I have come to belief that inside every woman, there lays a feminist and her feminists tendencies are expressed in degrees depending on the individual. From demands for equal work for equal pay to the utter shunning of male company and indulgence exclusive lesbian relationships, there are certain things that women will not tolerate from men or male driven institutions.
I myself am an ‘infant’ feminist. I live in a bubble and am fortunate that I have not had any of my rights or personal trampled on within that bubble. I know that other hard core feminists/womanists look at me (and women like me) with scorn because I am pro-life and have chosen to stay at home and raise my kids instead of using my degree in fast tracking my career in the arena of government or banking or wherever else these women think my life should lead. They think I have no backbone and that I represent a threat to full female equality. And to some degree I don’t blame them. As reprehensible as my lifestyle is to them – as an individual who has chosen the ‘traditional’ role of the woman – there is a woman far more dangerous than I or my ilk will ever be. And that woman, by sheer power of her utter stupidity and indolence, nearly aborted the infant feminist within me.
Let’s just call her “Becky”, since I’ve long forgotten her name.
I was driving to clean a house one Friday morning when I tuned in to a local radio station. The segment was called “Relationship Rehab” and Becky had phoned in to discuss the voting habits in her home. She said, and I am NOT kidding, that she votes however her husband tells her to vote.
“There are never any arguments in my house around politics,” she said.
Well, I guess not Einstein. What good would it do your husband to argue with his lapdog?
The female presenters on the show were incredulous, as was I.
“What do you mean you vote the way your husband tells you to?” screeched one DJ. “Does he MAKE you vote his way?”
“No, not at all,” said Becky in a Southern drawl. “He just researches the candidates and their ideas and decides who would be the best pick for our family.”
“What?!” the DJ howled.
“What?!?” I echoed in my car.
“So you mean you don’t look at the candidates for yourself? You just trust your husband to make a choice that affects you so personally?”
“Yeah,” said Becky defensively. “I trust my husband completely! I just think he does a better job at looking at the facts.”
The two women at the radio gasped in disbelief. I myself thought I was going to wreck my car. Seizing the opportunity to explain herself further, Becky continued in hopes of strengthening her argument. She succeeded only in making matters worse.
“He’s very detailed,” she explained. “I mean, he goes over everything page by page.”
“So you don’t look at any of the guys who are running for yourself,” repeated the other DJ. “You just vote the way he tells you to?”
“Does he MAKE you do this?” asked the other again.
“No. He doesn’t,” Becky reminded them. “I was just raised to believe that the man chooses who his home supports and votes for.”
“OHHHHHH!!!!”, we all chorused.
Somewhere, the women of the suffragette movement were stabbing themselves with their freshly cast off needle work and Harriet Tubman was spinning in her grave. I think an angel died at the feet of Jesus that morning as well.
“I just don’t trust myself to make the right choice,” Becky eventually admitted. “And I don’t know why you guys are so upset. My parents have never voted ever at all anyways!”
“OOOOHHHHHHH!!!”, we hollered again.
The phones lit up. All around the city, there were women calling in – to come to Becky’s defense. They, like her, voted precisely the way their husbands persuaded (or instructed) them to. At that moment, somewhere in Zimbabwe, Lucifer was in the middle of encouraging Mugabe to tear down more homes of his impoverished citizens, but he stopped.
“I’ll be back, Bobby,” he said to Mugabe. “I have to run over to Atlanta to check this Becky thing out. I outdid myself this time!”
When they finally found someone to counter Becky’s stance, she ended her tirade in a huff, asserting that the great thing about America is that everyone has the freedom to do what they want to do!
But you’re destroying heaven with your lunacy, Becky! That’s un-American at its core!
Here’s my take: as a Black woman, I could never imagine having anyone tell me how to vote. Blacks were excluded from voting because we weren’t even considered whole human beings for centuries; and women were prohibited from voting because we were believed to be too emotional. We couldn’t be trusted to look at the facts presented to us and make a logical choice in a candidate because that’s what men ascribed to us. Becky, quite literally, set women back to the 18th century with her admission.
I mentioned Harriett Tubman earlier, because apart from fighting for an end to slavery, she also fought hard for women’s rights and was a key player in the suffragette movement. Many women in elite society had never done anything outside of their homes, and in Harriet they found a strong, brave and daring model of womanhood. She was often called on to speak at rallies. Though illiterate, she was cunning and unafraid. And she was Black. She defied everything that the White male establishment said about race and gender. How could I then allow myself to be led to vote in a way that was against my conscience – or fail to engage my conscience in my vote at all!
Look ladies: we live in the age of high speed internet and a 24 hour news cycle. There are countless political publications – all for free – at your local library. There are radio stations specifically dedicated to politics. C-SPAN (you know that channel you gloss over on your way to E! ?) is always available. You can watch how your senators and congressmen vote on issues that matter to you live. There is no excuse for political ignorance. Not in America. If you don’t know what the candidates stand for and who you should vote for, it’s because you’re LAZY, pure and simple.
If you’re not going to make an informed, intelligent vote, please stay your behind at home on election day. I know why the country is in such ruin now. The inmates have taken over the asylum!
MOM Squad: What do you think? Is it okay for women to vote the way their husbands/boyfriends tell them to, just for the sake of harmony in the home? Do you vote the way your friends do? Have you ever been pressured into voting one way or another just so you would be in compliance with your peers?
This thing is deep. Deeper than I thought!