I don’t respond to most of the weblog postings that Halley Suitt writes about women in general. I do think she tends to promote stereotypes as often as not. However, I also think that sometimes she breaks stereotypes by presenting the concept that women can be many things and still be womanly or even girly if that’s what she wants.
But today, I have to write in strong disagreement with her 12 reasons women should vote for Kerry/Edwards. And indirectly, I also disagree with the USA Today story that inspired Halley (link to which will most likely disappear, since it’s to Yahoo News.)
The USA Today article writes:
Women have long tended to shift toward Republicans as they get married, have children, return to regular churchgoing and acquire wealth and mortgages. In 2000, 63% of single women voted for Gore, but only 48% of married women did. As the ranks of female business owners and homeowners grow, fewer may be inclined to lean to the political left.
However, the same can be said for men. Men, if they become business owners, tend to shift to Republican in their voting. That women do so also, just shows this is not a gender-based difference. Also, people of both sexes, as they get older and have kids, especially if they become regular church goers, tend to lean more Republican.
So why are we differentiating between men and women, as if somehow women aren’t of the same species? Why do we focus on the W vote, and totally neglect the M vote?
Instead of disagreeing with USA Today for this differentiation, Halley actually supports it, but thinks the article didn’t go far enough. In this, she was effective, and made good use of arguments and counter-arguments. But she still supports the dichotomy between men and women, as if how we think is so different that we might as well be from different cultures.
No woman looking at the pictures of the prisoners of the Abu Ghraib prison can be anything but devastated by this ungodly treatment of humans under Bush’s watch. As a mom I find it disgusting that anyone ever let it happen and then, never took the blame. Those people — despite being our hated enemies — are the sons of some mother somewhere. No person should be treated that way. All mothers know that in their hearts. It makes me cry to imagine it and makes me ashamed to have been a part of it — which as an American I was forced to acknowledge — they did it in my name.
By implication,then, is Halley saying that men, Dads, could look at these photos and not be devestated? That somehow men are immune to feelings of disgust and sadness when seeing another person humiliated? That men can’t see the photos of these men and think of their own sons?
I know that Halley is refuting the Security Mom phenomena, whichs is nothing more than a cold, carefully crafted and fostered necon (yes, I have adopted this word now, I have seen the light) manipulation into making it seem that all women should vote for Bush because all our babies are going to be killed in their schools and in their beds if we don’t. I applaud Halley’s approach, even while I wince at it.
(BTW, yes, your babies are in danger now–if your babies are grown up in and soldiers in Iraq, or if you live in Iraq. Outside of this, your babies are more in danger of being sexually abused, hit by a car, killed by a serial killer, catching a fatal disease, or dying of a bee sting, than killed by terrorism in this country. Frankly the Security Mom agenda–with its images of the frail, semi-sexy, God fearin’ woman holding a German Luger–is a bit of joke.)
Still, returning back to Halley and the USA Today story — is the implication then that there are no Security Dads?
As for voting for Edwards because he’s a ‘babe’ who supports his plump wife — nothing like pointing out how heroic Edwards is because he didn’t dump his wife when she gained weight.
“By gol, that’s a darn brave boy that is. Look at his wife — takes courage, you know that?”
What I don’t understand is why Hilary didn’t dump Bill when he turned into a porker.
Bottom line, we’re more alike than not. If you cut us, do we not all bleed? In fact, can’t we even use each others blood and organs to survive? We are the same species, and though society does enforce subtle behavior differences, we still share the same culture and the same values.
Isn’t it time that we focus more on the candidates and what electing each of them can mean, then our sex, and what it means?