem, whatever it takes. Bring our troops home. If we have to fight a "war against terror" they can do it better by protecting us here. Institute really fair trade policies. We're sick of seeing our brothers, nephews, husbands and sons lose their jobs because of unfair international competition. Stop raping the Earth. Our children and grandchildren will need clean air and water to live, and food from the oceans and the land to eat. This is what this woman wants. Not amazing to me, this is pretty much what every woman I've talked to where I work discussing these topics wants, too. They are all ages and races, some married, some divorced, some never married, some widowed, some mothers, some without children. Some are college-educated, some are not. I work in a law firm. I've talked to attorneys, mail room clerks, secretaries, messengers, paralegals, billing clerks, Trust accountants, and kitchen attendants. I don't know - or care - what political party any of these women belong to or identify with, if any. I know what concerns unite us. When you peel down the layers of the onion and get past the 60-second sound bite crap, what I've written above is what these women want. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, middle-town USA. Politicians, are you really listening to US?

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