Women Aren't Single-Issue Voters
I had heard through a friend that a male acquaintance of mine was baffled that my political leanings are the way they are, because my gender and my skin color seemed contradictory to them. Another person I'm close to stated that he was baffled that women voted for both parties, suggesting that the Democratic Party was the only political party that catered to women in the right way.
Both of these instances annoyed me to no end, not because they were personally making comments about where I stood politically (which I am not going to disclose), but because these guys had assumed that women are single-issue voters.
What do I mean by that? I mean that if you are a woman and pro-choice in regards to abortion, you'd have to vote Democratically. If you're a woman and are pro-life, you'd have to vote the Republican ticket. Issues like contraception and the wage gap follow the same pattern. From these guys, at these instances, I got the message that women should only care about issues that afflict women, and vote accordingly.
Are those issues important? Absolutely. But there are more issues in the public debate today other than "women's issues" that informed women also care about. I care about the economy, foreign policy, and defense a great deal. I also care about education, the environment, and threats that pervade the United States domestically and in foreign lands.
When I'm deciding who to vote for, I prioritize the issues that I care about - as I'm sure women in both parties do. I ask: What are the issues that matter to me most? What issues are most pressing to the nation's current state? No candidate is perfect, neither is one party. But when a decision has to be made, I'm not afraid to make the decision which aligns to my priorities most, and if need be, sacrifice on some issues of lesser priority to push my point of view on the issues I care about most. Priorities vary from person to person, from woman to woman. But to assume that women think that one certain issue is their deciding factor at the voting booth - to assume that they are single-issue voters - is an egregiously erroneous assumption, and a belittling notion.
It might be hard to grasp for some, but our views on "women's issues" aren't the end-all-be-all for us. To be honest, it baffles me that some people still think that. The modern woman can think on, see, and have opinions on issues beyond those that affect our hearth, home life, and bodies. Women shouldn't be treated as a political bloc, and should not be under the assumption that we are single-issue voters.