I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our right to vote, especially our right to vote as women. Women’s suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the late 19th and early 20th century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It took a lot to get the right to vote and today I’m wondering, in light of the 2012 election what’s keeping us here?
What I mean is, when you listen to candidates and look out at the landscape of popular opinion these days I wonder, what are on women’s minds? Women are so critically underrepresented in the political process, and frankly we have a ton of men weighing in on what’s best for us as women. But what do women hear as the issues and concerns that affect us the most in this election? If I’m honest, the conversation regarding women’s issues to me, seems to be concentrated a lot on our reproductive rights–can women gain easy access to contraceptives and abortions. But as a woman, while these issues are of importance those aren’t the ONLY issues that concern me.
What about you?
As I get older, retirement is a growing concern. As I watch my children graduate from college, their ability to get jobs that can give them a better life is heavy on my heart. As I look out in society, human trafficking, especially of young girls that concerns me. Women are still making less than men for the SAME job and skill set, that’s an issue. So in addition to the fight over who’ll pay for contraception, can we also discuss who’ll STOP people from buying sex from children and young women. I’m concerned about the access to the best education for all children including our young women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. I’m attentive to the conversation surrounding Senior care–as I watch my Mother age and know she’s depending on social security and medicare during this season in her life. What about domestic violence, workplace safety and public safety…my goodness, nowadays MOVIES aren’t even safe as we watched in horror at that theatre massacre in Denver. These are just a few of the very real issues that affect my world and concern me in this election. But I wonder has our focus been reduced to one-liners and who had the best sound-bites?
As women, do we matter in this election? In a recent ELLE magazine article that I read it stated that more women than men voted in every presidential election since 1964. But—and this is big but—young, single, and minority women and men, as well as single mothers, vote at LOWER rates than their white, married counterparts. How do women perceive and respond to the assertiveness and aggressiveness of the candidates. I was riding in the elevator this week with a young lady and she unloaded her thoughts on how RUDE she thought one of the candidates was during the debate this week. I can bet that how that she perceived that candidate WILL DEFINITELY impact her vote. Do women approach voting differently? What moves us? What attracts us to one candidate over another?
What do you think? Get in to this discussion!
For decades women have had the right to vote but by in large our choices have only been MEN. What does that say about our influence in this country? Do we believe that only MEN can lead in government? What do you think? For Black women in this election are our needs and concerns different than the general population?
LISTEN HERE to the show and what others had to say as you tell me your thoughts. I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT and THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW is heard exclusive on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B every Sunday from 7 -8 pm ET.