A social media campaign helps Candy Crowley become the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years
This is a strange election when it comes to gender, after the paradigm-shattering represented by Hillary Clinton and, for better or worse, Sarah Palin during the last cycle. The only woman running for president, Michele Bachmann, flamed out early (and for good reason). Mitt Romney passed over the female governors whose names were floated for vice president. At the same time, Republicans aren’t backing down from either a state-level or federal obsession with limiting reproductive rights, while Barack Obama might as well be guest-blogging at Feministing these days.
“When it’s two men running for president, it’s critical that there be women on the stage asking the questions,” said Knox. “One of the girls, Emma Axelrod, keeps saying, next is a woman on the stage answering the questions. It’s important for girls like them to see women on the stage in whatever role.”
I VOTE for Women
In 2008, over 51% of 18 to 29-year-olds voted in the US presidential elections. While numbers are usually down across the board during midterms, in 2010, youth voter turnout dropped to 24%.
To counter that and get young people back to the voting booth, a pending nonprofit called I VOTE has launched an issues-based media campaign to demonstrate that people can affect change on the issues they care about. It really comes down to voting.
The appeal here is different by a level of degree than traditional get out the vote campaigns. Instead of appealing to a sense of “civic duty,” I VOTE is attempting to engage people on issues of importance as a gateway to further political involvement and actual voting. Call it an appeal to enlightened self interest: vote because you give a damn.
The video above focuses on women’s health and was directed by Jessica Sanders, an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker.
In the Q&A below, I VOTE founder Haroon “Boon” Saleem talks about his vision for this election season and beyond. — Michael
Check out Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap from 1984. It’s incredible to see how little things have changed.
Will women’s access to reproductive healthcare ever just be a given?
What role will the women’s vote play in the upcoming election? Is the idea of a women’s vote still useful?
At Forbes, Megan Casserly reports that women’s votes- particularly in swing states- will be heavily courted this year given that women, as a whole, have a much higher voter turnout rate.
Erin Gloria Ryan, at Jezebel, sees little sense in speaking of so large and diverse a group as a unified whole and asks that the term “women’s vote” be put to rest.
And at Slate’s XX factor, Allison Benedikt takes the argument a step forward, suggesting that to speak of a “war on women” is to disregard and minimize those women who support the policies which would amount to a “war on women”.
Our 1984 film Women’s Voices: The Gender Gap explored what was then a growing difference in the voting patterns of men and women over issues such as compensation equality, environmental preservation, subsidized childcare and healthcare. Check it out (free!) on snagfilms, and see if and how things have changed in the past 28 years!