Facebook, Twitter, the Blogosphere, and News outlets galore have been highlighting the amazing accomplishments of Election Day 2012, when a record number of women were elected, an astounding number of women voted, and there were huge strides forward for marriage equality. Check out these summaries:
Huffington Post’s Women in Politics Break Records in 2012 Election
The BBC’s article- US Election: Women are the New Majority
A New York Times editorial, A Big Leap for Marriage Equality
What do the election results tell us about about being fearless?
- We are making headway. Despite some major setbacks in the courts, marriage equality is becoming a reality for more and more people in the United States. And we’re not gonna stop now!
- We will acknowledge women as leaders in our community. Women can, and should be elected to political office, especially since women make up 50% of the population! Has it really taken until 2012 to have 20 women in the U.S. Senate?
- We will take reproductive rights seriously. The government should not be making a medical decision that belongs to the individual(s) involved.
- We will be heard. In response to the string of outlandish comments such as ‘legitimate rape’ and ‘binders full of women‘, people made sure that their voices were heard, and they would not stand to elect politicians who will maintain principles of inequality.
What does this election mean for sexuality education?
Sexuality education has been a hot political topic in the past, although it didn’t get a lot of attention this year. This blog post on Answer points out the need for sexuality education to be at the forefront of policy-making. It needs to be a priority, not a bargaining chip. Effective, comprehensive sexuality education needs to be a vital component of learning about healthy living, and I hope that our elected officials will support those programs that are sound in theory and methods, and that avoid using fear tactics.
How can sexuality educators use this election as a teaching tool?
Elections can demonstrate how when a community comes together (either physically, virtually, or metaphorically), their voices can be heard and they can make a difference. Each person gets to decide how they prioritize issues, and cast their vote for who can best represent them. Educators can relate the value of voting in an election to personal decision-making, and the importance of thinking independently and critically about decisions that can affect their lives significantly.