Guess what ladies! Primaries are coming up.  For the presidential election, that is. I feel like it’s my responsibility, if I’m going to vote, to do it right.  By that I mean that I feel like I should be informed by more than just the candidate’s TV ads, factually based as they may be (ahem, sarcasm).

And it’s not just the President that matters – your governor, senators, House rep, your mayor – these people matter, because politics are local, not just national.  For example, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law that states that pregnancy is measured by the first day of her last period.  Read more about the law here and how it affects women in Arizona.

I know so many women who don’t vote because they feel overwhelmed, hate all the candidates, don’t know there’s an election (yes, seriously), or don’t think it matters whether they vote or not.  Most of these excuses sound very silly to me.  If you don’t vote, you are complicit in letting whoever DOES vote choose for you, and at a time when so many women’s issues are up for debate, it’s more important than ever to get your cute, informed patootie to voter registration and then to the polls.  This should help.

This year, there are so many things to worry about: the economy, jobs, healthcare, gun control, defense spending, foreign policy, public education, student loan programs, and social welfare programs – the list goes on, and every woman has one or two issues that are most important to her.  I can’t help but wonder: how can women dive into all of these issues without first thinking about the issues that affect women the most?  It seems like it would be pretty hard for a woman to get an education and build her career in, say, environmental law, if she can’t decide what’s going on in her uterus first.  And, wouldn’t a woman be a little distracted from solving world hunger if she couldn’t legally marry and raise her own children with whomever she pleases?  And, wouldn’t you think it would be pretty difficult for a woman in Michigan, for example, to teach a high school health class effectively if a female state senator gets banned from the floor for two days, simply for saying the word “vagina” during a healthcare debate? Yes, that really happened.

Frankly, I am very confused about why so many women’s rights issues are even issues – rights are called “rights” because they should not be up for debate or for vote.  For women to be the best, most productive members of their families and of their communities, they first need to have autonomy over themselves and rights that are exactly equal to those of men. I will not tell you who to vote for (although I would like to), but I WILL tell you to inform yourself and to vote.  Women had to fight tooth and nail to achieve suffrage in 1920.  Don’t take it for granted!

If you’re having trouble figuring out which presidential candidate your views most closely align with, try this quiz.