Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The gender gap turned into a marriage gap

But this doesn't mean, as IWF surely hopes, that women are sucking it up and finally doing as men tell them, I don't think. By the way, this is the most nonsensical press release I've ever read.

"We found that at the beginning of the campaign these women were focusedon issues like healthcare and the economy, and gave the liberal candidate asignificant edge," said Pfotenhauer. "But during the course of the campaign,terrorism and national security became higher priorities for women, which moved them toward the President."

Exit polling data also found that moral issues were the top priority of 22percent of all voters -- receiving a higher percentage than any other issue.

"The left has really become out of touch with real Americans when it comesto moral values," said Pfotenhauer.

Within the press release, they admit that terrorism was what caused the gap to narrow, as women changed their votes to align with men's. What the fuck does that have to with moral values? Anyway.....

The common (read: conservative) wisdom on the gender gap is that men are the standard voting pattern, and women are the ones who are aberrant. The marriage gap discussions focus on women and women only, whose votes are assumed to be malleable to the men in their lives. In a way, this makes some sense, since men overall tend to be more conservative, but women only get so when they marry. I know lots of women with left-leaning politics that vote Republican because they don't want to hear about it from their husbands.

But there's more to it than a gender gap that's "rectified" by bringing women into line via marriage. The marriage gap isn't a woman-only phenomenon. The gap between married and unmarried was a much larger one than between men and women. A lot of this has to do age, it seems to me, but even more of it probably has to do with the fact that single people regard the Bush administration as having declared open war on them.

The gender gap between men and women surely depends on so many factors that sweeping generalizations are meaningless, and so is the gap between married and unmarried. Every tiny subculture across the country probably has gender and marriage gaps of wildly varying sizes. Like the single, non-student population of Austin probably has a very small gender gap since men and women both seem to be liberal and pretty much feminist, or at least agree with general feminist policies like abortion on demand. But when you turn to the actual student population, you'd probably see a different trend as the very young college women turn to liberal politics to exert their freedom whereas a significant portion of very young college men turn towards conservative politics so they can condemn the moral slide that they haven't been invited to participate in.

I think you can find these sort of differences all over the place. The gender/marriage gap is sure to shrink and grow depending on the different tensions between men and women and single and married from community to community. And it's not just men who influence women--in communities that put a premium on women's equality, women exert quite a bit of influence on men. Quite a few male friends and my boyfriend turn to me first if they have a question about some political story they haven't heard all the details on, because they know that I follow this stuff closely and I can probably fill in the details. In my social circles, people's marital status is not particularly relevant (I've mentioned that I know couples I see all the time and I don't know if they ever made it official.), but I know that in some places married and single people don't socialize much with each other and this could lead to a larger marriage gap.

All of this means that the death of the gender gap has been called prematurely. I guarantee that next election, when the issues at the forefront of people's minds are different, you'll see the gender and marriage gap change size.

40 Comments:

Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Arrgghh! Every time I hear that "left out of touch with REAL America" crap, I just want to put my head through the wall. Fuck that! I'm a left-leaning, tax-paying, vote-in-every-election citizen of this country. How am I not a "real" American?

The more I think about it, the more I believe THIS is the core myth that the right has propagated that we need to attack, and attack HARD. How do they get to define who "real" Americans are? How do we force a reframing of this?

11/06/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deja Pseu, don't be silly! You're only a Real American if you're a)from a Red State, b)a Bible-thumper, c) married and d) as bright as a chipmunk. Anyone who does not meet each and every single one of these requirements is, like, French.

-Linnet

11/06/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linnet, The chipmunks are insulted! : )

I think "bright as a box of dirt" would be a better definition. : )

spot

11/06/2004

 
Blogger echidne said...

How do we know that moral values were important to voters? The exit polls that said this are supposedly quite unreliable as they also showed Kerry as doing much better than he actually did. Ergo, we know nothing about why people voted for Bush.

I suspect fear. We've been brainwashed with fear during the last three years, and I suspect that many have seen the World Trade Centers fall a hundred times. We might all have post-traumatic shock. Bush uses this all the time; practically all the Republican campaigning is based on fear and hatred.

I also suspect that the marriage gap is an age gap. It would be interesting to do an analysis of this and see whether it's age or being married that has the bigger effect here.

11/06/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

My boyfriend suggests bright as planks of wood. Just two cents there.

11/06/2004

 
Blogger mythago said...

I know lots of women with left-leaning politics that vote Republican because they don't want to hear about it from their husbands."Honey? Shove it up your ass."

11/06/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

I know--I always say vote how you want and tell him what he wants to hear. If wanted to the truth, he wouldn't be an ass about it.

11/06/2004

 
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Sometimes it works the other way. My Dad (who voted for Goldwater in 64 and Nixon in 68 and 72, Reagan both times) finally in his 60's saw the error of his Republican ways, thanks to his current wife--a solid Democrat--and a Democratic candidate he felt he could vote for, Clinton. When I met my hub, he was registered as a Repub, although his political beliefs and values were solidly in the Demo camp. Last year, he re-registered in the donkey camp, though I'm sure the "family values" types would blame it on my "henpecking". :)

11/07/2004

 
Blogger mythago said...

Amanda, I know this is going to come across badly because these are friends of yours--but I admit that my reaction to "I voted for a candidate I don't support, and for issues I deeply oppose, because otherwise I'd hear about it from my husband" is "Well, why don't you run home to Daddy and let the grown-ups handle the voting?"

That, or give them the number of a really good divorce lawyer.

11/07/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely voting is confidential anyway? Does your husband/partner necessarily have to know how you vote?

11/07/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

I see this attitude more back home. And it's not like they are seriously considering the Democrat--it's more that if you ask their opinion on anything, they'd side with the Democrat. But they'll vote for a Republican every time because it's expected.

11/07/2004

 
Blogger mythago said...

Ouch. I have relatives like that, also.

11/07/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"whereas a significant portion of very young college men turn towards conservative politics so they can condemn the moral slide that they haven't been invited to participate in."

ROTFLMAO! Snark of the day!

BTW, how were the questions of the exit poll worded? If you present a list of possibilities to the subject, aren't they likely to select the answer that makes them look good to others? "Moral values, hmm....sounds better than economy, which makes me sound like the selfish s.o.b. I really am....yep, moral values it is!"

Remember, polls also show that heterosexual men have twice the number of partners as heterosexual women in aggregate. Does. Not. Compute. Also, that church attendance at non-Easter,non-Christmas is way higher than it really is.

11/08/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But when you turn to the actual student population, you'd probably see a different trend as the very young college women turn to liberal politics to exert their freedom whereas a significant portion of very young college men turn towards conservative politics so they can condemn the moral slide that they haven't been invited to participate in."

Bullshit. women turn to the left politically to exert their "freedom", because they dont want to deal with the responsibility of enjoying letting their boyfriends stick their dicks up their twats. thats the A-Moral side that everyone else condems, not because they havn't been envited to join, but because of the exact opposite, they have rejected participation in those activities. i am a student, and my girlfriend is a student, and we have both chosen not to have sex, because its the right thing to do, despite how much we may want to do it. the bennefit of that is that we wont have to try to shirk our responsibility by killing an innocent baby. also, we have not exerted our "freedoms" by engaging in drugs and other irresponsible behaviors, rather choosing other ways to have fun.

in fact, the left wing is nothing more than a bunch of irresponsible babies that cant hack it when it comes to the game of life, and so they want a way out. you cant stand it that conservatives have made a better life for themselves, so rather say that they have chosen the right way, you claim they are jealous for not having been invited to your amoral party of debouchery and corruption. while you may be having fun for the moment, when the shit hits the fan, you dont know how to deal with it, so you make others suffer for your mistakes. that is what conservatives condemn, not your freedom to make the choice to sin, since that freedom of choice has been given to all of us.

12/06/2004

 
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