Social Question

Ron_C's avatar

Should men temporarily lose their right to vote?

Asked by Ron_C (14465points) May 1st, 2011

I heard an interesting discussion on a radio show. According to Thom Hartmann; since men are overly represented in prisons and since virtually all wars are started by men (with the exception of the Falklands war by Margret Thacher), there should be consequences. He suggests that men should lose their voting rights for at least 10 years (in the U.S. and U.K.). Personally, I think that is a good idea, I would give up my voting rights to women to see if they are capable of bringing about a more reasonable government. (By the way, I have been married for 45 years and have already given up my voting rights at home; you know the rule “If mama ain’t happy, aint’ nobody happy”).

I know they aren’t prefect and they can be just as dangerous as men but the likelihood that they would resort to violence is much smaller than that of men, especially older men with lower endorphin levels and less patience.

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36 Answers

WasCy's avatar

Since at the time Margaret Thatcher was a relative anomaly in world leaders, by virtue of the fact that she was a woman – and don’t forget Golda Meir, who was the leader of Israel at the time of their famous six-day war with most of their neighbors – and since both of those women led their countries to victory in their respective wars, don’t you think that you should re-think your proposition?

That is, if women ruled all countries then all wars would be started by women.

PS: You should know that they are more dangerous than men.

HungryGuy's avatar

I think that’s just more stereotyping and blaming all members of a class for the actions of a few.

Ron_C's avatar

@WasCy I know they’re more dangerous.

@HungryGuy it may be a stereotype but that doesn’t make it untrue.

woodcutter's avatar

Then the question begs to be asked is, if women were running everything would it really be any different? Having a vagina doesn’t have anything to do with being more just or even smarter, right?

everephebe's avatar

No. It’s an interesting idea certainly, but I don’t think it would have the results intended. You’re suggesting that more women should hold public offices right? I definitely would agree with that. Men are in fact capable of voting for women, although maybe not in the U.S.~ More women should get out and vote certainly, but an all out ban on men? I don’t think there should be a mandatory penis punishment. We should work towards equality, and I don’t think that this particular step would be in the right direction. I do think more women leaders in the world makes a hellva lot of sense though.

Ron_C's avatar

@everephebe that is a well considered answer, however I disagree. The overwhelming evidence is that virtually all war is a result of too much loose testosterone floating around.

I have hear that the Iroquois confederacy lasted for at least 1000 years and even survived a few year after they were invaded by Europeans. They did it by always having a woman “president” and warriors weren’t allowed to vote. Being a confederacy, they didn’t go to war unless all factions agreed. It seems, today, that the president can unilaterally take us to war.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

I guess every idea that comes to seem almost universal (suffrage in this case) eventually generates some kind of backlash. Didn’t some Tea Party bigwig come out just recently in favor of undoing that which was wrought way back in the Age of Jackson (to the predictable approval of a certain hot-air dispensing zeppelin featured prominently on megahuge corporate radio)? Yeah, right.

I happened upon a radio program from the BBC about Cuba late one night recently. A member of the communist party intelligencia was quoted as saying the great Western error was in defining democracy entirely with the act of voting.

I think that fellow may actually have had something there…

Ron_C's avatar

@woodcutter I never even suggested that they were smarter. They are, however much more likely to discuss problems. Even if the discussion took years, it is still better than killing a bunch of people solving nothing and creating even more determined enemies.

Ron_C's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop “the great Western error was in defining democracy entirely with the act of voting.” Good point. Women and black people received the right to vote long before they actually ran for office. Even when I was young in the ‘60’s many of the women I knew didn’t vote. The saw nothing in it for them. To me, that was exactly the reason they should have voted.

Unfortunately the act of voting is one of the few actual rights left in the U.S.

Bellatrix's avatar

No. Not all men agree with war, or are in prison, or commit crimes, or only vote for men. Men are not a homogeneous group. Similarly, we can’t assume having a majority of women in government would lead to less wars or better decisions. I would like to see a more equal representation of women in government than there is now but not at the cost of men losing their vote. I don’t think you can actually assume women would vote for women anyway. I would hope they would vote for the person most able to do the job.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am really not in favor of people thinking women would inherently be better at ‘not starting wars’. Really.

DrBill's avatar

That would be yet another form of discrimination.

I will not support discrimination in any form.

Ron_C's avatar

@Bellatrix All men don’t agree with war. My point was that it would be a useful experiment to have them refrain from voting long enough to see if women could do a better job. If they do, then the prohibition could be extended of made permanent. If they don’t we will have lost nothing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different result. The proposal breaks a 2000 year chain of defective western tradition.

Ron_C's avatar

@DrBill would it be discrimination or justice? Shouldn’t we do something to break the chain of war and retribution. Isn’t it time for something radical? (that doesn’t involve killing someone)

DrBill's avatar


Discrimination is discrimination no matter how you sugar coat it

woodcutter's avatar

Women who would be in position of power aren’t going to be wallflowers. They will be powerhouses. They will be shrewd negotiators and certainly will not be afraid of “throwing down” to attain their aims. They will be no different in that respect or at least I would hope not. The last thing a democracy needs in a hostile world is the notion the leader is weak. It will be all over if we ever get that. The notion if we cave in and tread lightly, adversaries will just leave us alone is suicidal. And the notion if women run commerce and labor, etc we will all get what is fair is nonsense. Money goes where it multiplies is a fact and has nothing to do with fairness. A female entrusted with that will not be able to argue with math.
Fewer and fewer males are going to college compared to women and it is inevitable they will hold the bulk of the power positions if for no other reason than attrition. Sorry but I don’t see things being better for it, different possibly but not much better.

Bellatrix's avatar

I did a quick search on women in power who have started or contributed to wars. All of these women (and I am sure there have been more) were warriors who went to war. I think (as @woodcutter suggests) the sort of women who would rise through the ranks would be ambitious and strong willed. They may certainly be shrewd negotiators and perhaps they would be less likely to go to war than a man in the same position, I wouldn’t want to count on that though. Historically, there are plenty of examples of warmongering women.

Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni link
Zenobia of Palmyra link
Elizabeth 1 of England, link
Aefelflaed, the ‘Lady of the Mercians’ link, the ‘Lady of the Mercians’
Zenobia was a third-century queen of Palmyra
Margaret Thatcher

everephebe's avatar

@Ron_C You might find this TEDtalk, John Hunter on the World Peace Game, intriguing.

I agree it would be an interesting experiment… However, I do think that every person should have the right to vote. I think it’s surely a mistake to not let roughly 50% of the population vote. And what’s to stop women from still voting in a male leader?

And what about atheists nations, there is data to suggest they oppose war much more than religious nations, should we then ban religious leaders from holding office? Should all religious people lose their right to vote? Separation between church and state?

Ron_C's avatar

@Bellatrix o.k. How many wars (during the same periods in history) started wars? Our chances for a peaceful future ware still better with women in charge.

@everephebe since only about 40 percent of us vote anyway, having the remaining 51% of the population retaining the right to vote, elections can only improve. After-all they wouldn’t have to worry about having their vote negated by their husband. By the way, men would still be allowed to run for office, they just wouldn’t be allowed to vote for themselves.

bob_'s avatar

Fuck no.

Some women are despicable sour bitches. Doesn’t mean all women should be treated as such.

everephebe's avatar

I think that less people voting in general is a bad idea.

WasCy's avatar

Funny, I thought it would be a fantastic idea, since so few people really understand much of anything they can’t actually reach and touch with their own hands… and little enough of even that.

augustlan's avatar

An interesting thought experiment, to be sure, but I wouldn’t want that in real life. Thanks for making me think, though. :)

Hibernate's avatar

Wouldn’t work.

I’ll explain. Men are placatory. If you live with your wife and the kid next door comes with his parents to whine about a thing your kid did you’ll try to make peace in he situation and look for all aspects. Your wife on the other hand no matter what the issue was will take your son side because it’s her kid. Do you understand now ? This applies to other things too the maternal instinct tops anything.

But this is just how I see things and maybe not women are like this though I haven’t met a women [ who wasn’t a mother ] and didn’t acted like above.

downtide's avatar

No. Stopping men from voting is just as wrong as stopping women from voting.

Stinley's avatar

I think we would all agree that there are fewer women who have started wars in history but could someone express this as a percentage please? I’m thinking that the argument would fail if we saw that 80% of female leaders have started wars, where as only 60% of male leaders have started wars.

I think that it is the power that causes war and (sweeping generalisation alert, please forgive me) women are less likely to seek that power – those that do are..well..power hungry and just as likely as men to start wars. Or more so since they have to prove themselves. Who was it that said that if you seek political power, you should not be allowed to have it? might have been me but sounds like a soundbite I’ve heard somewhere

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it seem that sometimes war is all that can be done. After 9/11 I was all for annihilating Afghanistan.

Ron_C's avatar

@Dutchess_III thinking about it, I don;t have much of a problem with blowing up Afghanistan. After all, there wasn’t much there anyway. I cannot understand why we are occupying the country and of course there was absolutely no reason to invade Iraq.

sinscriven's avatar

Expressions like “Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned” didn’t come out of thin air. Men start more wars doesn’t have as much to do with their biological makeup than it does with the cultral/societal structure that gives men positions of power to wage war. i don’t think it’d be any different if the genders were reversed.

Besides, it would only be fair that women also should be barred from voting in public elections at least once a month due to potentially irrational/emotional/irritable behavior that goes on during shark week.

Ron_C's avatar

@sinscriven I guess that you could make a more sexist statement if you really tried.

Of course you can pobably guess that I totally disagree with you.

sinscriven's avatar

@Ron_C I was being facetious. Nobody should be deprived of any of their rights as a citizen for any reason. Why should any male today be deprived of their rights for reasons that have absolutely no fault for?

I think the idea that women would supposedly bring a softer hand to government is a sexist idea in and of itself. it echoes old chivalric ideals about women.

Ron_C's avatar

@sinscriven actually, I based my conclusion on history rather than chivalry. I didn’t think your other remarks were serious but I know places where you would have received complete agreement.

Much of the constitution was based on the way the Iroquois ran their government. Further, many of the founders weren’t too supportive of a strong federal government. They especially didn’t want a president with too much power. I notice that every president, in my lifetime gave himself a little more power than his predecessor. Obama decried Bush’s executive orders but I notice that few if any were rescinded.

One of the things that the Iroquois did was forbid warriors the right to vote and a council headed by a woman made final decisions. They lasted 1000 years. Want to bet that we are on our last legs as a nation?

meiosis's avatar

No, it’s an outrageously sexist idea. Woman are capable of the same extremes of good and bad behaviour as men.

And, I think you’ll find that General Galtieri started the Falklands War. Invading sovereign territory tends to have that effect.

Ron_C's avatar

@meiosis maybe women are as capable of extremes also. We know for a fact that men are, all I am saying is why don’t we put women in the driver’s seat for awhile? It’s not sexist, it is a scientific test.

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