Dear Mrs. Romney,
I heard your speech. You said that women in America don’t expect their lives to be easy… well… perhaps that is true… but I can tell you what would make our lives easier:
1. The ability to control our own reproductive cycles, the ability to decide how many children we want to have and when we want to have them. The decision to conceive, continue or terminate a pregnancy should not be discussed on Capitol Hill. It is a decision that should be between a woman, her partner, and her doctor. Period.
2. Maternity leave that is longer and paid… we are the ONLY industrialized nation that does not have PAID MATERNITY LEAVE. It really is quite disgraceful. I know Republicans like to say that we live in the greatest country in the world, but the truth is, our policies toward mothers, even though you claim they are the ones that are holding America together, are NOT the best policies that support mothers and families. That is simply the truth.
3. If the GOP is so pro-life, the least they could do it provide support for all those babies that are going to be born, but more importantly how about providing children who are already HERE with what they need instead of cutting services? How? With access to insurance programs for children so that all children receive healthcare, access to early childhood education programs to prepare children for school, good education systems so that these children can be competitive workers when they are adults. Unfortunately, it seems that these types of programs are exactly the types of programs that lack funding, or the ones that have to be cut first. (it really is a miracle though, there always seems to be money in the defense budget…)
4. Access to daycare: the GOP likes to say that it values WORK, and that it is important to instill a work ethic, not to rely on handouts, etc. etc. But… do you know what it takes to be a working mother? Are you aware that many times, it is not even worth working because daycare is so expensive that its cost would be equivalent to a paycheck? Or, it is non-existent, making it impossible to work outside the home? Along those same lines, if the education system was better, if schools offered afterschool programs, perhaps women could find time to work without having to worry about babysitters and where their children will be after school.
5. Our lives would be easier, if health insurance wasn’t so damn difficult to navigate. Do you know anything about preventative care? It is better to have health insurance and prevent sickness than to take care of a sick child or loved one… healthcare should be a given, it is a right… children need it, parents need it to be healthy and be productive workers. Also, you talked about women being the caretakers of elderly parents… why does the Republican Party want replace Medicare for Vouchercare? Do you really need to add another layer of crap that is going to fall on our plates? Who do you think is going to have to shop around for the best insurance? I can guarantee you that it be wives, big sisters, little sisters, and daughters. (and since you did say we do most of the work… I am sure you will agree with this statement.)
Finally, I would like you to know that as a mother, I appreciate that you said that moms are “the best of America, and the hope of America” … it takes great moms to raise great sons and daughters that are the future of this country. So thank you for saying that. But, as a woman, I found your speech and many of the comments made at the RNC dismissive and hurtful, and a bit ridiculous. (Unless you are trying to alienate single women everywhere, in which case, I think you did an excellent job.) Did you purposely ignore so many women out there, who are not moms?? You were blessed with five boys… but do you realize that there are women who are not mothers, not by CHOICE but because that is what life decided (or, if you prefer, that is what God decided.) There are also women that did decide not to be mothers, and they have a voice. Women are important, they have a say! Let me repeat. All women are important. NOT just MOTHERS! They all work hard, and they should not be dismissed like a non-existing bloc. I really hope that these women will wake up and make it to the polls in November, and that they vote for the candidate that has women’s best interests in mind… sadly, Mrs. Romney, that candidate is not Mitt.
Diana (mother, wife, daughter, big sister… most importantly …. WoMAN.)