Why All The Single Ladies Will Have A Huge Impact On This Election


Single women are set to be a powerhouse voting bloc in this year's election. Just look at the statistics: in 2012, unmarried women made up 23% of the electorate. This year, the number of single women eligible to vote is expected to increase.

So, what are the issues that matter to this key demographic and how are their views being shaped?

To learn more, Refinery29 hosted a discussion entitled Include Women in the Sequel: Hillary, Trump, and the WTF 2016 Election. We were joined by Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies; Aminatou Sow, of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend; and moderator Rachel Sklar, writer and cofounder of Change The Ratio and TheLi.st.

The discussion focused on how the role of single women in society has evolved, what impact single female voters are poised to have and, of course, some of the WTF moments from the campaign trail so far. Watch the full video, above, and check out eight mic-dropping takeaways from the conversation, below.
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I think we just don’t know how white men specifically will respond to having a woman in charge.

Aminatou Sow, "Call Your Girlfriend"
"The institution of marriage, for a long time, served one role, and it was to organize gendered power around the assumption that there was one kind of American who was an earner and one kind of American who supported that earner’s participation in the public sphere — doing the domestic work, raising the children, picking them up at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. We don’t live that way. Even in early hetero units, you have two earners. But more than that, many of us are simply not in those units for the majority of our adult lives anymore. And so, we need a complete revision."
— Rebecca Traister on how the institution of marriage has changed and its impact on public policy

"I think we just don’t know how white men specifically will respond to having a woman in charge. Like, they’re all freaking out about lady Ghostbusters. They’re going to die when there's a woman president."
— Aminatou Sow on sexist incidents regarding Hillary Clinton this election

Starting next year, we could basically be living in a country in which laws are enacted that would return women to an economically dependent status.

rebecca traister, author of "all the single ladies"
"If we elect Donald Trump, and if he appoints a Supreme Court [justice] that’s going to make law for the next one or two generations, and he has a Republican Congress — and you know he'll repeal voting rights — we further limit voting rights, thereby disenfranchising populations of people, mostly populations of color, lots of women. We outlaw abortion, make contraception harder to come by, we fail to protect equal pay, we fail to raise wages, we fail to enact paid leave, we fail to subsidize child care...there are very easy ways, like it's not like some distant science-fiction dystopian future. Starting next year, we could basically be living in a country in which laws are enacted that would return women to an economically dependent status."
— Rebecca Traister on what a Donald Trump presidency would mean for women

"I think that misogyny has been around since women have been around. I think that these men are just getting louder and louder and they just have better organizing tools. None of these ideas are new, none of them are sophisticated."
—Aminatou Sow on women getting harassed online by men

[We have] an unwillingness to grapple with the fact that we’ve had one Black woman senator, ever, in our whole history.

Rebecca Traister, author of "all the single ladies"
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"In a 51% female country that prides itself on, you know, its deeply flawed democratic process and its a representative democracy, we have never had a woman president or vice president, ever. [We have] an unwillingness to grapple with the fact that we’ve had one Black woman senator, ever, in our whole history."
— Rebecca Traister on the lack of female representation in government

"Bernie Sanders was not deep in that fight, Hillary Clinton was not deep in that fight, but in winning some of those fights in cities and states around the country, we are adjusting our expectations as American for what we believe our public policy should do for us...which is, in part, to support different family configurations and a world in which women are earners. And that has helped us shift a lot of our economic ideas about what is fair and about what we should be expecting from our government."
— Rebecca Traister on the Fight for 15, paid leave, and how other progressive public policy at a local level has shaped the national conversation

"The more we have women and the more we have people of color who are in positions of power, I think the easier it will be. But right now, we have two, we have two people out there and they have to carry the burdens for everyone."
— Aminatou Sow on the roles of President Obama and Hillary Clinton in breaking the glass ceiling

"Single women can save the country — and they very well may."
— Rebecca Traister on the voting power of unmarried women this election

Ruby Siegel and Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez contributed reporting from New York.
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