Should women have the vote? (Yes people still ask that)

At some point during my teen years, I was at a homeschool conference and found myself in conversation with a homeschool dad. Out of the blue, he asked me whether I thought women should be able to vote. He was scouting me out as a potential wife for one of his five strapping sons, as he made amply clear when he later asked me, in front of them, what qualities I was interested in in a future husband. We spent probably half an hour discussing whether or not women should vote.

It might seem strange that anyone would ask or discuss this in the twenty-first century, but in the conservative circles in which I was raised, it did come up, just the way whether women should go to college was up for debate. In this post, I’ll offer the three main arguments I’ve heard against women having the right to vote, and then finish with some analysis.

Women are nurturing

The only time I remember my parents themselves specifically touching on the issue of women voting was their insistence that if women couldn’t vote our country wouldn’t be in the trouble it was in today. Why? Because women vote for Democrats. If women had never been able to vote, my parents said, we would not have the inefficient and unconstitutional federal bureaucracy we have today.

And it wasn’t just my parents who made this argument. John Derbyshire of the National Review recently said the following in answer to the question “what is the case against female suffrage?” explaining that women naturally “lean hard to the left” because they are nurturing.

The conservative case against it is that women lean hard to the left. They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.

Ann Coulter has made similar comments:

I think [women] should not vote … women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it … it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.

In other words, women vote Democrat because women are nurturing, and for that same reason they want money spent on thing like education and child care, but they don’t understand how money or the economy really work. They’re well meaning, but not suited to politics. Politics is men’s work.

Women are emotional

While this is obviously related to the first point, some oppose women having the vote because women are “emotionally driven” or “driven about by their whims.” As I was doing research for this article, I came upon the following quote on a homeschool dad’s website:

You know, I’ve always been rather leery of a woman voting.  I mean, they’re such emotionally driven creatures that most of them don’t have a logical bone in their body.

Don’t get me wrong – the way that women were created is just right.  I’m just saying that there is a reason that they were created as helpers to men.

And some of those reasons become pretty evident when it’s time to vote.  The first impact of women voters was really felt after the televised Nixon / Kennedy debates.  Nixon, the superior statesman without question, looked “old” and “sweaty”.  But Kennedy?  He was “cute”! The same thing was true for Clinton.

And, after all, isn’t that the best reason to vote for someone?

In other words, women are weak, easily led astray, ruled by their emotions. They need protecting, guiding, and boundaries. They’re simply not prepared for such an important task as voting. Here’s another quote:

A woman surrenders to a man so easily when he takes charge. That is the danger of having a matriarch with a man in subjection. The woman indeed is the weaker vessel, tossed to and fro, giving in to whims, and judges things according to her motherly instinct. For instance, she would say sodomite couplings are lovely, because love is blind.

Women are given to whims. Women follow their emotions. Men don’t. Men are different. They are strong, unshakable, and principled.

One vote per family

The biggest argument against women voting put forward by the Christian Patriarchy movement, though, is that one vote should be given to each family, not one vote to each individual. Here is a quote from Brian Abshire’s “Biblical Patriarchy and the Doctrine of Federal Representation,” which was on Vision Forum’s website until it was pulled recently.

In regards to a woman’s right to vote; if husband and wife are truly “one flesh” and the husband is doing his duty to represent the family to the wider community, then what PRACTICAL benefit does allowing women to vote provide? If husband and wife agree on an issue, then one has simply doubled the number of votes; but the result is the same. Women voting only makes a difference when the husband and wife disagree; a wife, who does not trust the judgment of her husband, can nullify his vote. Thus, the immediate consequence is to enshrine the will of the individual OVER the good of the family thus creating divisions WITHIN the family.

In other words, allowing women to vote subverts the family and eliminates the original purpose of voting, which was household representation, with the husband representing his family “to the wider community.” Furthermore, allowing women to vote places the will of the individual over the good of the family. This part is key. In Christian Patriarchy, the family always trumps the individual.

Analysis

These three arguments against women voting are obviously interrelated. After all, it’s part of the man’s role to represent his household, not the woman’s role. The woman, in contrast, is the more emotional being and is naturally more nurturing, all of which enforces the belief that it is the man’s role, and most certainly not the woman’s role, to represent the household politically.

What you have here again is an emphasis on different roles to be played, an emphasis on women’s more emotional and weaker state, and an emphasis on placing the importance of the family over that of the individual.

A lot of the belief in women being emotional and more driven by their whims is self-reinforcing. After all, women in Christian Patriarchy are given this message from day one while men are told they are strong and unbending. In other words, Christian Patriarchy essentially socializes females to be emotional and socializes men to be firm. To be sure, mainstream society today does this as well, but not at all to the same extent.

What I’m going to focus on here, though, is the last point: that the good of the family should be placed over the good of the individual.

One reason Christian Patriarchy deplores the feminist movement is that feminism is largely grounded in individualism. Feminism argues that women should be able to find individual fulfillment, that women shouldn’t always have to differ or ignore their needs, and that women should be seen as individual human beings rather than simply as something to cook supper and make babies.

This is why supporters of Christian Patriarchy decry the sorry state of the family. The way they see it, the family does not serve the individual, the individual serves the family. The individual’s needs are always secondary to the needs of the family. The individual is first and foremost a part of the family with a role to play and a place to inhabit, and an individual second.

And of course, for Christian Patriarchy, the woman’s role is to submit to and obey her husband, just as the children are to submit to and obey their parents. If the woman votes based on her own leanings, she is potentially canceling out her husband’s vote and is putting her own interests before those of her family. The man, in contrast, is supposed to vote according to his own leanings, and when he does so he represents the family.

Again we see the double standard. Men and women are both to play their proper role in the family, and the family is to be held more important than either of them individually, but ultimately it is the man who is the head of the family, the man who charts the family’s direction, and the man who should decide the family’s vote. The woman, in contrast, is just along for the ride. So much for roles that are equal but different!

Conclusion

You might wonder how the conversation I mentioned at the beginning of this post ended. The homeschool dad explained the one vote per family argument to me, which I had not heard before, and I agreed with him that the idea made a lot of sense. And in the context of the Christian Patriarchy milieu in which I was being raised, it truly did.

I was, however, a bit too  much of a pragmatist. While the homeschool dad told me that his wife doesn’t vote, I insisted that if conservative women stopped voting today we would lessen our side’s political power. He told me that if we followed God, God would honor our efforts and multiply our votes, making up for this loss. I was skeptical.

In case you’re curious, he never did come around to ask my dad about me courting one of his five strapping sons. I’ll never know for sure, but perhaps it was because I made it clear that I planned to vote. If so, I’ll always be thankful for my pragmatism on this issue!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://sciencenotes.wordpress.com/ Markita Lynda–Happy Darwin’s Birthday!

    These are the same old arguments that were used when women were campaigning for suffrage in the first place.

  • Lyra

    Ann Coulter says,
    “I think [women] should not vote … women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it … it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.”
    If Ann Coulter says that we shouldn’t listen to Ann Coulter about voting issues and money, why would we listen to Ann Coulter about voting issues and money? I don’t feel terribly inclined to listen to someone who tells me not to listen to them.

    Baffling woman.

    But I have a question. How does this movement view the voting of unmarried adults? Like, when a child stops being part of the parent’s household by moving away but has not yet married. Or is that not supposed to happen?

    • Rachel

      Doesn’t this “one vote per family” vote nullify part of the Quiverfull movement, as you alluded to with the dad? What’s the point of having huge families in order to take the country back, if not everyone can vote? And why would a woman be voting against her husband’s vote, anyway — unless the woman thinks her husband is wrong?

      Back in the 19th century, the thought was that women didn’t need a vote because the husband would always vote as she believed was best, and women shouldn’t sully themselves in the public sphere. (Also, this “women vote for the cute guys” is a meme that goes back to Warren G. Harding — a Republican.)

      • okstop

        Hey, yeah! I want to hear about this! Do they even address that issue?

    • JeseC

      IIRC, unmarried men, when they exist, would be allowed to have their own vote – although there is a strong drive for both sexes to get married right out of high school. There’s no such thing as choosing to be single; a man is either married or looking for a wife. Unmarried women would be under the authority of their fathers.

  • Lyra

    Wahh, quoting fail. My apologies.

  • Iain

    For the first time since reading this blog (which, admittedly, was only when it moved to FTB) this post leaves me more discomforted than informed. Not that there’s a lack of information, but that I really had no idea this kind of thinking even existed, outside perhaps some backwoods cults. I think most of us across the political spectrum consider women voting a given, and a social benefit. But then, until a couple of weeks ago, I thought that the contraception debate had ended in the sixties.

    • eric

      Me too. My second thought upon meeting someone like this would be emotionally strong disagreement, but my first would probably be “wait, what, you people still exist outside hollywood specials?”

    • http://occupyequestria.tumblr.com nekohime

      Me three. Libby, I love your blog, but reading about stuff like this is depressing and infuriating in equal measures. :(

      • Iain

        Which is a Good Thing, of course… I certainly don’t want to imply that I don’t want to read this. This blog has rapidly become compulsory reading for me. Being discomforted is necessary. But how do you hope for the future when so many cling to these ideas, or when (e.g.) Rick Santorum can claim with a straight face that evolution and climate change are junk science, and a large percentage of the population is religiously predisposed to believe him?

  • Didaktylos

    Of course, one vote per family would also exclude sons who had reached voting age but still living in their parents’ home …

    And as to why prospective FiL decided not to have his sons court you, I expect it was because you showed yourself as having too much of a mind of your own in general, not just over the women voting issue.

    • F

      Some acceptable answers to the voting question: “My father says…”, and “I don’t know, what do you think?”

  • Zerple

    I really like this blog. Honestly, when I saw the word “feminism” in the banner, I was scared that this was going to be another useless troll-hole like Pharyngula. I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks you for writing it =)

    • Pteryxx

      Comment policy. *winkwink*

    • janine

      Be careful with Zerple. He really does not like feminism. And he will demand that you go over every detail, step by step.

      Just a friendly warning for Libby Anne and people who do not hang out at the “troll hole”.

      • Zerple

        Yes, seeking out a friendly place to discuss ideas which are new to me and to request information/explanations definitely demonstrates my animosity towards the ideas themselves.

        I see your reasoning is as sound here as it is on Pharyngula janine.

  • Zerple

    Eep, typo. I meant to say “Thank you for writing it =)”.

  • kevinalexander

    It was certainly the hysterical women voters who cancelled out the more rational, considered decisions of their husbands and allowed a child of Ham to infiltrate the office once sanctified by His choice, George Dubya.

  • redwood

    What stunted emotional and intellectual lives those people Libby Anne mentioned lead. Visiting this site is almost always a trip into my past, when I was a member of a fundamentalist church. It’s not always a pleasant journey but it’s good to be reminded of how such people think if only to substantiate my decision to leave it all behind me. Thank you, Libby Anne, for helping validate the path I chose way back when.

  • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

    One of the arguments made during the women’s suffrage debate in the US (but not mentioned in your article) was that giving women the vote would essentially multiply married men’s votes by 2, because of course a man’s wife would vote as he instructed. Which probably IS how it happens in most patriarchal households, unless the wives either voluntarily don’t vote or perform some act of rebellion in the voting booth. (Which in turn probably *doubles* the votes in support of their idealistic quest to turn the United States into the Republic of Gilead).

    Coulter’s argument, on the other hand, boils down to “most women disagree with me so they should not be able to vote,” but I’ve long since given up any attempt to regard Coulter as anything other than a fast-talking blond troll.

    • JeseC

      To be fair, I’ve found that a lot of the couples I know tend to vote similarly – not because the wife votes the way her husband does, but because most people marry people with similar views. Of course, the fundies then interpret this to mean the wife is following the husband in these cases.

      • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

        I wouldn’t know about that. My parents routinely “cancelled out” each others’ votes (they laughed about it; interestingly enough, they are both socially conservative and evangelical, but my dad is otherwise a liberal democrat and my mother a conservative republican), as do my husband and I (I’m liberal, he’s libertarian). I think the only year we voted the same for the presidential election was in 2004. So I’m kind of used to marriages where the politics are all over the place although I am aware that many couples actually agree on politics, which I feel must be very boring for them.

      • jamessweet

        That’s probably a bit of an exception, though. I don’t have data in front of me, but I imagine JeseC is correct that overwhelmingly, married couples vote more or less the same way.

  • jaranath

    Lyra:

    I don’t think there’s anything baffling about Coulter at all. She’s putting on a shock-jock show. She’s probably conservative, but everything else about her public persona is calculated, crafted, sociopathic smoke and mirrors. She doesn’t believe a word of it.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    I think the worst thing I’ve ever heard about women not being allowed to vote was someone saying that women will only vote for attractive men without a worry about their positions. Kind of a “he’s cute, I’ll vote for him” trope.

    • http://rant5k.blogspot.com Grikmeer

      Because women vote with our crotches…

      • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

        This is, of course, why McCain chose former beauty queen Sarah Palin as a running mate…

  • anat

    The ‘women shouldn’t vote because they are too nurturing’ argument basically describes a situation where it is recognized by people on both sides that there is a social situation where many children are growing up without sufficient nurturing. Some people seek to improve the situation by having all of society pitch in. Others talk about how if everyone was like them this would never have happened in the first place, but offer nothing for those children who are in need now – in fact they are condemning those who try to improve things of being overly nurturing or being misguided about whom they nurture or something.

  • anat

    BTW I understand that some Swiss cantons delayed women franchise because they thought women were too conservative. Sorry, my source is my memory of a highschool textbook, I may be completely wrong. Anyway, said textbook claimed that in most countries during the early years of women having the vote women voted more conservative than men, except in Italy where they voted overwhelmingly more for the socialists. If any of this is true then there is a lot more to voting patterns by gender than biology.

  • Roxane

    If “homeschool dad” tried to “take charge” of any woman who wasn’t a brainwashed, right-wing wimp, he’d probably end up in jail.

  • http://becomingjulie.blogspot.com/ BecomingJulie

    I think there must be something wrong with my calendar. It says 2012.

  • Dianne

    I’d say that homeschooling dad’s post conclusively proves that men who home school are too emotional to be trusted with a vote. Back to the kitchen with you, dude!

  • Twist

    You know, I’ve always been rather leery of a woman voting. I mean, they’re such emotionally driven creatures that most of them don’t have a logical bone in their body.

    Don’t get me wrong – the way that women were created is just right. I’m just saying that there is a reason that they were created as helpers to men.

    I was under the impression that we were in the 21st century. Yep, the internet’s still working and I can check my email on my phone, definitely the 21st century.

    My typical sarcastic comment to someone commenting on women doing things they don’t think women should be doing (outearning men/returning to work after having children/owning businesses/making their own healthcare choices etc etc etc.) is “yeah, they let us vote now and everything, can you believe it?”

    I’ll have to come up with something new.

    - A woman who nobody will ever, ever take charge of!

    • http://christianrethinker.wordpress.com Retha

      “You know, I’ve always been rather leery of a woman voting…
      Don’t get me wrong – the way that women were created is just right. I’m just saying that there is a reason that they were created as helpers to men…” – quote from a homeschool dad

      Obviously, this guy don’t know that the Hebrew word translated helper means a strong political ally, a rescuer, and is more often used for God than for women. Since that word is usually used for God, a Christian who invokes “helper” as reason why only one gender should vote, should limit voting to women.

    • Caravelle

      I love that whole “women don’t have a logical bone in their body” thing. If by “love” we mean “makes me very, very angry”.

      But the most annoying/amusing thing is that whenever I’ve seen someone make that argument, it turned out they themselves hardly even knew what logic is. Which I never really know how to respond to; how to you explain logic to someone when you can’t use logic to do it, because they don’t get logic ?

  • lordshipmayhem

    I’m still wondering why they allow men to have the vote. After all, according to the religious conservatives of pretty well every religion we’re so lacking in self-control that we need to cover our women from head to toe lest we turn into drooling, rapist monsters.

    According to that belief, we men should be locked away for the rest of our lives the moment we hit puberty for humanity’s protection, and only accessed for breeding purposes.

  • Rabidtreeweasel

    It’s not right for a woman to read! Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      YES!!! “Beauty and the Beast” quote win! Belle was my hero. lol.

  • Contrarian

    Ann Coulter’s a woman, so she doesn’t know anything about money or politics. I don’t know why anybody listens to her.

    • MaNonny

      I was actually thinking the same thing. She’s a business woman (gets paid to speak! wrote a book! gasp!) who is very political, and then argues (with what brain since women can’t think?) that women should not vote because they don’t understand anything. Does she therefore choose not to vote in order to live by example? Does she give her money to the male authorities in her life, since she is too stupid to deal with it herself? Everything that woman says immediately bursts into flames from the hypocrisy. I can’t listen to anything she says without my brain atrophying a little.

  • janine

    I risk sounding way too glib here but when I hear “Women are nurturing” I think “Women are mulch”.

    • minuteye

      I think that’s my new response to that argument. Women are inherently nurturing? Why, funny you should mention it, I did wake up this morning feeling rather compost-y!

      • lordshipmayhem

        Ann Coulter must be very nurturing – all that compost between her ears. [eyeroll]

  • MaNonny

    Although not the only sentence in which I had a reaction, this one hasn’t been covered yet in the comments:

    “The family does not serve the individual, the individual serves the family. The individual’s needs are always secondary to the needs of the family.”

    Doesn’t this smack a little bit of socialism? I thought the religious right were against socialism and “everyone pitching in for the good of the group regardless of their individual desires/situation.” Women shouldn’t vote because they want the state to take care of the entire population regardless of what individual men want. Yet, individual family members should sacrifice themselves for the family group.

    I was confused by this hypocritical stance, until I remembered that it is justified in individual families because women and children are not people. They are invisible and are not given “inalienable” rights (because vaginas invalidate brains?). It is apparently not ok to tell a man to sacrifice himself for a group of other men but ok to ask a woman to sacrifice herself to a group of men. The only way to eliminate the cognitive dissonance of this is to assume women are not full people. But this creates another cognitive dissonance because you cannot argue women and men are “different but equal” and then assert that women are sub-human.

  • Moggie

    The conservative case against it is that women lean hard to the left. They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.

    Wait, how is that a “case”? These are not hardened members of the Fourth International storming DC armed with AK-47s, they’re regular citizens voting for candidates who are legally on the ballot. “Women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they might vote for people I disapprove of” is an argument which would get you laughed off in a high school debate. And this passes for conservative intellectualism now?

    • MadGastronomer

      No, no, conservatives are AGAINST intellectualism, OBVIOUSLY!

  • geocatherder

    My mother, a devout Catholic, for most of her life would ask Dad his opinion on every candidate and issue, and vote with him. When I asked why she did that, she’d say “Well, otherwise it would cancel out his vote.” I’d answer “But that’s the point if you don’t agree with him!” She’d just shrug.

    But in the last three years of her life, my mother developed a political spine. She read all the newspaper reports on the issues, developed her own ideas, and voted her conscience. Both Dad and I cheered her on. It was a shame she couldn’t have done it sooner, or lived longer. She died at age 83. It’s unusual for someone to develop a political spine at age 80, but Mama did it!

  • Rilian

    He says women give in when a man takes charge, and THAT is the danger of having a woman in charge over a man. What? The DANGER is that the man will take charge and the woman will just let him? Why are you calling that a danger? Isn’t that what you want?

    Also, what the hell is a “sodomite coupling”?

    • Judy L.

      A sodomite coupling is just what it says: a couple who engage in anal intercourse or as it’s know biblically, ‘sodomy’, although sodomy can also mean oral intercourse or any other sexual congress that doesn’t have reproduction as its goal or possible consequence. There’s a perception that only gay men have anal intercourse and that it’s the only sex that gay men engage in. Both are patently wrong, of course. Most of the anal sex that goes on in the world is between heterosexual couples. And less than half of gay men have anal sex (not sure what the stats on lesbians are). Regardless of who’s doing it, anal sex is not considered acceptable sexual intercourse by the Quivering Biblical Patriarchy. Which is a damn shame, because when done properly, sodomite coupling is awesome!

      I love your blog, Libby; it never fails to make my jaw drop at the attitudes and beliefs of this very strange, oppressive, and frankly perverted alternative familial and sexual lifestyle. It is completely anathema to everything I hold to be true and just and joyful and moral in this world. It breaks my heart that women have to give up so much when they escape the world of Patriarchy and religious oppression, but I’m so glad that they are brave enough to reject the lies they’ve been told and to choose another life for themselves. I wish there was a ‘Save the Women Society’ that I could donate money to to help support women leaving Patriarchy.

      • Libby Anne

        Oh but there is! It’s called The Take Heart Project.

      • jloopy

        Terrific! As soon as they obtain their non-profit status (I think this is an important step), I will make a donation. Hopefully they’ll get their charitable status by Mothers’ Day. (Perhaps that would be a good time to feature this organization in a blog post? My mum isn’t into fancy material stuff, so for Mothers’ Day I like to make donations in her name, and in memory of my grandmother and great-aunt, to organizations that help Mothers.)

  • AztecQueen2000

    Given the hard fight that women had for suffrage, I’d say we more than earned the right to vote. And this is a comment that I never thought needed to be made in this day and age.

  • Ace of Sevens

    My experience is that women in these groups do vote, even if they don’t think they should be able to. After all, if they abstained, their families would get 1 vote each and the worldly families would get 2.

  • http://nonprophetmessage.wordpress.com Sierra

    Dude, I thought it was just Branham and the Message that believed women voting was an “evil thing.” I get sadder whenever I hear Branham’s bullcrap ideas still floating in the universe.

    Message believers use literally the EXACT same argument about Nixon/Kennedy. Small snowglobe we grew up in, eh?

  • Voyager II

    How is it that if a couple vote for different people they cancel each others vote? Isn’t it a persons vote in relation to the voting pool that determines who wins the election?

  • jamessweet

    Frankly I’m a little surprised that political conservatives are endorsing the one-vote-per-family thing. They have not thought it through to the practical consequence, you see. It would be a huge boon to the Democrats if married people’s vote only counted half as much. I looked up on the GSS, and according to their data, in the 2004 election married people voted 57.2% to 40.9% in favor of Bush, while the unmarried voted 57.3% to 40.3% in favor of Kerry. That’s huge!

    Now, I’m allowing single women to vote in my hypothetical scenario, and I assume the theocrats don’t want that. But I think it has to be the logical conclusion of their one-vote-per-household idea, doesn’t it?

  • http://carpescriptura.wordpress.com MrPopularSentiment

    “The way they see it, the family does not serve the individual, the individual serves the family. The individual’s needs are always secondary to the needs of the family.”

    I kinda agree with this. I think that humans function best when we function for the good of a small community – it’s what gives us the most satisfaction, it decreases the likelihood of illnesses (both mental and physical), and can even slow the progress of certain diseases (such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s). And I do think that much of the expression of individualism in North America is harmful, both to society at large and to the individual practitioners themselves.

    BUT, there’s a difference between saying that the needs of community/family and the individual are interconnected, and that it’s appropriate for the whims and immediate desires of the individual to be deferred for the more long term good of the community (within reasonable boundaries), and saying that every individual within the community/family has a predetermined and inflexible role that is assigned not by aptitude or temperament, but by external physical characteristics.

    That’s just stupid.

  • kevinalexander

    In any case it’s certainly in the interest of the individual to defer to the family since there is so much benefit from it.

    The problem arises when one member uses his (looking at you dad) power for personal gain at the expense of the rest by claiming that he represents the family so the others aren’t sacrificing for him but for the family.
    He could secretly be an atheist but claim to be christian just for the power and perks that come with it.

    • http://carpescriptura.wordpress.com MrPopularSentiment

      You touch on an important part that I neglected to mention in my comment – that ALL members of the family must sacrifice, and they must do so equally. Asking only certain members to sacrifice their individuality, while one member gets to impose his individuality as the “family will” is tyranny, not family.

  • anna

    There are many groups which tend to vote Democrat/liberal, not just unmarried women. Do these Christian fundamentalist groups also think black people, LGBT people, young people shouldn’t vote? Nope, they just single out women. Rather transparent sexism, you know.

    And as for the argument that the government has increased so much since the 1920s, quite a lot has happened since then besides women being able to vote that has had an impact on that. For example, recovering from the Great Depression and World War II.

    I also doubt banning women from voting has any Biblical precedent, considering that God’s preferred government in the Bible was either a monarchy where nobody voted (King David etc) or a communistic society, such as the early Christian communities (“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” The Acts of the Apostles 2:44-45).

  • Radi

    Libby Anne, a small but significant word usage issue – you say:
    …women shouldn’t always have to differ or ignore their needs…

    where from context I believe you meant to say:
    …women shouldn’t always have to defer or ignore their needs…

  • Radi

    Apart from that one little thing that popped out at me about word usage, the religious right’s arguments leave me absolutely gobsmacked – that anyone in the US of A and most of the rest of the civilized world, in this day and age and century and millennium, for goodness sake! – would still be arguing about the absolute necessity of women’s suffrage is absolutely incredible.

    And makes want to paddle ‘em, hard (the adults, not the brainwashed children).

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  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha

    To be very pragmatic about this, if the patriarchy people believe women should not vote, it at least halfs their effect on politics. And if they believe only heads of households should vote, and they still have a voting-age son at home, it will make the influence even larger.

    In that sense, it is no tragedy to me if less of them vote.

    • http://carpescriptura.wordpress.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      Indeed. I’m all for them putting their money where their mouth is and obeying their religious beliefs in this matter ;)

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  • http://very-important-blog.blogspot.com Rilian

    Women shouldn’t be “allowed” to vote because they are nurturing? But isn’t nurturing a good thing? It must be if you believe that god made women that way.
    Also, the idea of “allowing women” presupposes that the default is that men are in charge. How did it ever get to be that way in the first place?

  • Elenita

    Thanks for the post. Ann Coulter is obviously joking when she states this and I’m not afraid of her. But people like VF are deadly serious about women not entering politics at all. I spoke with one on the phone today and they told me to repent of my interest in politics. And as for leaning to the left? I’m definitely a right winger, but neither side is more biblical than the other. As a political woman, VF concerns me. If they get their way, what rights will be safe?


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