On the IWF home page, our regular contributor Cathy Seipp denounces efforts to “powder the vote” –those special campaigns on Oprah, the Lifeline Channel, and elsewhere — to get out the women’s vote, as though we silly girls needed to be reminded that we’ve had the suffrage since 1921. The women’s vote project stems from the Rock the Vote theory — the idea that you have to prod young folks to get off their iPods and into the ballot booths. Cathy writes:
“But isn’t it rather patronizing to extend this attitude to women’ Are we really that helpless’
“Apparently so, to judge from the current media campaigns aimed at women. And also too stupid and lazy to figure out how to register, especially if it interferes with important tasks like getting our nails done: A group called 1000 Flowers recently sent voter registration kits to dozens of swing state nail salons. Personally, I’m rather disturbed at the thought that this election might be decided by people who will only vote if it doesn’t interfere with their manicures.
“Although organizations like Women’s Voices Women Vote and Rock the Vote’s Chicks Rock, Chick Vote are officially nonpartisan, there’s little doubt who they want to see voted in (and out of) office Nov. 2. But they seem to operate in a strange parallel universe in which terrorism does’t exist and Sept. 11 never happened. While George W. Bush’s latest stump speeches concentrate on the war on terror, John Kerry’s haul out that old chestnut about women earning only 76 percent as much as men….
“From these women’s-vote media campaigns, though, you’d never guess that militant Islam is a threat to America, much less women around the world. The front page of the Women’s Voices Women Vote website doesn’t even mention terrorism or the war; apparently, women voters only care about affordable health care, job security and — I’m not kidding — ‘equal opportunity education,’ as if girls being kept out of school is actually a problem in the U.S. in 2004.
“Evidently they think that topics like national defense should only concern men, or maybe just that women are idiots. But those pushing the women’s rights agenda seem to be more out of touch than ever with actual women this election. Although exit polls in 2000 showed that Gore beat Bush by nine points among women, a Washington Post survey last week indicated that female voters prefer Bush to Kerry 50 percent to 46 percent.
“This hasn’t stopped Eve Ensler of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ from trying to get Democratic women to the polls with comments like ‘Step into your vaginas and get the vagina vote out!’ Leaving aside the disturbing and physically impossible image this conjures up — you may as well try to clean your ear with your elbow, or (to quote a ‘Team America: World Police’ line) eat your own head — Ensler’s tactics remind me of the old anti-suffragist argument that because women’s minds are ruled by our reproductive organs, we are too irrational to vote responsibly.”