No women in site
I went to Barack Obama's website to see where he stands on reproductive rights and women's issues in general.
There were no gender issues to be found among the twenty topics featured on the site's menu, nor among the six "additional issues."
Well, there was one gender issue: sportsmen.
And, indeed, the process brought out the hunter in me. With gals being more than half of our population, I figured there must be something about 'em somewhere in Obama's transcendent website.
I was hoping to see how Obama compared to Hillary on this, as described by "Susan Wood, PhD, who resigned the FDA in protest over its failure to approve emergency contraception for over-the-counter use":
Senator Clinton made the difference. The FDA suddenly announced it would approve emergency contraception for use without a prescription for women 18 and older - one day before FDA officials were to face a determined Senator Clinton and her colleague Senator Murray at a Senate hearing in 2006. No one was more surprised than I was. I hope all of those who benefited from this decision know that it wouldn’t have happened if it had not been for Hillary Clinton.
Here is what Hillary Clinton's website says about women's issues:
Hillary has fought the relentless and insidious efforts by far-right Republicans to limit the protections of Roe v Wade, while also working hard to expand access to family planning services.
Hillary has seen what happens when governments try to control a woman's reproductive health decisions. Whether it was Romania under a dictatorship saying you had to have children for the good of the state or China saying you had to have only one child for the good of the state, governments have dictated the most private and important decisions that we as individuals or families can make.
She has championed the Prevention First Act, which expands access to family planning services for low-income women, requires health insurance companies to cover contraception, and provides a dedicated funding stream for age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sex education.
As First Lady, she helped pass the Family and Medical Leave Act and helped found the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancies, which established and achieved a goal of reducing teen pregnancies by one-third between 1996 and 2005.
In partnership with Senator Patty Murray, Hillary waged a successful three-year battle to get the Food and Drug Administration to accept the overwhelming recommendation of the medical community and make Plan B (the "morning after" pill) available over the counter.
Hillary's work to empower low-income women has changed lives. She fought for the elimination of school fees, which prevent poor children in some countries from attending school, and for investments in health care and education for women and girls. And she helped found Vital Voices, a not-for-profit organization that continues to work to support women's leadership around the globe.
Man's man that I am, I fired up The Google and ferreted out Obama's record on supporting reproductive rights. Turns out that it's undeniably strong, in its own right.
Sure, it was a little harder to find than the other issues. But who would you pay more attention to — some girl or a dude with a rifle?
Besides, you don't get to "post-partisanship" by being shrill about quarrelsome old matters like feminism, do you? Sexism is a thing of the past, y'know.
Again, to be fair, Obama has a demonstrably strong record on reproductive rights.
But I think it's also fair to worry that his all-things-to-all people, leave-no-mellow-harshed candidacy (and, perhaps, presidency) will make him a less-reliable progressive bastion when push comes to shove.
Do I think Obama would have strong-armed the FDA into approving Plan B? I know Hillary did, and I don't see any history of Obama winning such a controversial fight.
I see him dodging debate opportunities, just as I saw him lay low after Iowa, in hopes his buzz would carry him the rest of the way. Just as I saw him take a stand about Iraq before he got to the Senate, only to repeatedly fund the war after he got in. I'd sure feel a lot better about his candidacy if I ever saw him pick, stay with, and win a fight worth fighting. And if you're thinking that fending off the "Clinton Machine" with vaporous rhetoric and race-baiting is fighting for you, I can only hope his charisma is as sustaining for you as Bush's beer-buddy charm is for his loyalists.
Anyway, no worries, ladies. Because if Plan B is ever banned, there's always magic water.