August 18th, 1920 was the day that women were granted the right to vote. A right that men had enjoyed one-hundred-and-thirty-one years preceding the 19th amendment since the first president, George Washington, was elected in 1789. So with women being eligible to vote for twenty-four of the most recent presidential election cycles, what is their role in presidential voting today? Women haven’t taken women’s suffrage for granted and we have outnumbered men in voter turnout since the election in 1980 and the gender gap has continued to grow.
I think a mix of factors is attributed to women’s greater voter turnout and they all are directly linked to their role in the 21st century. First off women have become increasingly depended on public services like childcare, healthcare, and food stamps. It has also become more likely for women to be the primary caregivers so they must deal with government programming and services such as schools. Therefore they are directly affected by the government’s public services on a daily basis. Another reason, that reflects more of women’s evolved role in society today is simply that women are more empowered today as we are in the era of post-feminism. Prior to 1980, it was more taboo for women to be involved in politics because it didn’t fit the strict confines of a feminine gender characterization.
With more and more empowered women showing up over the years to the polls on Election Day, it begs the question what this 2016 election numbers will look like. Knowing this, it seems like a no-brainer that Hillary Clinton, the first woman presidential candidate nominee of a major political party, would sweep the polls. Especially as her opponent represents the face of White patriarchy and misogyny. So I do have to say, the odds are looking good for her to be the first female president of the United States in 2017.