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Women Voting and the Media

Updated on January 8, 2015

The Five from Fox News

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The Media: Can't Live With Them

Women fought to gain the right to vote for almost a century and now the media is discouraging young women from taking advantage of all the work that suffragists managed to complete. A few news stories in 2014 go over why women should not vote, be included in politics or be on juries. These stories ruin years and years worth of hard and difficult times for a lot of women from the suffragist days to today. They encourage young women, not to get involved and know their facts, but to not vote at all. It is as if young women do not have a voice and do not matter in politics, something that suffragist strove to achieve, and won victoriously in 1920.

In October, of the year 2014, two newscasters started an entire conversation that could have possibly taken women back almost 94 years. The Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1920 and states that; "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any Senate on account of sex" (National Archives, 2014). Two of the panelists on Fox News, The Five, named Kimberly Guilfoyle and Greg Gutfeld, made a few comments that sent a strong message towards young women voters and young women who may end up on jury duty due to being registered to vote. This message was basically to not vote, because young women are too inexperienced to vote and serve on juries. Women like Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul would be shocked at the statements made by these people in the media, who are in great positions to encourage young women to get involved in politics, become more informed and get involved in the voting process. Unfortunately, Guilfoyle and Gutfeld are not the only two people in the media who think that young women should not vote. Before 1920, "suffragist had waged fifty-six referenda campaigns and hundreds of assaults on state legislatures, state party conventions, and state constitutional conventions, as well as on Congress" (Woloch, 2006, p. 345), now they are being encouraged by a lot of the media to not vote.

"In a September 28 post challenging Lena Dunham for encouraging young women to vote in an article for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NRO's Kevin D. Williamson provided his "Five Reasons Why You're Too Dumb To Vote." Calling voting a "shallow gesture of citizenship" which women use to say 'I want'" (Boguhn & Torres, 2014). Williamson basically states that women who listen to Lena Dunham are stupid and should not vote, especially if they are getting their politics from actors and comedians. His entire article is an opinion based article, all about bashing young women voters and Lena Dunham, and even goes so far as to say that women voters like Lena are the reason for the amount of abortions that happen today. Williamson states; "we are a nation of adult children so horrified by the prospect of actual children that we put one in five of them to death for such excellent reasons as the desire to fit nicely into a prom dress" (Williamson, 2014). This is clearly a bash on young women, as is the rest of the article. Williamson is not the only person to have issues with young women voters.

Tucker Carlson also seems to have an issue with the young woman voter, making the statement; "you're targeting people who are watching Say Yes To The Dress? You want your government run by people...who's favorite show is Say Yes To The Dress" (Boguhn & Torres, 2014). This statement was made on the October 2 showing of the Fox News show, Outnumbered. Carlson attacks Republicans in this diatribe for using Democratic tactics to gain the vote from young women. One statement in his entire speech seemed true, but the statement could be applied to young people in general, not just young females, even though he was blasting a Republican ad targeted towards young females; "I don't think as a general matter you should be encouraging people who don't know anything about what they're voting for to vote" (Boguhn & Torres, 2014). Carlson and Williamson have opinions about young females voters that are bad enough, and began to ruin the work of the suffragist movement, then came Guilfoyle and Gutfeld.

"According to Guilfoyle and her co-hosts, females of a certain age just “don’t get it,” which should probably disqualify them from serving on juries, or from exercising a crucial constitutional right they gained less than a century ago" (Kutner, October 22, 2014). Guilfoyle, a woman who is obviously well over the age of forty, basically says that lack of experience is why young women should not vote or serve on a jury. She states this about women serving on juries; "It’s the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea. They don’t get it. They’re not in that same life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, healthcare. They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world" (Kutner, October 22, 2014). Obviously her statement was wrong since rape and molestation are at an all time high, teenage pregnancy is at an all time high, women are ever prevalent in a workforce where they do not make the same as men and college loans are at an all time high where most of the students are women. Young women are paying bills and have too many cares now a days and this reporter chooses to insult them and every suffragist that there ever was. Her co-host, Dana Perino, tries to even out what is said and back track by stating; "There’s a suggestion that Kimberly said young women shouldn’t vote because they’re uninformed. She was talking about, if you’re a prosecutor, and you’re prosecuting a case and you have to pick a jury, you typically do not pick a young woman because she won’t be the person you would want. That’s true across the board" (Kutner, October 24, 2014). Perino's statement is also incorrect as, in a trial, the defense attorney will try to choose people who closely identify with the victim or the accused, which if it were a young woman, would be young women jurors. The prosecuting attorney, or the District Attorney, will always try to choose jurors who are the exact opposite of the defendant, so that there is no sympathy on an automatic basis. This is why both the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney get to pick jurors, to keep things fair. Catherine Taibi, of the Huffington Post, had this to say about one of the comments that Gutfeld made; "Earlier in the conversation, co-host Greg Gutfeld made the point that "with age comes wisdom" and the "older you get, the more conservative you get." In other words: 'Hey kids! Hold off a little. You don't have to vote just yet. Wait until you're conservative enough old enough'" (Taibi, 2014). These Fox News Hosts tried to destroy everything that women over the years have worked so hard to gain and got criticized for it from numerous media sources.

In the 1920s, "women's suffrage had an immediate impact. Polling places shifted from saloons and barbershops to schools and churches, to accommodate the newly enfranchised. Twenty states passed laws at once to enable women to serve on juries, and some states rushed through protective laws that women reformers had long demanded" (Woloch, 2006, p. 345). There were the naysayers then, people who said allowing women to vote would ruin homes and destroy the state because women would all vote in groups or against their husbands. This did not happen, and in fact, once women won the vote they almost immediately took the suffragists hard work for granted by not being interested in the right once it had been gained. For years women have taken their voting rights less than seriously by not voting at all. While some media outlets are encouraging young women voters, others are telling young women not to vote and to stay out of things that they have no business being in, as if Americans still lived in the days before women gained their rights.

Women fought to gain the right to vote for almost a century and now the media is discouraging young women from taking advantage of all the work that suffragists managed to complete. The media is trying to ruin years and years worth of hard and difficult times for a lot of women from the suffragist days to today. Women are still not seen as equal to men and still do not have the same rights as men do, which they are still trying to fight to gain. Media opinions like these are going to put a serious block in anything that women are trying to do in the future to try to better their lives, as well as negate everything that was done in the past.

Kevin Williamson

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The "Fab" Five

Resources


Boguhun, A. & Torres, J. (2014). Right-Wing media discourage young women from voting. Media Matters for America. Retrieved from

http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/10/21/right-wing-media-discourage-young-women-from-vo/201259

Kutner, J. (October 24, 2014). Fox News responds to outrage over comments about young women voting and using Tinder. Salon. Retrieved from

http://www.salon.com/2014/10/24/fox_news_responds_to_outrage_over_comments_about_young_women_voting_and_using_tinder/

Kutner, J. (October 22, 2014). Fox News to young women: Don’t worry about voting, just focus on your Tinder profile. Salon. Retrieved from

http://www.salon.com/2014/10/22/fox_news_to_young_women_dont_worry_about_voting_just_focus_on_your_tinder_profile/

National Archives. (2014). 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's right to vote. Retrieved from

http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/document.html?doc=13&title.raw=19th%20Amendment%20to%20the%20U.S.%20Constitution%3A%20Women%27s%20Right%20to%20Vote

Taibi, C. (2014). Fox News Hosts Tell Young Women Not To Vote, Go Back To Tinder And Match.com. Huffington Post. Retrieved from

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/22/fox-news-young-women-voters-kimberly-guilfoyle-midterm-election_n_6028054.html

Williamson, K.D. (2014). Five reasons why you’re too dumb to vote. National Review Online. Retrieved from

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388945/five-reasons-why-youre-too-dumb-vote-kevin-d-williamson

Woloch. N. (2006). Women and the American experience: a concise history 2006 (5th ed). New York: McGraw Hill Higher Education.

Tucker Carlson

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Block the Vote

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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      I don't think either party runs the country for the benefit of the people. They hold the party above the country, at least how they want the country to run.

      I am not loyal to any political party, I try to vote for the best candidate. Unfortunately, neither party puts out quality candidates.

      Nevertheless, the republicans did put Sarah Palin as a VP candidate to which the democrats maligned and criticized a women that was a governor of Alaska. She had more experience running a state, than Senator Obama running anything but a campaign.

      Also the democrats and Senator Obama, and then President Obama kept an old white man, or a woman. Hillary Clinton had more experience than Senator Obama who had no real experience, as he spent his last two years as senator running for the presidency. Hillary Clinton also ran, but she had already one term as a senator before running for the presidency.

      It seems clear that the republicans think more of women than the democrats by deed, while the democrats shout a good mantra they don't deliver.

      The prosperity of the US, and women cannot be solved by the two political parties, they need to be solved by the voters shedding their party hats, and voting for a change that will solve the problems preventing the US from finding prosperity for the people rather than the political party.

    • Lyrykell profile image
      Author

      Kelly Miller 2 years ago from Apollo, Pennsylvania

      This is directed toward teamrns: Did not think a school paper would spark such a debate. And I myself cannot say either way, but the REFERENCES that I use are all adequate and scholarly. Also, for me, this was HOMEWORK so my opinion is not in the article. Also, I am pro-life so I wouldn't say that we are against women, I do not feel it is right for women to be able to kill, and to me, once the fetus has a heartbeat it is a living organism. I feel it is terrible that we live in a country where you can't smoke weed but women can murder their children. That does not make me Conservative or Republican. I also believe that we have the right to own our own weapons, I don't feel the government should have passed the Patriot Act (but that's when you get uninformed idiots voting for bills where theY have no clue of the consequences), I believe that we should be working on sustainable natural energy sources because eventually electric will be no more, medical care should be free and I believe marijuana should be legal. I also believe that children should have a right to practice whatever religion they choose in school, I believe that kids should say the pledge of allegiance (the new version with one Nation under God omitted since not everyone believes in Christian God), I think In God We Trust should be removed from our bills because that is amazing blasphemy, I think our borders should be closed to everyone unless they legally apply to become a US citizen, I believe that we should raise taxes, cut military spending and raise educational spending for elementary, middle and high school. What do you call me? I am not Liberal or Conservative. I only allowed your comment because it sparks general debate and you are not too rude, even though you do go a little ridiculous with it. Your know it all behavior with your comment full of opinions is a little off putting for a first impression and if you think that you are coming off as intelligent you're not. I would appreciate if from now on any debates sparked would be respectful and not attacking. Should any more attacking posts be posted they will be removed from this blog. That goes for everyone, LIBERAL, CONSERVATIVE OR CONFUSED.

      Fred: ^^^^^ Like your comment

    • Fred Arnold profile image

      Fred Arnold 2 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      First, I didn't state anything about them being against women who vote. I said they are against the younger generation in general because they tend to vote more liberal. Have you watched the programming on Fox? It is one of the most biased news stations. Also, you cannot use generation old party motivations and decisions when arguing a point about how the parties conduct themselves now. There is no correlation between Republicans/Democrats in 1920 to Republicans/Democrats now.

      This statement:

      "If all the 18-35 year olds voted, there would be no republicans in office. " is the statement I said I didn't have sources on because it is my speculation. That is due to the high statistics of 18-35 year olds being democrat/liberatarian, and the fact that they are the lowest voting population. If they voted, we would see a very different outcome.

      Why don't you read my extensive, resource cited, educational Hubs involving politics and come back and rant to me about doing homework. That also comes from the guy who posted an opinion article as a source for fact.

      And I'm sorry that I take the GOP/Tea Party with a grain of salt due to the fact that I constantly see stories like this:

      "http://www.inquisitr.com/1643371/gop-aide-jabs-at-...

      "http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/tea-partiers...

      "This is typical liberal statement WITH NO SOURCES, no facts, 'I have a FEELING that this is the case....' What could be more hair-brained than that?"

      Typical liberal statement? Do you even know what being a liberal is? Here, educate yourself. The term is not a way to degrade other people, in fact it is the ideas of liberalism that has bred the philosophies that we live with today.

      https://hubpages.com/politics/A-Libertarian-Moveme...

      You came here to attack someone and you failed at it. Go back to your opinion articles.

    • profile image

      teamrns 2 years ago

      Fred Arnold, Conservatives are NOT against women voting and I'm not sure where you get that idea other than not doing the critical thinking for YOURSELF and following some party line pablum which says the Republican party has staged a war on women.

      "What do you expect from Fox News?" I don't know to what this statement refers. Fox states when their shows are opinion and "The Five" is one of those shows. MSNBC does not.

      In which way has the Republican party waged a war on women? A specific example. Aha! It was because the GOP denied women the vote!! How could I have been so dense? Truth be told, there was a legislative history of more than 40 years, where the Democratic party blocked GOP attempts to give women the right to vote which culminated in the 19th amendment. Again, HOMEWORK and learning to think for yourself comes in handy, Don't left anyone think for you.

      States need to ratify an amendment and WHO/WHICH PARTY hesitated to ratify the 19th amendment? States that had Democratic-controlled legislatures.

      Often the statement is made that if you are pro-life, you are against women. I happen to be for life, yet I am a woman. My pro-life belief doesn't reflect how I feel about women. It ONLY reflects my belief.

      There is also the statement that Republicans believe that MEN should control what happens to women's bodies. I am reminded that the ACA has a panel of men to determine who gets what care. Is that not men determining what happens to women, men being the decision-makers about women's health?

      There are other examples I have, but you say, "No sources, but I have a feeling that it holds true. They are not against women voting, they are against the younger generation voting against them. That is all."

      This is typical liberal statement WITH NO SOURCES, no facts, 'I have a FEELING that this is the case....' What could be more hair-brained than that?

      I'm sorry, I'm not known for launching direct attacks on one individual, but you left yourself wide open by making statements based on FEELINGS, not FACTS.

      http://spectator.org/articles/35608/republicans-an...

      http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/08/29/...

      In the future, I think it best if you do HOMEWORK, preferably your own and base your conclusions on YOUR OWN RESEARCH, which is based on fact, not hearsay. Remember, believe "none of what you hear and only half of what you see."

    • Lyrykell profile image
      Author

      Kelly Miller 2 years ago from Apollo, Pennsylvania

      I completely agree, but as it stands, a lot of young women don't even watch 'The Five' because they are too busy working, taking care of kids or attending school. Actually school is how I found out about this atrocity...

    • Fred Arnold profile image

      Fred Arnold 2 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Fox News sounds malicious to any group against their ideals! Haha. But yes. I agree. If every single young female who witnessed that segment did not swear off Fox, I'd be depressed.

    • Lyrykell profile image
      Author

      Kelly Miller 2 years ago from Apollo, Pennsylvania

      The one lady actually attacks young women voters, actually they all do. I mean, I do agree that they don't want anyone young to vote either, but they are really against young women voters and young women on juries for some reason.

    • Fred Arnold profile image

      Fred Arnold 2 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Good article. And I will say: What do you expect from Fox News? It is in the statistics that, regardless of gender, the younger generation is more accepting of change than the older generations. They see the youth as a crutch to society, yet it is what society relies on. If all the 18-35 year olds voted, there would be no republicans in office. -- No sources, but I have a feeling that it holds true. They are not against women voting, they are against the younger generation voting against them. That is all.