“The gender gap
— the difference between how men and women vote — represents
on average a seven-point gulf between the sexes during
presidential elections. Though there was evidence of some
voting differences between the genders as far back as the
1960s, many political scientists date the emergence of the
modern gender gap to the 1980 election, which served as the
culmination of years of change in women’s lives. By then,
more women were working, more were single and living on
their own. The women’s movement reinforced the growing sense
that women’s political interests could and should be
different than those of their husbands and fathers.”
Copeland, Slate magazine, Jan. 4, 2012
Oh please. Now I’ll
write about the Barbara gap — the difference between me/women like
me and women who can be convinced by Democrats that there is a
Republican “war on women.”
The big difference I
saw between 1977, when I started collecting signatures on ballot
questions, and 1980, when I collected signatures on Proposition 2˝,
was that during the later petition drive far fewer women were asking
their husbands if they should sign.
That was permanent
progress. But I was surprised to learn that there was a gender gap
with Prop. 2˝, a larger percentage of men than women voting for it.
I’ve never understood this — why would women want higher property
taxes? — but it made me doubt my assumption that we are all
individuals, unable to be classified by sex, race or anything but
I’ve heard the theory
that many women moved from dependency on men — fathers, then
husbands — to potential dependency on government. But if that were
true, these women would want government to remain viable, not
falling deeper and deeper into debt. At this point, they’d join the
tea party, connecting with other women who are concerned about their
children and grandchildren being burdened with that debt. So what am
I still missing?
In January 2012, Pew
Research found that 70 percent of men knew that China holds the most
U.S. debt ... while only 49 percent of women knew that. Men beat
women on every question, from what the unemployment rate was (men
won by 14 percentage points) to other hotter issues in the news.
Someone at The Atlantic theorized that “maybe all the knowledgeable
women voters were just too busy with work-life balance to answer the
phone when the pollster called.”
I’d buy that, were it
not for men who don’t answer the phone if there’s a sports event on
television or if there’s someone else in the house.
I do understand that
men are likely to be more hawkish than women: They were playing war
games, in the backyard or with their electronic toys, when girls
were playing with dolls. But why would there be a gender gap on
economic issues? Why would women want to give more power to
government, which is mostly run by men?
Still, there must be a
reason that Democratic politicians always make a big deal about
“women’s issues,” even though, according to political scientist
Karen Kaufman, polls have shown that men and women closely track one
another in their views about abortion, and birth control hasn’t been
controversial with anyone since the aforementioned 1980.
I just got a phone call
linking me to a live John Tierney Town Hall. Listened as he told a
caller that his opponent wants to deny women cancer screening.
Please. What woman would believe that anyone wants to prevent women
from getting cancer screenings?
Are some women, for
some reason, more likely to believe lying politicians on any number
For instance: Are women
less likely than men to believe that the Obama administration lied
about the Benghazi attack, insisting that it was a response to an
anti-Islam video instead of a planned 9/11 terrorist event that
should have been prevented? I’m outraged about the murder of the
U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, and what seems to be a
State Department cover-up; why wouldn’t all women be?
This year, many
Democrats pander to what they think is “the women’s vote” with
accusations that Republicans oppose equal pay for women (without
noting that women who work for the Democratic National Committee
earn less than the men). Republican politicians rush into defense
mode led by their wives and daughters, who may or may not get equal
pay for some similar jobs somewhere.
Both sides seem to
think they have to use women to voice-over their ads. Male
candidates who debate female candidates are expected to pull their
punches, even though it seems to me that genuine respect would mean
that they wouldn’t.
I’ve known since that
Prop. 2˝ campaign that many women voters are different from me. But
so are many men voters, or government would be under taxpayer
control by now, Obama wouldn’t be president, and Tierney wouldn’t
still be my congressman.
I’m thinking that the
“gender gap,” like the “war on women,” is fabricated, at most a
self-fulfilling prophecy. My dream is to be part of a majority of
all voters, come Nov. 6.