As a single woman I admit I am the most indecisive person alive. When it comes to matters such as dating or even clothing choice, that’s acceptable. However, when dealing with matters of political policy I can’t keep my country waiting. I need to be resolute in my political decisions. What’s the cause for my concern? According to Women’s Voices, Women Vote, 22 million single women did not vote in the last presidential election. This is a call to arms!
Single women are notorious for saying that they can’t vote because they don’t know enough about politics. We are pigeonholed by this poor excuse. As a result, CNN airs segments like Sex and the Vote to push women to be more active in this presidential election. Personally I am offended by the relation of women’s political participation to that of sex.
However, the reality remains that single women are neglecting their role in society. They are neglecting their freedom to vote. This is the very freedom many fought for during the women’s suffrage movement 84 years ago.
Over the past 30 years the problem has only gotten worse. In 2000, USA Today reported that the gap between married women voters and single women voters was 32 percentage points. Now I am not pushing any party, but it must be said that according to the article, 54 percent of married women support Bush while only 35 percent of unmarried women do. Married women are making time to reach the polls. Why are single gals finding it impossible to get there?
I find it hard to follow politics. I am often confused by both parties. However, there are some simple ways to get around the problem. When I am dating a man that I am unsure of, I make a list of positive and negative traits. When it comes to matters of the president, pick up a newspaper, visit a politician’s Web site and take a stance.
I can understand that it might seem difficult to shape your political views with a lack of role models. For example, the Bush daughters, Jenna and Barbara, actually stood up at the Republican National Convention and said they were “young and irresponsible.” They continued saying they were just a bunch of “party girls.” To make matters worse, they also stated, “We are not very political.”
If the president’s daughters are not very political then what sort of motivation are they giving single women?
In contrast, at the Democratic National Convention Alexandra Kerry recounted some well-thought advice from her father.
“Ali,” he said. “If there’s something you don’t like, something that needs to be changed, change it. But never, ever give up. Remember that you are alive and that you are an American. Those two things make you the luckiest girl in the world.”
Making time for politics and actually listening to what candidates have to say will make decisions easier. The choice then becomes not who to vote for, but whether or not one can make the time to do it.
In 2003, 12,945 of the 34,578 undergraduate students enrolled at Temple University were women. Speculating that the majority of those female students are unmarried, I am inclined to say that our votes still count. Our voices need to be heard.
Nicole D’Andrea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.