OPINION – For some folks, The American Association of University Women might sound like a way for its members to assure one another that their college education was not wasted in a world of diapers, dishes and dusting. For others it might sound “snobby” or an “uppity” way for women to flaunt their education in order to buttress their opinions.
This libeling with a label is a common way for politicians and parties to diminish, dismiss or ridicule their opponents. Instead of hearing and considering what the other side proposes, they try to obscure any substance with name calling like “rabble-rouser,” “socialist,” “knee-jerker,” “do gooder,” or tree hugger.” Or more commonly, “conservative,” “liberal,” reactionary” and the like.
Fortunately, “Women’s Issues” is not one of those put-downs for the St. George Branch of the American Association of University Women. That was made pretty clear in their recent candidates’ forum.
The concerns the women put before the participating candidates were human, social concerns rightfully shared by both genders. Among them:
Health Care including reproductive health care and family planning. The economic issues facing Utahns such as our disappearing middle class. Education and how it’s supported (or not). Civil Rights issues including workplace discrimination, voting restrictions and gay marriage. As well as what to do about immigration and how to keep and improve the environment and our quality of life.
Even forum items that seemed to cater to women – family planning and reproductive rights or equal pay for equal work – are also concerns for men.
Every married man knows that when the spouses disagree on how many children and when to have them, there is no harmony in any room of the house. Not just the bedroom. Men also know that unwanted, uncared for children or those from homes that cannot afford to give them a decent upbringing, environment and education, create a growing drain on the taxes paid for police, judges, prisons and mental health care.
Both men and women profess belief in equal pay for equal work. Women push this because equity is affirmed widely yet practiced narrowly. Still, men know that lower pay for women can lead to lower pay for themselves.
What Martin Luther King said about justice in his Letter From the Birmingham Jail: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied” can just as well be said about discrimination in the workplace, poll booths, education and housing.
The AAUW reminds us it is time to recognize these election issues as people issues. Or, to adapt 17th century poet John Donne’s words to this topic: “do not ask for whom ‘women’s issues’ are because they are issues for thee.”
The members of the St. George AAUW Branch urge all voters to first find out where candidates stand on these issues. Then, vote for those persons – not the party – who support your beliefs. It is the best way to have politicians in office who are responsible to the people who put them there.
Submitted by Glenn Campbell, St. George
Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them; they do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News.
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Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.