By Keertana Sastry – University of Missouri graduate
Tuesday was an historic night for America as Barack Obama was re-elected for a second presidential term. Four more years! But along with that, we saw a new shift for women’s rights. A shift in the right direction.
Let me give a bit of back story. As a proud University of Missouri graduate, I felt compelled to very closely watch the hotly contested Senate election between incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Representative Todd Akin. You guys probably all know about Akin. He’s the guy that said victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because unbeknownst to all women in the world (yet apparently very obvious to some Republican men), the body has some built-in defenses to combat pregnancy during these terrible ordeals. Or to put it in Akin’s terminology, our bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down.” While most of the Republican party turned their back on Akin after he made these comments, he stayed in the race and had a surprising bounce in the polls days before the race.
Thankfully, my fellow Missouri voters punished Akin for his comments as he fell to McCaskill, thereby also ruining the Republicans’ shot at a majority in the Senate. Along with Akin, another rape “definer”- Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said during a debate that pregnancy resulting from rape is “something that God intended to happen.” Let that sink in for just a minute.
Mourdock also lost a possible Senate seat. What a shocker.
The men’s comments coupled with Romney’s “binders full of women” answer to an important question about gender equality show that now more than ever, Republicans are not taking women’s issues seriously. And women are noticing.
Last night’s results prove that women are starting to take control of government systems and demanding their rights be featured prominently on the state and national level.