First came a study done by UCLA researchers saying that Republican women are more ‘feminine’ than Democratic women. Now a study done by University of Texas researchers claims that women are influenced by their hormones when voting. That we vote for liberals when we are ovulating. That we vote liberal because we “feel sexy.” The study, published by CNN, was quickly quashed amid a tidal wave of justifiable anger. Both of these studies were led and authored by – wait for it – women.
So what can a woman do in the face of overt discrimination – furthered by her own kind?
Have a voting party for women, of course! On Tuesday night, I met up with some girlfriends, we ordered pizza, drank wine, and we worked our way through the ballot together. And for at least an hour, we set aside our ordinary life concerns to dedicate our brains to the task of filling in tiny, black bubbles on a white sheet. Not once did we talk about our periods, or how sexy we were feeling (though breastfeeding, boys and babies were certainly touched on – we are still women!).
Altogether, we represent the worlds of medicine, education, finance and law. We are a seriously educated, professionally astute group of women. And yet, even we struggled to make sense of the various initiatives, the cloudy language, the dry as dirt rhetoric. In between bites of pizza and gulps of red wine, we read from the Voter’s Pamphlet, we researched online, we discussed. But it wasn’t so much the issues at hand that interested me (unless it had to do with women’s reproductive rights or education) – but our collective thought process. I’m SO meta.
You see, we were all about sharing. Our ridiculous reasons for filling in one bubble verses another. What the candidates look like. How a friend of a friend knows that candidate and apparently he is pretty cool. Or ‘I read about this woman and she seemed smart.’ I admit to voting for one candidate because I like his wife. (Seriously – she is amazing! It shows good taste.)
We also talked about how some couples – even a few in our small group – do not even discuss politics with their partners. Perhaps it is because my own partner cannot vote that we discuss issues so openly, but is this like a thing? Can it be true that many of us are uncomfortable admitting to one another who they think should run our country?
So, in the interests of complete candor, I am admitting publicly some possibly stupid questions we all had when voting. If any readers would like to enlighten us, be my guest!
- Do we HAVE to vote by mail in WA state?
- What happens if we don’t fill in every answer?
- Why is it that two of the five women present did not receive Voter’s Pamphlets in the mail?
- How do they decide which candidate is listed first? (It isn’t alphabetical or by party, in case you were wondering).
- How does one decide on candidates for positions like Auditor without blatantly relying on someone else’s opinion?
- Why do people go crazy calling people in WA state encouraging us to vote for Obama when we all know we are a hardcore blue state?
Oh yeah – I forgot to mention I’m ovulating. That must be why I voted for Obama!! Only that makes me unfeminine….what is a woman to do?
I guess women will just have to use our brains to decide.