There Is More to Women’s Political Participation than Voting

Journalists covering the 2018 mid-term elections enjoy spinning out narratives about cleavages in American society when it comes to voting. The gender gap is one of the tales they can weave together through data and first-person accounts. While gender differences in voting patterns are certainly important, it comfortably fits with a broader tendency to downplay women’s leadership and engagement throughout history. It is critical that we remind journalists, our students, and ourselves, that the gender gap in voting does not capture women’s political contributions or their political diversity. Women’s engagement matters well beyond their votes.       

Canvassers Tend to Seek Out Supporters Who Are Like Themselves, and That’s Not Good for Political Participation

The data reveals that canvassers were significantly more likely to walk door to door in search of signatures in neighborhoods where the demographic characteristics of the residents were similar to their own. For example, the middle-class, white Wisconsin canvassers who gathered signatures to protest the Iraq War were more likely to
stay in predominantly white and middle class neighborhoods when they traveled door to door. Our analysis also revealed that canvassers appeared to follow a rational process in which canvassers quit or changed approaches when facing increased costs.

The Failure of the #MeToo Movement

Time Magazine declared the “silence breakers” of the #MeToo movement the Time Person of the Year. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, honored the courage of “hundreds of others, and of many men as well, [who] have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s” in a statement on the Today Show….