Women should NOT sit out the U.S. election

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This is a Letter to the Editor I just sent to Metro News. I doubt they’ll print it, because I just had one in the paper. And even if they did, it wouldn’t be printed in time for the U.S. election. So I’m going to post it in my blog, in the hopes that it helps combat the dangerous message given in today’s paper by Rick McGinnis (whom I believe is their TV critic, so I’m not sure why he’s even writing about politics at all, much less trying to take away women’s power to vote).

Here’s my letter:

In “Sit this one out, ladies” (Oct. 31), Rick McGinnis suggests that women not vote in the U.S. election in order to protest sexism in the campaigns. While his cause is noble, his advice could just as easily be given by people who want to silence women and take away their hard-fought-for power to vote, power which women in many countries are still murdered for trying to achieve. Sure, a few jerks wore offensive t-shirts and yelled out ignorant insults. But the answer is not to withdraw from the process and let misogynists be the only ones who choose the government. As we’ve seen in the Canadian election, low voter turnout doesn’t “slap… otherwise intelligent people back to their senses,” as McGinnis suggests it would. It just results in more of the same mean-spirited government and makes progressive people feel even more hopeless. No, the answer is for women to rise up and vote in unprecedented numbers, thus demonstrating that they are a powerful force for good in this world, and that their voices cannot be ignored.

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