Women have a special reason to want to prevent our democracy from turning into an autocracy. Not only will the voices of women on issues not be heard by officials, but there will also be nothing holding back those politicians in power from acting on their own beliefs and prejudices. Misogyny will once again raise its ugly head to the detriment of all women. Sexism will be unleashed.
Charlotte Observer, October 6, 2022
Raleigh News and Observer, October 6, 2022
The Herald-Sun (Durham), October 6, 2022
Opinion: This election is critical for women, and too few NC women are stepping up
By Tracy Furman and Janice Robinson
Recently there has been a sizable increase in the number of women registering to vote in some battleground states. But in North Carolina, the surge has not been as great.
Many attribute the surges to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.
Regardless of the reason — women’s reproductive rights, the economy, childcare, or any other issue — more women voting is a good thing. It makes politicians up for election pay attention to the voices of women.
One of us runs a small business organization and the other is a small business owner. Entrepreneurship is very important to us, and we want the voices of small business to be heard and to impact government policy.
That’s the way democracy works. The people have the power to talk to, influence and choose elected representatives. Small business owners can have a say in economic policy to promote entrepreneurship, which is especially important to women.
However, without a strong democracy all the input from voters will go in one ear of politicians and out the other. That’s because these officials will have locked themselves into office by manipulating or changing voting rules.
When democracy turns into autocracy, one-party or one-man rule, the will of the people is no longer important — or even decisive in an election.
Autocratic governments, whether they be conservative or liberal, are only concerned with power and money, both for the politicians and their deep-pocketed campaign contributors. All those supporting anti-democracy efforts today to help candidates win will have their interests ignored tomorrow by the same politicians who will declare themselves winners in spite of the vote count.
Women have a special reason to want to prevent our democracy from turning into an autocracy.
Not only will the voices of women on issues not be heard by officials, but there will also be nothing holding back those politicians in power from acting on their own beliefs and prejudices.
Misogyny will once again raise its ugly head to the detriment of all women. Sexism will be unleashed.
We see how autocracies in other nations view government’s control of women as important.
The autocratic government in Iran believes it is acceptable to dictate how women should dress and that women can be killed for not wearing the hijab properly.
Our country has also suppressed women. Only 100 years ago, women could not vote. Only 40 years ago women could not obtain business loans without a male co-signer.
Today, a century after the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote, there are still men who would turn back the clock arguing that woman suffrage was a mistake because our society should be run by men. One is even running for Congress in Michigan today.
Now, those who would subjugate women to a role subservient to men might get their way. The loss of our democracy threatens to undercut the right of women, and men, to pick who represents them and thus eliminate their ability to have policy input.
It is critical for women to stand up for their right to be heard in the political process. We must know where candidates stand on protecting democracy and weigh that knowledge in deciding which candidates to support.
But first, North Carolina women must join the voter registration surge that we see in other states. We must register to vote now and vote in November.
Tracy Furman is executive director of Triad Local First. Janice Robinson is the president of JDR Consulting in Charlotte. Both are leaders of the North Carolina Business for Democracy collaborative.