msnbc | October 05, 2012
>>> missing from the first presidential debate this week, they talked about jobs, about taxes, big bird but not about women , an issue that at times has dominated the narrative. joining me is susan author of the book "the nine phases of marriage" who teaches gender studies at marymount manhattan college . among the issues that we have not heard from either candidate from that debate, contraception, abortion, both big issues that have been leading up through the primaries certainly, why do you think they were omitted?
>> i don't know. i can only tell you it was so unfortunate because nothing is more important than the female vote and also, equal pay for equal work and education and scholarship. these are big issues for women today.
>> was this a moment of missed opportunity because there is a gender gap , certainly for mitt romney , with the president leading in the women 's vote, the women 's voter block.
>> the president is leading there. let's see what happens next. i thought it was unfortunate. i mean there are more women in graduate schools and undergraduate programs today in america and women 's have more, women of all ages. it's important for these two candidates to pay attention .
>> is there a driving issue for feel mail independent voters in the country as we talk about there are certainly people on both sides locked in, but it's the independents that will turn this thing.
>> i believe based on my research, it's abortion, birth control and equal pay for equal work .
>> do you think mitt romney has enough time to make any time of dent in that.
>> i don't think his platform is appealing to a modern woman.
>> do you think we've seen and heard a lot of critics saying mitt romney tried to get back to the middle in the first debate do you think we'll see that push in the second and third?
>> i think we might but i'm hopeful what we'll hear next time is about women and what matters to them when they vote.
>> susan shapiro, thanks for coming in. i know a lot of women probably share your feelings about that and hope to hear from the president and mitt romney about their concerns in the next two