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Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 04/19/2012

The myth of women voters

It’s time we made more of an effort to court the Man’s Vote.

Sure, men aren’t the majority of voters, but they deserve a voice, too.

What’s the one issue that matters to all men?

I conducted an unscientific poll of my Facebook friends and they suggested “meat beer money independence,” “sportsmanship,” “bacon” and “My Little Ponies: Friendship Is Magic” which just shows you how helpful most of my Facebook friends are. (Very).

But this illustrates a larger point — even flippantly: There isn’t just one magical trigger point for all men, except possibly the prostate.

Still, that’s no excuse for not trying. So stop talking about the economy. You probably weren’t, but if you were, stop now.

We need to focus on issues male voters care about.

Like jobs, health care and unemployment?

What are you, some kind of crackpot?

As you no doubt are aware from the war on women, the only way to court a group of voters is to focus exclusively on issues that relate to those voters’ internal plumbing.

We have not discussed the vas deferens with sufficient thoroughness. Put the seminiferous tubules in the center of the picture. Where is the Adam’s apple in this debate?

Men all have the same interests. You can tell because they have the same general anatomy and role in child-bearing. Right? Right.

If we approach them as men and not as people, we’re sure to win.

We have been too busy discussing health care and unemployment. Sure, 80 and 79 percent of voters, respectively, say that those issues are of utmost importance to them, but what do voters know? Many of them are women. And we certainly didn’t listen to them.

“I know you said you wanted to talk about the economy,” everyone said. “But wouldn’t you rather focus on reproductive rights?”

“Well, actually, n o,” women mumbled, but it was too late.

The war on women was underway.

Forget the war on women. Please.

There’s something more troubling going on: a war on voters. Voters want to vote based on issues that matter to them. But it’s hard.

Look, I’m a woman, and it has not escaped my notice that across the country, various gaggles of Concerned Legislators have been making efforts to restrict my reproductive rights. Some of those legislators are even women. If this is a war on women, many women have not been informed.

The war on women, paradoxically, is not even the issue of greatest concern to women.

Men and women are different, but not on the issues that matter to either of them. The majority of voters are women. A higher proportion of women than men have turned out to vote since 1980. Female voters have outnumbered male voters since 1960. In 2008, the difference in turnout was more than 10 million. To approach the election as though you needed to court the women’s vote separately from the Voter’s Vote is strange and condescending.

If you have a problem with women voters, you don’t have a woman voter problem. You have a voter problem.

Only 35 percent of voters see Romney favorably. Only 27 percent of women see him favorably him, and only 44 percent of men do. That’s a voter problem.

You can’t condescend successfully to a majority of the voting population. “But you have a uterus,” they point out. “Let it guide you.” Let alone the fact that the addition of “uterus” makes most sentences worse, this is reductive and strange.

“But!,” an operative yelps. There are some issues that women care more about than men.

Issues Women Care More About Than Men still don’t translate, however, to Issues Women Think Are Actually Majorly Important. Eighty percent of voters think health care is important. Seventy-nine percent think unemployment is important. Only 44 percent think birth control is important — and more tellingly yet, only 55 percent of women think it is. That’s not much better, frankly.

You know a more accurate way of saying Women Voters?

Voters.

To imply that the only issues that can possibly motivate women voters are the few revolving around reproductive health is silly and shortsighted. Restricting women’s reproductive rights is often a losing proposition. But you don’t win by condescending to women, either. Women can see through that. Voters can see through that.

Right now, both campaigns are doing a terrible job of addressing women’s issues.

Women’s issues like — jobs, unemployment and health care.

Those are the issues that the majority of voters — male and female — care about.

And, of course, bacon.

By  |  11:13 AM ET, 04/19/2012

 
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