Each time an election rolls around, I find myself wondering how to best perform my civic duty to vote. I always figured that my sole responsibility was simply to cast a ballot; the decision is whether to vote early or wait for election day. But some time ago, I received an e-mail that prompted me to consider another option.
The authors of this e-mail were two women, let’s call them Anne and Amy, who were members of a group that proposes to make Georgia better by espousing a political philosophy with which I don’t agree. (How I got on their mailing list is still a mystery.)
In any event, Anne and Amy were kind enough to acknowledge that they know I’m busy. Then they went on to tell me that they are busy too. That set me wondering. I don’t know these people; I don’t know how they got my e-mail address and how do they know I’m busy? I also have to wonder why they would think I care if they are too?
Perhaps they were trying to establish that we had happiness in common, seeing as how busy hands are reputed to be happy hands. And it naturally follows that if your hands are happy, so is your whole being. Or perhaps they were just citing busyness in an attempt to bond with me. If we’re both busy then there, we are standing on common ground, holding hands and soon to be bursting out with a few verses of Kumbaya. And I suppose they thought, if we can both take time off from being busy to hold hands and sing, we could have other things in common too.
Having established what they assumed to be our common pursuits, they moved on to their suggestion that had me reevaluating my voting options. Their message was that they didn’t care when I voted, but when I did, they wanted me to, (I’m not making this up) “Vote, and take at least one woman with you.”
Although they mentioned mothers, daughters, and sisters, they didn’t indicate that I should be particularly discerning in who I should drag to the polls. That prompted me to wonder whether I should select a woman I already know, hire a professional or just pick one at random.
Were it not so insulting on so many levels; I would have found their request amusing. Apparently, being a man, they assumed I would jump at the chance to don my finest “wife-beater” shirt, (which was hopefully back from the cleaners) find a woman, (who hopefully wasn’t carrying pepper spray, mace or a firearm) and proclaim, “Me man, you woman. You come with me. We vote.”
While the concept of cavemen dragging women to the ballot box might work as a plot for a comedy skit, it fails miserably in real life. At least with the women, I know. I can’t think of one who would not be highly insulted at the mere suggestion that she couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to get to the polls without masculine direction or supervision.
It’s just a guess, but I’m sure the inspiration for Anne and Amy’s e-mail was the thought that the majority of the women who were dragged to the polls would vote in favor of their agenda. That’s more than a little ironic because women’s concerns indeed wouldn’t be at the top of the list of any Neanderthal who would be inspired by an e-mail message to drag a woman off to the polls.
I’m sure in their zeal to get voters to the polls, Anne and Amy were oblivious to the insulting nature of their message. And it isn’t only women who should be offended. I find it insulting that they think, A- that I would drag any woman off to vote, or anywhere else for that matter, and B- that in the 21st Century, that any reasonable man would even consider coercing a woman to vote.
And something else bothers me. In their e-mail, Anne and Amy say they had recently voted. Surely, they were taken to the polls by men, yet they didn’t give credit to the men who took them. I wonder how they got there.