please carrie this website away...
August 25, 2004 01:34 PM

Oh, good god. As an attempt to bring into the political fold all those single young women don't, like omigod, ever vote, we now have cheesy takeoffs on Sex & the City all over the place - the latest? Carrie the Vote. A site purporting to seriously encourage women to vote via an excess of cuteness. But at least it links to the National Women's History Project. I guess the intent is good. It's hardly a new strategy - NARAL used Sex and the City to caution people about restrictions on abortion rights just a few months ago.

But at least NARAL's thing wasn't pink. I can't go on without mentioning the eeeevil of the design of this website - seriously, it's hard to even start in on the problems. Things that don't line up! An excess of fonts and colors! A dearth of anti-aliasing in the main navigation images! All that is wrong with "design for girls". Aieee. Now I can move on...

I accept that the website is sarcastic and humorous in intent, playing to a stereotype of single women as shoe-obsessed and basically stupid for jokes (yeah, cause that works). But why only address how "hard" it is for single women to vote? Why are women the problem if we don't vote? Are we all Barbie over here, complaining that "voting is hard" in tinny little recorded voices?

Nope. Don't think so. The issue that keeps single women from voting is the same one that keeps people in general from voting - a fundamental lack of belief in the political process. Several years of withdrawal in disgust and frustration have turned into, yes, apathy. Apathy is a great defense mechanism when things are just too bad to think about.

I suspect, actually, that quite a bit more young women will be voting this year, because of W's stance on the political issue that most of us can closely connect with - you got it - abortion. That is a reason we ought to get out and vote.

But most of the rest of political discourse is, I think intentionally on the part of politicians, family-centered. Not centered on all families, of course, but on the comfortably middle class two-wage family, the slightly less comfortable multi-child union household. Younger and older people's issues are barely even mentioned in many elections (though we do seem to be doing a bit better on the upper end, as more and more people get old). Why, then, is there any surprise that younger people don't vote? It's not exciting; it's not even about you if you're under 30.

There are organizations (i.e. Punk Voter"> and Emilys List) that are fighting against this, aiming to take back the platforms (as if we ever really had them) by mobilizing more people towards a voting revolution. It's a start. People don't avoid voting because it's hard; they avoid it because it seems pointless.

[Link from Utopian Hell, who did an excellent job of pillorying the ridiculous language of the CTV website, thus sparing me the trouble.]

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Frighteningly, I've heard, from various media outlets, quotes from Kerry saying he's pro-life. I'm hoping these are right-leaning media centers misquoting him as an attempt to take advantage of his supposedly wish-washiness flopping back-and-forth on the issues. Perhaps they're misquoting Kerry from months back when he said that he wouldn't let his personal morals effect his governing of our laws: that he's morally opposed to marriage equality but believes that it violates the constitution to make it illegal; that he's personally pro-life but would uphold the law making abortion accessible. Who knows? Who do we vote for (who has a chance of being elected, in order to get W out of office) when we don't know if they're really supporting our issues?

these are the thoughts of Anna Elizabeth on September 5, 2004 04:49 PM

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