Election Day, women politicians are hot topics at resource center
Abortion and the presidential election results were the hot topics at the Women’s Resource Center’s weekly “Gender Talk” Wednesday lunch meeting.
The lunch began with brief comments from Beverly McPhail, the director of the Women’s Resource Center, and focused on the importance women had in the election.
“The election was historic because there was a huge gender gap. That was because there were more women voting for President Obama than Gov. Romney,” McPhail said.
McPhail continued to note the historical aspect of the election and mentioned how the first Asian-American woman and the first openly gay woman were voted into the U.S. Senate.
California and Washington were two states in the election to have both of their Senate seats given to women.
“And we hit the highest number we’ve ever hit with women in the Senate — women are now 20 percent and it’s never been 20 percent,” McPhail said.
McPhail then opened up the conversation for discussion with the five students in attendance. They felt enthusiastic that women are taking their place in politics.
“At least women are not going down,” said history senior Lyndsie Harris.
The conversation moved to the topic of abortion and the misconceptions many people have with women who decide to undergo the procedure.
“Abortion has become such a contingent and stigmatized thing,” McPhail said. “Women who have had abortions become too afraid to talk about it.”
McPhail continued her argument as she passed out a handout from the Abortion Care Network to the students that she received at a recent National Women’s Studies Association conference where they spoke about abortion issues.
“It’s kind of interesting because we hear as Planned Parenthood and they are one of the largest providers, but the Abortion Care Network is made up of independent abortion providers so it’s kind of their network.”
The handout, titled “You Are a Good Woman,” was meant to comfort and support women who recently had an abortion, but continue to feel guilty and shameful.
“My overall message is that abortion is often framed in ways that shame women and I would like to change the debate to have more compassion for women and understand that good women have abortions,” McPhail said.
“I believe if these were our underlying premises in the abortion debate then policy decisions would radically change.”
The next “Gender Talk” will be held Nov. 28. The topic will be on greener solutions to feminine hygiene products.