This month is full of firsts for me. First I’m writing about health and fitness and now (regrettably) media and politics. Earlier this week I saw a blurb that a news anchor said that young women shouldn’t bother voting and stick to tinder and match.com. Upon reading that snippit I was furious. Looking into the situation (here are websites that had various reports on the incident, there are many more: Huffington Post, Media Matters & World News) I was further annoyed to read the article stating that young women don’t have the same life experience as older women, so they can’t make an informed decision. Okay. Let’s back up the truck.
1) Young women don’t have the same life experience as older women
Has there ever been a more obvious statement? Yes, the life experience of an 18 year old is not equivalent to that of a 38 year old, 58 year old, 78 year old etc. Is there some magical property in the Y chromosome that makes guys that are 18 as wise as older guys? Nope, that is not a thing. Please keep gender out of this. Either say all young adults do not have the same life experience as their older counterparts or just drop it. Obviously that is a true and redundant statement, guess what? That doesn’t change the fact that they still have the right to vote when they are 18. What are you going to do, change the voting age? If you do, when are people ‘old enough’ to have the necessary knowledge?
2) They are too young to make an informed decision
Okay, now that we’re foregoing the gender part of this statement, when is someone old enough to make an informed decision? 20, 25, 30, 35….how old? We already have an age limit on how old you have to be to represent people (Quick recap: 25 to be a Representative, 30 to be a Senator, and 35 to be President) As displayed in the first part, young voters can’t make a decision based off of experience but they can definitely do research and instead vote based on data. “But they don’t care enough to actually do research!” you might argue. Are you telling me that every veteran voter researches the candidates thoroughly and votes being fully informed? Or that every veteran voter has lived the necessary life to gain the required insight? How often is it generalized that voters side with their party no matter who the actual candidate is (regardless of their age)? Answer: all the time. Isn’t it hypocritical to say that young voters aren’t allowed to vote because they don’t know what’s going on when others might not either?
3) Stick to tinder and match.com
Really? Really? Should I also be discussing with my father what my future husband can expect in my dowry? Guess what, women can do more than just be a wife/mother/partner/girlfriend/fling/whatever. In today’s society we have to be. Not to mention the fact that I don’t know too many people (men included) who are satisfied with just being one thing. To somewhat imply that young women should put aside thinking about such complex things that might make their little heads hurt and just find a man is downright idiotic (and borderline insulting) for any person, especially in media, to say. Is this reporter aware that less than a century ago there were women being sent to jail for fighting for their right to vote? A little perspective please. It is important for people (women included because we are indeed actual people) to be involved and voting is one way we accomplish this. Please don’t discourage the next generation from performing their civic duty.
Now if you click through any of the sites I listed above you’ll see that this is really just a snippit and when taken out of context has rage-inspiring potential. If you take what they were saying, and put it through a ‘don’t be stupid’ filter they arguably made some valuable points:
- Everyone (not just young voters) needs to be making informed choices and not be voting for who this actor supports or who that celebrity knows
- Voters need to know the issues and where each candidate stands on those issues
- People need to look at the big picture (Part of the argument was that young voters don’t have the same concerns as other citizens. They don’t have many bills to pay, no mortgages, children, etc but they still do represent a demographic of this country. If all demographics looks at what’s best for just themselves it’s not going to work out too well)
In the spirit of making informed decisions here are some quick links you can reference as you get ready to vote in the upcoming weeks. (Please note, these are just a few of the sites that popped up as I start figuring out who I will be voting for this year. I do not support one site over another, merely offer these as starting points. I haven’t even had time to fully look them over.) For this midterm election Iowa has 6 names on the ballot, five of which are viable (one candidate, Douglas Butzier, passed away but will still appear on ballots). Who are they?
- The Democratic nominee Bruce Braley (1|2|3)
- Republican nominee Joni Ernst (1|2|3)
- Independent nominees
I hope everyone will vote this November 4th. I really don’t care who you vote for, just that you vote knowing what you are doing. This is one of the few times a year the general public gets to voice their choice. It’s pretty easy, just grab an absentee ballot or hit up the polls.
Until next time