Political polls support the idea that there is a gender gap in the electorate, with women favoring Obama and men favoring Romney.
It is certainly arguable that Republicans have gone out of their way to drive women into the Democratic fold. They can’t seem to resist the opportunity to legislate restrictions on women’s’ health choices whenever they get control of a legislative body. And they’ve never been big supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment, maternity leave, or Title IX for women’s sports. Then there was that gaffe by Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin about “legitimate rape.”
But is sexist behavior by Republicans enough to explain the gender bias? For example, what about IQs? Well, even though at least half of you probably believe women are smarter than we men, there isn’t enough scientific proof to verify your claim. Still, women are now passing us up in academic achievement and are making gains in careers and income levels, so there’s always a chance women will prove to be smarter than we are.
In the meantime, there is a dearth of theories on the flip side of the debate. Other things equal, you’d expect more of a 50-50 split in my testosterone-afflicted gender. So how do we account for the male Republican bias, especially among white middle-income men? Here are my wife’s favorite theories:
– NASCAR SYNDROME. Men have long labored under the delusion that they can compensate for thinning hair, expanding waists, and poor career choices with big (fast, noisy, expensive) cars and trucks. Democrats may have alienated men with perennial calls for increasing CAFE mileage/fuel standards.
– LOTTERY SYNDROME. Despite repeated evidence to the contrary, men continue to believe they too will end up with incomes greater than $250,000. Democratic calls for higher marginal tax rates on upper incomes may turn off men hoping to win the lottery.
– PROSTATE SYNDROME. Men are repeatedly told that their most feared health concern, a visit from the prostate fairy, may best be left untreated. Thus Democratic calls to preserve Medicare may hold less urgency for men.
– GOLF SYNDROME. Mark Twain observed, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” Unfortunately, the wisdom of much common sense is wasted on the average middle class male.
– REDNECK SYNDROME. It is a classic case of reverse psychology, but men may achieve great satisfaction from acting dumb and behaving badly (see any beer commercial).
– PATHFINDER SYNDROME. Ever since pioneer days, American men have pictured themselves in coonskin hats, armed with muskets, boldly going where no man dared before. To this day, they refuse to consult Mapquest before trips and think GPS is for sissies.
-ANTI-WONK SYNDROME. All they really need to know, men learned in kindergarden. Facts confuse the issues. Science is for nerds. The Socratic Method slows down decision making. Repetition makes something true, so Fox news must be fair and balanced.
The polls suggest my wife’s theories aren’t so far-fetched. Come on, guys, this once can’t we suck it up and stop embarrassing ourselves? I know Romney is friends with NASCAR owners, but does he even play golf?