The most powerful voter in the US elections is the single American female. Different than social movements like abolition or suffrage that have come before, this reorganization is not “a self-consciously politicized event.”
Beyond whether you regard this shift as dangerous or thrilling, it is having a profound effect on our politics. While they are not often credited for it, single women’s changed circumstances are what’s driving a political agenda that seems to become more progressive every day. The practicalities of female life independent of marriage give rise to demands for pay equity, paid family leave, a higher minimum wage, universal pre-K, lowered college costs, more affordable health care, and broadly accessible reproductive rights; many of these are issues that have, for years, been considered too risky to be central to mainstream Democratic conversation, yet they are policies today supported by both Democratic candidates for president.