Fusion teamed up with the lifestyle gurus at Refinery29 to talk to a diverse group of young women in the New York area about the political cycle thus far and where they stand on the presidential contenders. About 51 million women under the age of 45 will be eligible to vote in this year’s election, and if the turnout resembles anything like it did four years ago, they could be a key voting bloc in the race.
The women—seven of whom identify as Democrat and one conservative—spoke to Fusion’s Alicia Menendez about the misconceptions surrounding the term “women’s issues” and feminist voters.
All eight women agreed that topics such as abortion and equal pay do not exclusively affect women and should not just be viewed as a “women’s issue.”
“I understand the colloquial use of the term ‘women’s issues,’ but the fact is, the gender pay gap as well as reproductive issues—these are issues that affect all of American society,” 28-year-old Lacey Hatchett said. “If you take away the right to reproductive health in America, that’s going to affect men as well. You know, there are a lot of issues that are going to arise from that and to say that it’s just something that affects women I think is unfair.”
The women also agreed that being a feminist—which they all identify as—does not necessarily mean they will be voting for a female candidate in the upcoming election.
“It’s hugely reductive in the same way that I think that voting for someone just because you align with their party is reductive,” Alex Polkinghorn, 28, said. “I think that with Hillary [Clinton], with Carly [Fiorina]—whomever the candidate is, whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat—it has to be issue based.”