The Vote

In this season’s bizarre, frantic presidential race, pundits, talking heads and pollsters talk about the “women’s vote” as if we were fungible, all the same, and inclined to vote in a clump. This is yet another manifestation of the invisibility syndrome. Although polls themselves show differences, depending on how the poll is created, or where it is taken, commentators still make this mistake regularly. If men were polled the same way, the same differences would appear. Nobody talks about the “men’s vote” as a discrete group. I happen to live these days in an area where “Bush Women” bumper stickers abound, and evangelism is central to the culture. Women of color, in my community, are unlikely to turn out in high numbers and are largely unmotivated so far as I can see. My largely uninformed perception is that the pundits have, in the past, loosely categorized the “women’s vote” as being a force for the democrats or for liberalism in some way if it could be mobilized. We are as various as the grains of sand. It is tempting to make kind generalizations about women being more peace loving or more eco friendly or whatever I would like us to be, but none of it is right. Generalizations are dangerous and lead us to stop listening to each other. We do it all the time, but that is a subject for another day. I vote, you should too.

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