Like many women who are probably reading this, I was an awkward little kid. After the first flush of kindergarten boyfriends eventually gave way to playing like little adults in grade school, I was one of the many girls who didn't have a boyfriend. I didn't even dance with a boy until the 8th grade, when my best friend dated the best friend of the boy I'd been crushing on for 2 solid years and he made his friend dance with me (to "Patience," and there's even a picture). And then a couple years past and suddenly I had bigger tits and grown-up facial features and the attention of boys (and, creepily, men). This is year that young women voters got metaphorical tits, like we weren't worth paying attention to before.From focus grouping us to advertising to us to appearing on TV for us, candidates aren't just interested in soccer moms anymore! We're just as cute as soccer moms, anyway. Partly, obviously, this is a matter of demographics. Women have voted in larger numbers than men in every election since 1964 and in higher percentages in every election since 1980. There are more of us registered — and more of women are undecided than men. One the other hand, married women tend to vote more reliably Republican — and, until recently, represented more than half of the population of women voters. But unmarried women now represent more than 26 percent of the eligible voting population. Even better, insofar as both campaigns are concerned, they represent an untapped voting block - in 2004, fully 41% of unmarried women didn't vote, which skews the so-called "marriage gap" that shows married women voting Republican and unmarried women trending Democratic. And, among (particularly) white women voters, Sarah Palin's entry into the race and the economic crisis has swung the polls every which way, leaving both candidates confused as to where we stand. So they keep running ads for us and giving interviews for us and talking about the issues that matter to us to try to get us to lean their direction (and come out to the polls for them). So, really, they are kind of doing exactly what boys do when they finally notice you — paying you tons of attention until you make up for mind about them, at which point they'll move on to the next undecided demographic. Is it anti-feminist to suggest that maybe we ought to play a little harder to get? I really don't think I've heard enough about health care, pay equity, comprehensive sex education or reproductive rights. Yoo-hoo! I'm totally undecided! (Also: please note the part where 41 percent of unmarried women didn't vote in 2004 and call your single friends and acquaintances and make sure this doesn't happen again or they will ignore us in 2012. Kthnxbai!) Did Women Like Sarah Palin? [Swampland] McCain's Media Strategy On Women [Portfolio] McCain Courts Women Voters [CNN] The Gender Gap And the 2004 Women's Vote [Center For American Women and Politics] Married? Single? Status Affects How Women Vote [USA Today] Sex And The Single Women's Vote [ABC] The Unmarried Women's Vote [Women's Voices, Womens Vote] Exclusive: McCain Closes Huge Gap On Key Question For Women [Politico] Stephanopoulos: Independent Voters Hold White House Key [ABC] Barack Obama Poll Surge Makes John McCain Comeback Unlikely [The Australian]
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It just feels so futile to vote where i live in southeastern Georgia.... i'll be the solitary Obama voter here!