Skip to comments.Where are the activist women?
Posted on 05/24/2007 9:13:14 AM PDT by qam1
In the 1970s, baby sitters were hired for League of Women Voters meetings.
It was a day out for stay-at-home moms who came of age in the caldron of the 1960s. We'd call it a "play date" or "Mommy's group" now - but with policy discussions and get-out-the-vote campaigns rather than gossip.
Baby sitters aren't necessary at League meetings anymore. Those young activists are now graying, their children grown. And their numbers are dwindling - through attrition.
The League is in trouble. And women are to blame.
An offshoot of the women's suffrage movement, the League was organized in 1920, after the U.S. Constitution was amended to allow American women the right to vote. The League kept them going to the ballot box.
But League membership peaked in the 1970s and has been falling ever since. In 1974, the League allowed men to join. It didn't help. Nationally, the League claimed 170,000 members. That number has dropped to just more than 100,000. In Utah, League rolls have been cut nearly in half, from 600 members 30 years ago to 350 now.
After 87 years, we've started to take that 72-year fight to vote for granted. With voter turnout in presidential elections hovering at just over 50 percent for the past 20 years, it's clear that women stay home on Election Day - just like men.
We've come a long way, baby. We've just forgotten how we got here.
Sandy Peck started going to the League's Salt Lake City meetings with her children. Now, the 73-year-old volunteer executive director spends day after day at the Utah Legislature, quietly taking notes. She speaks up only to advocate for radical notions like voter rights, public meetings and access to government records.
One of the last nonpartisan, grassroots, government-watchdog groups remaining on Capitol Hill, the League focuses its attention on voter education, producing "white papers" on hate crimes legislation, alternative energy and redevelopment law. They prepare a daily legislative update for public radio station KCPW. And each election year, League members draft a voter guide and moderate debates.
Most of the time, Peck and other League members are summarily dismissed with a platitude - "What nice old ladies."
Still, she goes back year after year. "It's hard for me to be detached," she says. Intellectual stimulation hasn't been enough to draw in new members.
Thirty-something Melissa Larsen figures she's the League's youngest member. She was recruited by her 71-year-old aunt. "I was pretty disillusioned. They're all much older than me," she says.
Meetings these days always include a moment of hand-wringing about recruiting new members. They understand more young mothers are working these days, trying to juggle soccer games and swimming lessons and dinner. Another meeting just won't fit in that after-work dash -even in a state that was one of the first to give women the right to vote and where League founder Carrie Chapman Catt spoke in the Mormon Tabernacle so many years ago.
No real people answered the League phones in Washington, D.C., Monday. The Utah League's Web site still features the obituary of a member who died in March.
"You can do nothing or everything," the 77-year-old Salt Lake League Co-President Joyce Barnes offers, as an incentive to join.
So, I printed out the League membership form ..... I'm going to scrape together the $50 membership dues. I might be one of the members who does nothing for awhile. But I'll be there.
I, for one, hope that this group of women does go by the wayside-—just another bunch of liberal women trying to worm their way into our lives.
Perhaps the League of Women Voters is an anachronism. Women got the right to vote so many years ago that nobody alive today remembers a time when women were denied that right. And these other areas that they get involved in have activist groups dedicated to those causes.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
My mother called them the Plague of Woman Voters.
Anybody heard from the National Organization of Women recently, speaking of women’s groups? I heard rumors that lesbians have been steering N.O.W. much more towards “gay” causes in recent years.
Anyway, the agenda of N.O.W. has largely been achieved so they too have little reason for existing.
They're at homeschooling conferences.
All apologies to conservative women. Asbestos flame suit on.
Where are they? You could ask the same question about any volunteer organization. By the mid-to-late eighties, the women who would have come in to help fill the slots left by retiring members, had entered the workforce en masse. They had no time for stuff like this and left the older women to continue to run things. Now few care. The League is pretty much a tool of the left, although there are some who try to keep it non-partisan.
I was an exec. officer of 3 PTAs at the same time. I watched as membership in attendance at meetings dropped to 5 of us at the elementary school (including one teacher and the principal) and 7 or 8 at middle school. PTA Council, which encompassed all 6 schools, had to drop its annual Winter Carnival for lack of volunteers.
They are not impartial when they circulate their voter guides.
Why they are considered a "go to" group for so-called women's issues can be explained by the fact that those who go to them are the Leftwing MSM.
They are irrelevant to anyone else, as their membership rolls indicate.
Consider the women who say they’d vote for Hillary just on the basis that she’s a woman.
They are as relevant today as the Suffragettes and the Ladies Temperance Union.
Well, as they matured, many may have switched to Concerned Women for America. They have membership of over 500,000.
He was surprised at the response here on FR; small, but all except one said "yes."
Survival is the most important issue for us sensible Conservative women.
As one who listens to other women at work, they are too often buying into the faddish theories propagated by the MSM and Hollywood celebrities.
It's funny how the left uses the word "activist" to characterize women who agree with their worldview.
All other women, to them, are "non-activist", inactive, apathetic? Their insistence on "activism" has less appeal to women who disagree and who can't afford the time these so-called "activists" actually spend in the bong line, bitching.
It’s sad that intelligent conservative women, such as yourself, are in the minority. The change you seek in your vote as a conservative woman is nullified by the fact that women are allowed to vote. What a paradox.
Isn't it logical to assumed that they aborted their replacements?
You’re right, sadly. I have often said that no women should vote but me. LOL
Frankly, we don’t need them anymore.
We’ve won sufferage, property rights, equality (or more) under the law, and the cultural opinion changed needed to allow women the full enjoyment of these prizes has also already occured.
Why continue sniping ten years after the war has been won?
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