The birds are a-chirping, it's a midterm election year, and romance is in the air. Ah yes, as political parties gear up for the great battle in the Senate, the House and gubernatorial positions, once again we women who are eligible to vote are reminded of our importance to the great country of America as a 'key demographic.' And we're about to get the crap wooed out of us.
While the idea of 'wooing voters' certainly isn't new, Democrats and Republicans are taking the idea of wooing and courting us female voters to heart, and sometimes it's unclear if we're supposed to vote for a candidate or go steady with them. Case in point, three Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidates held an event to reach out to women in the form of 'The Dating Game' because apparently that's the only way female voters can consume political information. It's patronizing, and sexist, and indicative of the prevailing idea that female voters need some extra TLC—unrelated to policy—to be enticed into voting.
As female voters, we get to enjoy witnessing the lengths the various (lol two) political parties will go to win our hand, whether it's through actual platforms or attempts at interpellation, extending and impressing an ideology regarding women onto supposedly passive women. In midst of all this sexy election time romance, the question begs: political parties, do you like us or do you like like us? A girl's gotta know these days because we don't just give our vote to anyone.
So as we prepare for the inevitable onslaught of various campaigns and politician-approved messages specifically targeted at women, here's a gal-friendly field guide on various major and minor political parties and how to make sure you get wooed by them. Sure it's a two-party battle and not every party has a certified WOMAN PLATFORM, but ladies, keep your options open. You don't have to give your vote to the first party to come a-calling.
Interests: Hunting. Long strolls on the beach property their family has owned for six generations. Talking about Benghazi.
- "We're working on it."
- Largely relying on the notion that women are actually fictional creatures that are either hapless old school Disney princesses or some form of succubus
- Getting their wives and daughters to stand front and center as proof that they can know woman-things
- Turning gubernatorial races into dating shows
- Recruiting women to volunteer 30 minutes every day to engage other women about the (unspecified) issues and to use the power of the sewing circle to get other women to vote Republican as part of the '14 in 14' Initiative
On a typical Friday night: Coming up with terms to subtly reinforce negative racial stereotypes like "urban" and "inner city." Kings of Leon cover band practice. Fact unchecking.
Guilty pleasures: Cashmere. Rap Music. Pre-marital sex.
How you can be wooed: Don't be poor. Or a minority. Or a woman.
Interests: Wearing briefs, usually. Being outdoorsy (but within a data network). Talking about Gitmo. Existential crises. Looking for something better.
- Being a decent listener
- Highlighting ridiculous Republican attempts to woo women
- Quite literally wooing women
- Sending Nancy Pelosi on a bus tour to talk about the "women's economic agenda"
- Hillary Clinton.
- Generally presenting themselves as Marty McFly to the Republican Biff Tannen
- Being ridiculously on trend. Maybe trying too hard.
On a typical Friday night: Rebranding forgotten or niche things as cool ie. craft beer, whisky, camouflage, affirmative action.
Guilty pleasures: Reviling Ann Coulter, Starbucks, Privilege
How you can be wooed: Want to have autonomy over your body and reproductive organs and rights in general.
Interests: Antique gun collections, Clint Eastwood movies, Long-winded rants about taxes, Bill Maher back in the day
- Not getting involved. You do you, but you know, not on the government's time.
- Wondering aloud why there aren't more women libertarians. (Sigh.)
- Liberty pin-up calendars. Always the pin-up calendars. Because you too can be sexually appealing to a Libertarian dude!
On a typical Friday night: Thanking Ron Swanson for being the best ad campaign the party has ever seen.
Guilty pleasures: Art museums.
How you can be wooed: Have a general distrust for authority and handouts. Not be in a position that requires any government assistance at all.
Interests: Oh I think you know what the Green Party is interested in (#420praiseit). Slacklining, biodiesel, drum circles.
- Understanding women.
- Having feminism and gender equality be one of the ten official Key Values of the party.
- Nominating a woman for president in 2012 and 2008.
- Having their female presidential candidate (and female vice-presidential running mate) get arrested for trying to enter the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University and then arguing that the debates should still be open and run by the League of Women Voters (who by the way stopped sponsoring the debates in 1988 because they had "no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.")
On a Typical Friday night: Sprinkling their organic fiddlehead fern beds with their latest batch of vermicompost tea.
Guilty Pleasures: Superbowl commercials. Driving.
Interests: Reminiscing the good ol' days of the Founding Fathers like they were there. Injecting Biblical sentiments into the Constitution like ideological filler. Separating themselves from the iteration of the Party founded by that white supremacist dude.
- Declaring legal personhood from fertilization "without exception."
- Not acknowledging the role of a woman in her pregnancy at all whatsoever
- Seriously: "As to matters of rape and incest, we find it unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his father" is as close as it gets.
- Their only female representation being this silhouette of a woman holding a baby illustrating the principle of "Life"
On a typical Friday night: Bible study
Guilty pleasures: Everything.
Interests: Oh a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
- Trying to acquiesce everyone by passing the buck on big issues like abortion to individual states.
- Selling Whig Party shirts for women on Zazzle.com!
- Bonus: Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806) a major proponent for the original Whig party, and the subject of the scandalous rumor of having traded kisses for votes.
Typical Friday night: Either super low key or balls to the wall hitting up all of the festivities. Since, you know, they're not really into the two-party thing. *swish*
Guilty pleasures: Decisiveness
Clearly not every political party will take the same measures to secure the female vote, but just in case, here are some surefire gambits:
- Using the phrase "What women want..."
- Using the phrase "What women need..."
- Talking about how s/he was "raised by a woman"
- Showcasing their own wives or daughters
- Having a baby (Hey, it worked on Scandal)