I wrote this several years ago and whenever election time rolls around, I think of the absurdity of the email message I received from a liberal group called “Better Georgia”. It implored me to, get this, ” Vote, and take at least one woman with you.”
The authors (Amy Morton and Laura Benedict) prefaced their urgent message with a few platitudes intended to make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Their message began with the kind acknowledgment that that they know I’m busy and then proceeded to tell me that they are busy too. That set me wondering. I don’t know these people, so how do they know I’m busy? And why would they think I care if they are too?
Perhaps they think we should all be happy, seeing as how busy hands are reputed to be happy hands. Or perhaps they were just citing busyness in an attempt to bond with me. If we’re both busy then there we are, standing on common ground, in eager anticipation of holding hands and bursting out with a few verses of Kumbaya. And I suppose they thought, if we can both take time off from being busy to hold hands and sing, we could have other things in common too.
We don’t. I have absolutely no interest in making elitist proclamations and attending oh-so-enlightening seminars.
Although the message authors specifically mention mothers, daughters and sisters, they don’t indicate that I should be particularly discerning in my choice of a woman to take to vote. They don’t seem to care who that woman is, and don’t specify whether I should select one with whom I have a relationship, hire a professional or just pick one at random.
The latter will take some thought. I’m sure a pick-up line that’s more compelling than “Hey baby, wanna go vote?” will be required to lure a woman off to the polls.
Were it not so insulting on so many levels, I would have found their request amusing. Apparently, being a man, I’m supposed to don the most macho articles of clothing in my wardrobe, (with any luck, my camo wife-beater shirt will be back from the dry cleaners in time) find a woman who hopefully isn’t carrying pepper spray, mace or a firearm, and proclaim, “Me man, you woman. You come with me. We vote.”
Amy and Lauren didn’t expound on whether cave man tactics should be used if the woman I select resists. Being progressives, I imagine they would abhor Cro-Magnon tactics, preferring the more enlightened approaches used during the Spanish Inquisition.
While the concept of a cave man dragging women to the ballot box might work as a plot for an off-beat comedy, it fails miserably in real life. At least with the women I know. I can’t think of one who would not be highly insulted at the mere suggestion that they couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to get to the polls without masculine direction or supervision.
Thinking that I am of the progressive political persuasion, Amy and Lauren were no doubt anticipating that after I selected a “little lady” and dragged her to the polls, I would tell her how to vote. That’s more than a little ironic because women’s concerns certainly wouldn’t be at the top of the list of any, “Me man, you woman” Cro-Magnon who would be inspired by an e-mail message to drag a woman off to the polls.
I’m sure Amy and Lauren are incapable of realizing the insulting nature of their message. And it isn’t only women who should be offended. I find it insulting that Amy and Lauren think, A- that I would drag a woman off to vote and B- that I associate with women who can’t think and act for themselves.
And something else bothers me. Amy and Lauren say they voted, yet they don’t give credit to the men who took them to the polls. I wonder how they got there.
Dang. I guess we as men need to work on our pick up lines. This is just plain ridiculous on so many levels. Many of which you outline perfectly. Yo you wanna go vote? Vote my way babe? It’s just ludicrous to assume that we as men control the out comes. I have supported many women candidates over the course of my career, not because they were women, but because they were best qualified for the position they sought. I will continue to do so.
Damn right I am insulted! Not just by the idea that I can’t – or won’t – get to the polls on my own but also by the apparent assumption that as a woman I will necessarily vote progressive!