Rhode Island women disengaged with political process.

Now, why would ANYONE be disengaged with the political process these days? (laughs with anger and tears)

Rhode Island women tend to be disengaged from politics and many don’t regard political activity as an effective way to influence their world, according to interpretations of a poll released yesterday by the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island.
The telephone survey of 507 women, ages 18 to 75, conducted last week, found that Rhode Island women are focused on their local communities, willing to volunteer, committed to voting — but “cynical” about the political process, pollster Anna Greenberg said in presenting the results yesterday.

Quite frankly, you should be cynical of the political process (non-process) as it is right now. But being cynical and doing something about it and being cynical and disengaging are two separate issues.

A key reason, Greenberg asserted, is that Rhode Island has had few women elected to statewide office. This leaves women with the sense that their elected representatives do not have personal experience with the “kitchen-table issues” that worry women, Greenberg said.

Kitchen table issues? Women worry about a variety of issues, whether they are given the avenues to appropriately address them is a different issue.
Now this one really got me.

Additionally, women around the country tend to be less informed about politics, because they have more responsibility and less leisure time, Greenberg said. “When men get home from work, they sit down and watch the news. When women get home from work, they make dinner,” she said.

Now in the places where this maybe true, what is this about? This 1960’s attitude split between men watching the news/being engaged with the political process verses women cooking dinner/disengaged and worried about kitchen table issues.
I am finding this very hard to believe, but again I am a feminist blogger.
via Providence Journal.

Join the Conversation

  • http://abstractnonsense.wordpress.com/ Alon Levy

    On the one hand, the latest study I know of (from 1986, if I remember correctly) says that men and women work almost equal hours in the entire first world, but 2/3 of male labor is in market activities vs. 1/3 of female labor. So men and women are really equally busy.
    On the other, there are probably more opportunities to read the paper and discuss politics at work, if you’re middle class, than when you’re cleaning.

  • FinFangFoom

    “Kitchen table issues” means issues that have a concrete effect on a voter, like those the poll says women are most interested in, i.e. income keeping pace with the cost of living and being able to retire.

  • SarahWonks

    Yeah, as a feminist and a political organizer, I wouldn’t necessarily be offended by the term “kitchen table” issues. It’s typically used about both men and women – I always think of a husband and wife sitting at a kitchen table, stressing out about how they’re going to pay for soccer uniforms, a dentist appointment, and groceries this week. It’s very much about how people (especially families) make ends meet. And since women do often deal with their families’ finances, it makes sense that they are more concerned about these issues (most surveys bear this out).
    The conjecture about watching the news vs. making dinner? Not sure if I buy that. It’s usually best to ignore pollsters’ opnions and just look at their numbers.

  • http://moderatelyinsane.blogspot.com Sailorman

    I used to live in RI. It’s hard for ANYONE to be “engaged” in the political process, as it’s a vastly one-party state with a high level of corruption and bias.
    Of course, your comments are still true.

  • http://valatan.blogspot.com bittergradstudent

    And nary a mention of Langevin–the RI democratic party’s little ‘fuck you’ to women

  • Dave

    My wife and I watch the news together during the week. We watch and discuss O’Reilly as I take care of her hair.
    Plus, I usually cook for her more than she cooks for me.