Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Woman Vote

Last weekend at a party, a good female friend of mine informed me that she'd taken the time to watch the most recent Republican debate on televison, "because I know you are into that sort of thing," she said. I am into "that sort of thing." And even though, I would rather she had watched the Democratic debate, I was glad she took the time to become an informed voter for the party of her choice, even though it's not necessarily her "thing."

In the last election more than 20,000 women failed to vote. Most weren't even registered. If I had a dollar for every time a woman told me she didn't "get" politics or didn't care about the process, I could retire. You just don't hear that excuse from men. Most of them appear to step up and do their civic duty without question. Maybe that's why there are so few women in political offices. When we as a group so segregate ourselves from the polticial process, we are making it the domain of men. The domain of old, white men. And then we wonder why it seems like our leaders don't understand what we need or want.

So, why can't we, whether we enjoy politics or not, take the time to think about our beliefs and priorities for our country? Is that so strange? Would you work in your job aimlessly without thinking about where you hope to see the company and yourself go? Would you be in a relationship in which you never thought about the future? Would you buy a new car without thinking about your driving needs? So, why not consider where the country is going?

The second step is to find a candidate who supports causes and national priorities you hold dear. This means more than finding out who friends, significant others, or other social leaders are voting for. I've known too many women who have copied their political views from their husbands like math homework. Like I used to tell my students, grow an opinion, an informed one! If we don't help make decisions, other people will make them for us. And, I don't know about you, but that's not good enough for me. This is about how lucky we are to live in a country where we are free to fully participate and be a visible, functioning part of our society.

But thousands of women won't be. Take a minute to watch the video above. Can you imagine what 20,000 more votes might have done in the last two elections? Can you imagine that your vote might be the one that puts the first female or minority in the White House instead of the same old white guy? You've got the better part of a year to figure out how you are going to make a difference. Do it already!

1 comment:

  1. if nader runs, i'll vote. but otherwise, i'll stay apathetic because whoever runs is going to be a douche bag anyway.