Did women really get the vote in our own right?

| 21/05/2013

I was chatting with a friend on the weekend; this is a friend who is voting for the very first time in Cayman. Both she and her husband, after nearly20 years here, have now been granted status, become naturalized and have signed on to the electoral roll. This particular friend told me that she was at home alone the other night and heard a knock on the door. When she answered the door, there stood one of the political hopefuls in the upcoming election. 

He asked if her husband was in; she said no, unfortunately he wasn’t yet home. This particular political candidate explained that he simply wanted to talk about the upcoming elections and answer any queries her husband may have and just have a general chat.  She said, “Oh that’s great – it’s the first year that we’re both voting in theelections and we’re pretty excited about it – we’d love to chat to you a little more to help us make an informed decision.” To which he said, “Well, I’ll look forward to speaking to your husband later then,” and off he went.

I wondered if the candidate was being chivalrous and simply didn’t want to be in her home without her husband present, but then I thought about it a little more and decided that if that was the case he simply had to say that he’d prefer to continue the conversation with her husband present so that he could talk with both of them at a convenient time. And so I became quite offended by his behaviour, given the only two other reasons I can think of why he wouldn’t take advantage of the obvious opening she presented him with to help win her over are: he doesn’t consider her vote to be terribly important (because she’s a woman?) or that he’s only interested in talking to her husband because, as long as he can win the husband over, he must, of course, get her vote by default. Won’t the husband tell his wife which way to vote anyway!

Having spent a little more time pondering it, I realized that this is the third election I will be voting in. I have served jury duty (one of the ‘perks’ of being able to vote), and yet I’ve never received a visit from a political hopeful (not that I’m encouraging everyone to now come knocking but it’s interesting nonetheless). And now this year, the first year my husband is entitled to vote and has signed on to the electoral roll, having only been on the roll since February, he has received five letters/flyers in the mail addressed to him personally (not to us jointly) and I’ve received none – not in the past two elections or this one.

I’d be fascinated to hear if someone else has a different viewpoint but it certainly smacks of chauvinism and, interestingly, the political hopeful referred to above has lost any hope of getting not only the vote of the (girl) friend who relayed the story but also of her husband, and sadly for him he’s also lost mine and my husband’s vote. 

Other political hopefuls take note – not only did women get the vote but some of us may not actually even vote in accordance with how our husbands may choose to vote. And in extreme cases, some of us may even be able to persuade our husbands on the merits of certain candidates – at least those lucky enough to be married to men who realize we might be able to make informed decisions all on our own!

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Category: Viewpoint

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows that accourding to Caymanian leadership women are just  "vessels".  And Caymanian leaders (and wanna be leaders) are "honorable for life"  Welcome to the third world.  Respect is optional.

  2. Anonymous says:

    His choice of words maybe raises a question, but I would not have entered your home to speak with you without your husband being home even if you invited me in. Even if he knew I was there I wouldn’t feel comfortable. I hope it isn’t considered chauvinist but its out of respect for your husband. My wife would in theory feel the same way if it was a reverse scenario, so it may just be a difference in upbringing rather than an indication of sexism.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We had a half dozen calls from a survey company in Texas that repeatedly probed to speak to the youngest registered voter in the household.  Not the parents, nor the head of household, the youngest.  They declined to tell us on who's behalf they were enquiring, so sadly for them, that was the end of the phone call.  The same Texas area code sent my wife and I text messages via unlisted Digicel cell numbers last night requesting that we vote straight UDP today.  Go figure.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    Voting list and Jury Duty list are not the same – that is a myth.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is much easier to vote drunk than stay topped up through a day in Court.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It seems to be the opposite in my family. Both my mother and my sister receive invitations in the mail to all kinds of political shenanigans but not my father or brother-in-law. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    A male politician came to your door and did not want to discuss politics with your while your husband was not in the house,and you are offended? Please tell me who this individual person is so that I can vote for him. You just can't win, if the person came into the home and your husband showed up, then it would be a different story. I like to say, not everything is somthing. Let me be straight here, if I came home and found another man in my home talking politics with my wife, I would have been very offended. And I am sure that should you have shown some interest and ask the right political question he would have started to interact with your questions. This is one of the reason why men are feeling left out, The women want equality in every single thing. But they are so unfair. Its the same old story, A dark skin person can call a clear skin person "white boy" but if that is reversed then its big time racist. then when the poor guy stops in at the local bar to be called "sweetie" by the nice young lady the women wonder why. Most men dont go to bars to pick up chicks, they go for the same reason women go to salons. In fact, come to think about it. Both are called Salons. Get over yourself. Vote Smart.

    • HELP US ALL says:

      wow.  that was the stupidest thing i've read in a loooong time.

  7. Anonymous says:

         It is really disappointing that you chose to assume the most negative interpretation of this individual's actions,even though you stated that he was probably not keen to be present in the absence of the husband.Now let's breakdown what you wrote.Firstly ,the lady in question stated that "unfortunately" her husband was not home;this could be taken by some to mean "unfortunately  I  cannot allow you in because my husband is not at home".;or perhaps "I am  unable to reach a decision without my husband being present."Secondly the wife also said "We'd love to chat to you " Note she did not say "I would like to chat more",again this seems to suggest that her husband's presence was required.So just what was the candidate supposed to do.Should he have invited himself in to wait for the husband,or should he have left and promised to return at a later time.   Perhaps this would have made gor better reading if the story was about the candidate failing to return for the promised chat. Theres a little saying that goes something like this: Don't  ASS-U-ME anything ,It could make an ASS of U and ME.

  8. VirginiaLee says:

    You in 80% of cases your first impression is right. What if you were right in your fist thought that perhaps the political hopeful was wary of being in the presence of a woman without her husband. And instead of jumping to conclusions perhaps she should ask him and listen to what he has to say then she truly can make an informed decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      Examine the language @VirginiaLee. The hopeful politician kept saying "your husband" and NEVER spoke inclusively. Annie Oakley has never received a political flyer and yet her husband has. If you can't see the "double standard" there, I suggest you read the book "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg. I know first-hand that chauvinism is alive and well throughout the Carribean. Sheryl Sandberg points out how it is endemic in the USA and how women are among the biggest culprits in perpetuating harmful perceptions about women.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That is terrible, I definitely wouldn't vote for a candidate who did that and neither would my husband, or my son! This guy needs to comeout of the dark ages. There are more women voters in Cayman than men!!

  10. Old Timer says:

    This sort of radical feminism is dangerous.