August 31, 2004
Real ladies vote Republican
I was trying to come up with a clever way to describe this USA Today poll which shows that single women are more likely to vote Democratic while married women trend Republican, and the reaction to it by Focus on the Family, but I don't think I can do any better than Jonathan did. In case you've ever wondered why the Phyllis Schlaflys of the world are called Ladies Against Women, this ought to help you understand.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 31, 2004 to The making of the President
It's easy to pick on Shlafly, but the greater issue -- security versus liberty, and how different demographic groups may view that issue -- really is an interesting one. It does neither side any favors when the issue is oversimplified.
I have to agree with Kevin here. This "Ladies Against Women" parody does little good in demagoguing an issue by implying that Republican women are traitors to their gender, as is a common tactic among the left.
It doesn't matter that I don't share Schlafly's vision for what women's role in society should be (at least not when forced by law or social pressure). If they're going to mock this position, they should at least do so with reason and substance, not just negative rhetoric. It's much easier to ridicule the positions of another than it is to form a substantive argument for one's own, I guess.
It's like the political ads which tell us why we shouldn't vote for Candidate A, but give us no reason why we should vote FOR Candidate B.
As a Hyphenated Male, I suppose I'm somewhat biased when it comes to discussions of gender disparity, but Jonathan's criticism did not seem in any way out of line to me. In particular, Kevin's criticism seems to apply more to the FOF/Schlafly take: they're the ones simplifying the role of women in society, and deserve to be mocked.
Frankly, I think some positions/opinions can be dismissed out of hand, without offering "reason and substance." And what would constitute a reasonable and substantive rebuttal, in this case? Asserting that unmarried women exist who are NOT self-centered and lazy? Giving examples of women who do very well, thank you, without a husband? Quoting a spokesperson for Married Moms For Kerry? This all seems self-evident to me. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding the criticism here.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that unmarried/single women are more self-centered because, unlike their married counterparts, they aren't focused on their families/children. Um, dude, that's because they don't HAVE them yet! And saying that married women obviously believe more in marriage and the committment that goes with it...Jeez Louise, with a voting age of 18, you think it's POSSIBLE that there are single women who think getting married is a wondeful thing and just haven't gotten around to it yet?
The sad thing is there may very well be something interesting to uncover with this statistic. But the FOF/Schlafly take is so twisted that it totally gets missed.