A Word from Atop the Soapbox

*climbs onto soapbox*

Time to revisit the Hos Before Bros argument again, y'all...

This corporation has a strict 'bros before hos' policy.
~ 30 Rock
(THE best comedy on TV today -- season premiere is THIS Thursday on NBC. Watch. For me. Thankyew.)

I am a woman. Obviously.

I vote. Also pretty apparent.

So, using what I recall as basic equation logic... does it follow that a voting woman automatically has to vote for a woman?

Must I apply the adage 'hos before bros' to this situation?

I’m all about Girl Power. Giving a boost to other members of my gender whenever possible. I belong to a women-only volunteer organization -- was even president of said group. Fact: Women are notoriously tough on other women (I can say that because (a) I am one and (b) I’ve witnessed this first-hand.) And I work really hard not to be one of those kinds of chicks. Empowerment. Support. Validation. All important to me.

Being as woman-centric as I am, I’ve been asked the following question more than once: "Aren’t you voting for Sarah Palin?"

Hmmm. Do I have to vote for a woman candidate? Am I obligated by common physical composition to support the chick on the ballot?

Therein lies the rub. And the conundrum facing female voters this election season.

I say no.


Hey, MSNBC, CNN, and yes, NOW (and doesn't that one hurt the most): I just got back from the big secret National Vagina Convention and we decided that women are in fact capable of independent thought and are not contractually obligated to check the box for the candidate with the box.
~ a very pithy and wise poster, screen name Francie Nolan, from Television without Pity.com

When I vote, I give serious time and thought to how and for whom I’m going to give my support. My choices are totally based on the individual. Not gender. Not race. The person. Especially in such a critical election as the one before us.

I totally agree that this campaign season is groundbreaking, with each ticket sporting candidates with labels that heretofore have not been seen in viable candidates. It’s historical and I’m thrilled I have the opportunity to participate in this scene-changing election.

But I don’t vote based on labels.

Just because I have a vagina doesn’t mean I’m genetically obligated to vote for a candidate with a vagina.

Just because I’m a Caucasian doesn’t mean I have to vote for the candidate that looks the most like me.

Just because I’m a WASP doesn’t mean I have to vote for the WASPy-ish candidate.

Just because I’m a church-going Christian does not mean I have to vote with the evangelically preferred candidate. (Want my take on this? Check this blog post out...)

When it comes to stuff like this, I think with my head and my heart, not my reproductive organs or the color of my skin or my religious preference or my ethnic background.

I vote for the person. And what she or he has to say. How they conduct themselves. What they believe in -- and how that works with what I believe in.

Frankly, I don’t need to vote for a woman to demonstrate that I support my gender. I put my time and my money where my mouth is on that one. I’m voting with an eye towards the future -- not for a fight that’s already been settled for the most part. In theory anyway. Believe me, I’m grateful to the thoughtful and smart women who came before me and fought to insure that I would and could be taken as seriously in any workplace as a man. I watched the news when I was a wee lass, seeing Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug with her fab hats, speaking on behalf of, well, me. Young as I was. I read the papers and newsmagazines -- Gloria Steinem was all over the place. I sang along with Helen Reddy... "I am woman/Hear me roar."

Too young to participate, but old enough to watch and appreciate.

Things are different now for my gender, in the workplace and in our American society. For the most part and if you're looking at the big picture...however, I will admit there are still issues. But that’s another rant for another day.


The things my peers and I are concerned about -- balancing work and family and money and self -- are issues relevant to everyone.

It’s not a woman thing. It’s not a man thing. It’s a person thing.

I would be doing myself and the country and yes, my gender, a disservice by automatically and rotely voting for the female candidate -- any female candidate. The struggle to give women the right to vote would be seriously marginalized if mandates were placed, even informally and societally, on for whom we cast our vote. We’ve come too far for such insulting and demeaning histrionics.

And yes, the female vote is, once again, critical to the success of the candidates. Soccer moms, urbanistas, seniors, single chicks. All important. Wonder if Susan B. Anthony ever anticipated that our reproductive organs would become such hot commodities and bargaining chips when she helmed the suffragette movement... what would she say about all of this?

By the way, the candidates on my preferred ticket... both men.

I think I’m a better woman for supporting them.

Does feminist mean large unpleasant person who'll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings. To me it's the latter, so I sign up.
~ Margaret Atwood


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Kat said...

Well said, CJ. I am thankful that I am possessing of superior intelligence and am able to make my determination on what I read and learn versus looking for someone who "looks like me".

Malcolm said...

Excellent post! It isn't everyday that someone drops a Bella Abzug reference in their post. I am hoping that most women don't fall for McCain's ploy by voting for him just because he has Palin as his running mate.

Miss Attitude said...

I've tried to avoid political posts and commenting, but I can't resist this Hos before Bros question. Sarah Palin does not represent me or anything I believe in. While I would have enjoyed a woman in office, it would be about time indeed, she is not the woman for the job. In fact, it would be a massive step backward for women's rights.