Recently, some very brave women have spoken out. We have witnessed Amber Heard speaking about being a victim of domestic abuse, the Stanford rape victim detailing the impact of the atrocious crime committed against her, and even Rose McGowan taking on top Fox marketing executives by pointing out their casual use of violence against women in their billboard campaign for X-Men Apocalypse.
What has been incredible, in a negative way, is the copious number of insults and ill-informed judgements that have been bandied around the internet and social media. I have spent too many hours furiously typing away on comment sections in anger and frustration, trying to fight back against such ignorant views. I became exhausted and it began to feel utterly pointless even bothering to use my voice. Later, reading an article stating that the number of missing female voters has increased by 79% since 1992, I came to understand why this could have happened. When there is a group so far removed from your situation, deeming that they know what is best whilst seemingly sticking their fingers in their ears, you can see why women think, “Why bother?” when it comes to voting.
The majority of politicians are still white, middle-aged, middle or upper class men; of course there is bound to be a lack of engagement with the women in their society. When women are hit twice as hard by government cuts and austerity measures, MPs do not have much incentive to encourage females to stand up and fight back against their policies; this confusion is then reinforced by a biased media, which also blinds voters to the most important issues to tackle. Women are busier than ever, and often expected to juggle work and childcare; politics may be the last thing on their mind. Problems that affect women the most are frequently overlooked; the government still seems to struggle with fighting the gender pay gap, domestic violence, online misogyny and sexual threats, affordable childcare, low rape convictions… Need I go on? However, when these problems are addressed, they are placed under the rather condescending umbrella term, ‘Women’s Issues’, because clearly women cannot comprehend the manly, mainstream policies too.
This week marks 150 years since women first called for the vote. More men in Parliament today than the 380 women who have ever been MPs
— Rachael Maskell MP (@RachaelMaskell) June 8, 2016
Whilst it may feel easier to regain control by not voting and sticking two fingers up when you are tired of battling people who could not seem to care less, the truth is that in politics, the parties will simply tailor policies and pander to those who are most likely to vote. It is a vicious cycle, and we are the only people who can put an end to it and create change. Women have fought and died for us to use our vote, and the only way we can stop those in power from stepping on us and to finally listen is if we all stand up and vote.
A battle worth fighting
Politics dictate everything and affect almost every aspect of your life and future. There is a battle worth fighting for: there are young women who cannot vote who need us to speak up for their future as well as our own, and we can start by ensuring we put an ‘X’ in that little box. In researching statistics for this article, I was shocked at the abundance of websites stating ‘why women should not have the vote’ and ‘arguments against Women’s Suffrage’, so please prove them wrong.
Vote in the upcoming EU Referendum on the 23rd of June to have the final say and change lives. Show that you do not need to be patronised or need a pink bus to drive around to get you involved in politics; girl power is powerful – use it.
What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.