Over the past few months, Cosmopolitan has been ramping up its elections and politics coverage and began endorsing candidates in September as part of their #CosmoVotes campaign.
The magazine’s team of editors evaluates candidates based on issues relevant to women voters, including equal pay, reproductive healthcare, and voter ID laws.
And this week, they endorsed Wendy Davis in the Texas gubernatorial race.
“Davis is on the right side of the interests of a broad range of people in an increasingly diverse state,” the editors wrote. “She supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, an important issue in the state with the most minimum wage workers in the country — nearly half a million Texans make $7.25 cents an hour or less, most of them women. Davis also supports marriage equality, an issue making its way through the courts now as two Texas couples challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Her opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, defended the state’s decision to refuse marriage rights to same-sex couples.”
Cosmopolitan also praised Davis’ support of the equal pay legislation that Rick Perry vetoed, as well as her education platform.
Now, I’m sure no Burnt Orange Report readers out there are reaching for their monocles, setting down their snifter of brandy, furrowing their brows, and asking why that lady magazine doesn’t just stick to listicles about sex tips and shoes. Certainly all of our intelligent, informed, pro-woman readers understand that it is possible to be interested in both handbags and campaigns. And I sincerely trust that none of our Facebook fans will make insulting comments about how the Cosmo editors should stop talking about public policy and, as one columnist wrote, “stick with fashion and orgasms.”
BUT JUST IN CASE, here’s what Jill Filipovic, senior political writer for Cosmopolitan.com, has to say:
- One of the reasons we started #CosmoVotes was because we saw how regularly young female voters are derided, condescended to, and insulted. Women hear so often that we’re dumb and uninformed that even the most politically savvy among us start to believe it: Women are less likely than men to think they’re qualified to run for office; they’re less likely to hear they should run for office; and once they do run, they are less confident and less likely to take risks. With the inescapable “Beyonce voter” heckles from the media peanut gallery, who can blame them?
- Women who are assertive and confident are punished for that too, because they’re seen as abrasive, while men are just leaders. And so even though more women vote than men and more women are graduating from college than men, women are still sorely underrepresented in every major political body. Men go through life with a pervasive overconfidence, which benefits them in the workplace and in leadership positions; for women, simply having a female name means you’re perceived as less competent. Women, then, opine less and are less likely to see themselves as experts or adequately informed; as a result of that, and the fact that female voices and opinions are routinely derided, womenplay less of a role in public political debate.
- We think that’s a damn shame. And we want to give our readers the tools to push back on it by encouraging them to vote (no matter which candidate they vote for) and by throwing our weight behind candidates who stand up for women instead of condescending to us.
Personally, I’m proud that Cosmopolitan readers nationwide are paying attention to this race and I’m grateful for the magazine’s voter turnout efforts. Texas women have the power to change how politics is done in Texas, but first we have to show up at the polls.