Women really do react to politics differently to men
They had the decency to give them a turn, but after thousands of years of patriarchy working so well they should have known better. They brought home the bacon; we cooked it. They fought off the lions and tigers so we could raise our offspring in safety.
But a little while ago, following years of nagging by those insufferable suffragettes, they caved – men finally gave women the vote.
After watching the gendered worm on Nine’s coverage of the debate however, I have to say: what the hell were men thinking? It looks like giving the ladies a few democratic rights was a mistake on par with offering an honest answer to the question, “Does my bum look big in this?”
I know that in the post-debate analysis – by one of Australia’s leading political commentators and some chick from the Woman’s Weekly – they said that there was no real gender difference in what did and didn’t get traction.
In fact, the final stats suggested that women preferred Gillard over Abbott to the tune of five points more than the blokes.
What this picture fails to capture though is that the devil was in the details.
From where I was sitting, the female operators of the worm machine seemed less immune to emotional appeals about the ‘threat’ of ‘boat people’, and the men more cynical when spin was used to avoid answering questions by the panel.
The men also flatlined in indifference more often and for longer periods than their flighty female counterparts – a sure sign of them having a better grip on what’s going on.
I’m beginning to think that Stan Smith, the head of the household in the cartoon sitcom American Dad, was right when he proclaimed: “Son, only women have emotions – they come from their ovaries”.
And, yes, I know last week’s poll showed that if an election was on a whopping 58 per cent of women would vote for the current PM, but maybe that’s just because there’ll be more talk about hairstyles and clothes – you know, girlie things - if she gets in.
We might just have to accept that there is something after all in the much maligned patriarchal view about gender difference: that women are aligned with emotion and concern themselves more with private sphere issues such as parental leave (which seemed to score the highest points with chicks) and men more connected to their reasoning powers and big, important issues that shape the public one.
Men should use those special, God-given powers of reason and rescind the female vote. We should just all accept that it was an honourable social experiment that failed and that the whole affording women equal rights thing wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Damn it. I was going to suggest that women should just get back in the kitchen where they belong but I’ve switched over to Masterchef to discover that the two best amateur chefs in Australia are men.
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