The Women Men Don’t See

The polling/pundit debacle that predicted a “red wave” in the election has reminded me of this brilliant title of a short story by James Tiptree, Jr. Except that’s Alice Bradley Sheldon. Back in the day, a sure way not to be seen was to have a name coded as female.

Names coded as female are more acceptable now, but, as in Shelton’s story, much that is female is still not seen. We could still be traveling down to Mexico to get a lift to other solar systems, and nobody would know. The story is told from the limited viewpoint of a man who stumbles into two women’s vacation to Mexico. He cannot understand the women in any way but as sexual targets.

A great many pollsters live in a similarly limited world. Theirs depends on their models and the limited worldview those models encapsulate – gasoline prices, inflation fears, what they sometimes call kitchen table issues. Additionally, a conventional wisdom of how elections play out and fluctuate. No space for self-determination being taken away from half the population.

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Flooding The Zone

Steve Bannon talked about “flooding the zone with shit,” meaning overwhelming people with disinformation. That is what Donald Trump and his people are doing now with respect to voting. Our job is to resist it and turn it back.

Trump tweets multiple times a day about voting by mail. In his tweets, he emphasizes how unsure, how erratic it is. In fact, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington primarily use a vote by mail system. Most other states allow absentee voting by mail, under a variety of rules. That variety is being exploited by Trump’s man in the Post Office, Louis DeJoy, who is sending out postcards claiming to remind people about voting. Those postcards are incorrect for many states. The Colorado Secretary of State has tweeted out a correction and is suing the Postal Service for disrupting the election.

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