“I intend to become a woman of influence.” | Support Ayo’s Intent
With his ridiculous comments about rape, Rep. Todd Akin (R) brought to light an important issue – the lack of women in our government. In 2012, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, women hold 16.8 percent of the seats in Congress, 17 percent of the seats in the Senate and 16.8 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives. Also, according to the 2010 US Census, women make up 50.9 percent of the US population. Without speculating the reasons for this disparity, it is important to reiterate that the majority of the people making decisions regarding women’s issues are men.
Men like Todd Akin not only have no place in the government, but they also have no place talking about rape, abortion, or birth control. They are not even remotely capable of understanding what it feels like to be a victim of rape, who has just found out that she is pregnant. Nor will they understand what choices face a pregnant 16-year-old girl. Being able to imagine, empathize, or speculate is not good enough.
The only way such a debate is legitimate is if women are accurately represented in the government and for that to be true, we need a lot more women in influential positions. We have come a long way since 1920 (when women first got the right to vote) but there is still a long way to go.
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