Picking on women voters is unwise at the best of times, but suggesting that their voting patterns reflect their ovulation cycle is just insane. I wondered where Alasdair Thompson wound up.
In an eyebrow-raising about-turn, the corporation published, then retracted, a news story that claimed that women’s votes were governed by their menstrual cycles, triggering an avalanche of criticism.
Based on unpublished research, the news piece stated that a woman’s voting behaviour was affected by whether she was ovulating on election day.
While the story was nixed within hours, the internet reacted immediately and unforgivingly, with Twitter users swiftly tweeting key quotes.
“New research suggest that hormones may influence female voting choices differently depending on whether a woman is single or in a committed relationship”, read the article, as tweeted by @KailiJoy.
“When women are ovulating, they ‘feel sexier,’ and therefore lean more toward liberal attitudes on abortion and marriage equality” the piece went on.
“The researchers found that during the fertile time of the month, when levels of the hormone estrogen are high, single women appeared more likely to vote for Obama and committed women appeared more likely to vote for Romney”.
A host of websites swooped onto the story, showing no mercy while feeding from its apparently grossly sexist – and under-researched – line.
Huffington Post‘s headline was typical of the viral reaction: “CNN Reports That Women Voters Are Apparently Incapable Of Cognition, According To LOL Science”.
Jezebel went one step further, taunting the corporation: “CNN Thinks Crazy Ladies Can’t Help Voting With Their Vaginas Instead of Their Brains”.