Alright, here is the story that I want to tell everyone out there. This is the kind of story that makes me want to pull out all of my hair and scream in horror NO! Surely not in this day and age! Last night I got suckered into phone banking for the Cox Campaign -- and before the eyes start to roll, I know I was not happy with Cox about two weeks ago, and just for the record I'm still only just luke warm to her today, but the alternatives are not so good in my opinion. Anyway, while I was phone banking, I ran across this woman who, when I had asked her who she was voting for in the Democratic primary, said, "The other guy." I politely asked her what she meant by that, and she told me, "Not Cathy, but the Big Guy." I said, "The Big Guy," and she said yes and then she told me to hold on while she went and asked her husband who they were voting for because she didn't know his name. I sat there stunned because she had to ask her husband -- huh? That is when I proceeded to bang my hand on my forehead because I thought, no way did I just hear that.
Now I understand that not everyone is into politics the same way that I am or you are, but I would think it would be a good idea to at least know the name of the person for whom you are going to vote, wouldn't it? I mean even before I got involved in the YD's I at least knew the candidate's name and little about what the candidate stood for before I cast my vote for that person. What got me the most was that she felt like she had to check with her husband on whom they were voting for. Does that still happen in this day and age, that women still default to the husband on such things? I thought we, as women, were way past this at least. I was telling this to Nikema last night, and she told me that politics was still a man's game. Still, I thought women were way more informed about certain issues like education, health care, and things like that, but running up against that woman last night I have wonder what in the world is going on if women are still deferring to their husbands on whom they are going to vote for. She wasn't that old, either, to the point where this would have been the thing to do "back in the day." I thought women were getting way more politically savvy than our male counterparts, but if there are still women out there deferring to their husbands on voting, this worries me a good deal. What are these types of women teaching their girls, that it's alright to defer to the male on politics because its still a man's game? YIKES!
The only way we are going to clear up this misconception is to make politics readily accessible to women, and young women at that. We need to put the women in politics front and center as much as possible in order for young women to see that if they want to get involved, there is opportunity to do so, and that it's not just for men anymore. We as women can get in the arena and make a difference. The best examples of this are State Reps. Kathy Ashe, Nan Orrock, Alisha Thomas Morgan, Pat Gardner, "Able" Mable Thomas, Sheila Jones, and Karla Lee Drenner; and on the Senate side there is Gloria Butler, Steen Miles, Regina Thomas, Horacena Tate, and Valencia Seay. We cannot forget that our most visible woman in Georgia Politics these days is Secretary of State Cathy Cox. We need to keep pushing that politics is not just for men and it's not something that we should defer to our husbands about. We should let women know that they should make informed decisions on their own about whom they should vote for. We have to keep educating women out there on why the political process matters and why it should matter to them. Our work in the women's movement is clearly not over by any means. I know that there are a lot more important issues facing women these days in order to get the equality that we deserve, but I would think starting with the basic fundamentals of making our own decisions should fall somewhere on that list of things we need to get done. Because, God help me, if I phone bank for the next candidate and I come across a woman who has to defer to her husband because she doesn't know whom they are voting for, I will end up pitching a hissy fit.