Suzanne Fields

Everybody's looking for the niche to make the difference.

Some people think they see the mother lode in the beautiful people, especially the vote of the beautiful women. (How big such a niche may be is another matter.)

When Vogue magazine discovered that 22 million unmarried women - single, divorced and widowed - didn't vote for George W. Bush, Al Gore, Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan four years ago, the magazine blamed the ladies for the status quo: "Their numbers represent an enormous block - the largest groups of nonparticipating eligible voters - that could have changed the fate of the 2000 race, altered the current status of health-care, child-care, job creation and education legislation, shifted the tactics of the war on terror, and perhaps avoided the very existence of the war in Iraq."

That's a big-time roar, even for women. Laura Dawn is the "events and cultural director" of moveon.org, the leftwing advocacy site for John Kerry that claims Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" gets to the root of the "problem".

"I understand why women don't vote," she says. "Who is more interesting to you? Hillary Clinton or Britney Spears? We need someone like Britney Spears saying it's cool to vote." (Somewhere Elizabeth Cady Stanton is spinning, and it's not in a spin room.)

Mimi Swartz, who files dispatches for women under the dryer, offers several unflattering reasons why women stay home on Election Day. No. 1, they're insecure. "Unlike their male counterparts, they feel they have to be well informed to vote, and will stay away before they cast a vote they feel is foolish." With arguments and persuasion like that, the 19th Amendment would have been dead on arrival.

Another reason women don't vote is narcissism: "Women - especially busy women - don't see what's in it for them, particularly when the majority of candidates are still white males who don't speak to their concerns." (Elizabeth Cady Stanton continues to spin.)

My favorite rationalization is that women are too busy "multitasking," holding down jobs, grocery shopping, carpooling, helping the kids with their homework, talking on their cell phones, sending faxes, checking their answering machines and Blackberries. But they're not too busy to stage a Woman's Day of Action, where they're urged to register to vote at beauty shops and shopping malls, between pedicures and shopping for thong panties and waxing nostalgic for a certain former president who knew how to appreciate certain intimate fashion items.


Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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