When asked what Mitt Romney can do to appeal to more women, my general answer is “not be Mitt Romney.”
However, all joking aside, if he’s looking to appeal to female voters, there may be little he can do. Mitt Romney has a difficult time appealing to many Americans and, frankly, I don’t think it matters whether or not they are women. Thanks to his taking a hard right turn in order to appeal to the Republican base during the primaries, pro-choice female voters may have a difficult time forgiving him, no matter how good his plans are for the economy or military. However, one thing that pundits and politicians assume is that the women vote similarly, indeed that even there exists a “female voting block” at all. While many women are pro-choice, many are pro-life and appreciate Romney’s views. The idea that women’s issues are confined to things such as abortion and childcare is frankly insulting. Issues that women care about are not only things that involve their roles are mothers and wives, but also issues that affect them as members of the workforce, consumers, and American citizens.
In a recent poll by CBS, single women and married women have two very different views about whether or not they would vote for Mitt Romney, proving that women don’t vote monolithically.
Women across America have just as many different perspectives, lifestyles, and individual situations as men. By considering women as a block, pundits and politicians are denying each individual woman her agency in selecting a presidential candidate. Assuming that a simple speech or the involvement of a candidate’s wife will fix Romney’s problem is offensive, oversimplifying the process that many women use in deciding their candidate of choice and denying that many women are intelligent voters who carefully consider the candidate’s positions before going to the polls.
While I concede that some women choose a candidate based on the best attack ads or how the candidate’s hair looks on television, an equal number of men are arguably just as guilty of using that same thought process. Maybe women will consider rejoining the Republican Pparty when we aren’t treated as bunch of easily-changeable weak-willed citizens, influenced by empty gestures, but as individual voters with views on economics, education, foreign policy, and the myriad other issues that men are given the opportunity to express their opinions about.
If Mitt Romney wants to attract more women, I say he should work on having more clean and concise policy ideas about the economy and foreign policy and a clear campaign strategy so he attracts more voters, regardless if some of these voters happen to be women.