Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hillary Wins Pa.

It's been a circus around here all day. Fascinating. If you want my utterly amateur take on why Obama couldn't hope to win Pennsylvania, I figured it out weeks ago. Only today did I look up the numbers to see if my suspicion was right:

Pennsylvania's female population has a median age of 40.1, and a mean age 40.4. The U.S. female population has a median age of 36.0, and a mean age of 36.7.

Older women I know have powerful memories of how it used to be in the days before there was some sort of sea change in attitudes -- and statutes and case law -- regarding gender equality in this country. You can argue that it wasn't as bad as the feminist scare screeds of the 1960s. You can argue that we've gone too far in some regards to enforce unnatural numerical parities in, say, college sports.

But you can't tell them it didn't used to be bad. And they remember. And they feel certain words and attitudes more powerfully than some of the rest of us do.

Including younger women, who might be more inclined to choose between Obama and Hillary without a strong reference to that past. It had occurred to me that roughly 35 to 40 was the watershed age for this.

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