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Given that there is currently a pop song on the radio called F2020, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we’re all struggling as a perfect storm of crises collide around us.

How seriously you believe those crises to be – or whether they’re even crises at all – depends on who you’re asking.

That was a big takeaway from our first-ever commissioned poll. One of the most striking findings from the poll was the degree to which men and women view various issues facing the community differently.

The polling firm FM3 Research asked 712 residents across San Diego County to rate their concern about various problems. On nearly every issue offered, women considered it to be a more serious problem than men did. There was only one regarded as an extremely serious issue by a higher percentage of men than women: lack of public transportation in your area.

A higher percentage of women considered both the health impact and the economic impact of the coronavirus to be extremely serious problems than the percentage of men who said the same.

On two racial justice issues, a minority of men considered them to be serious problems, whereas 50 percent or more of women said the same. On police mistreatment of people of color – only 38 percent of men believed it was an extremely serious issue, while 50 percent of women believed it was. On racial discrimination and bias, 44 percent of men verses 60 percent of women believed it was an extremely serious problem.

Climate change was the area with perhaps the widest gap: 50 percent of men believed it was an extremely serious problem, verses 67 percent of women.

So why do women tend to view virtually all of these issues as more dire than men?

It could have something to do with the fact that they often hit women harder.

For example, 14 percent more women than men considered the cost of housing and rent an extremely serious problem. San Diego ranks 53rd our of 58 counties in California when it comes to median gross rent as a percentage of women’s annual earnings, according to the California Budget & Policy Center.

I mentioned more women believed the health impact of the coronavirus to be an extremely serious problem. Women make up 60 percent of all U.S. caregivers, according to the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. They’re more likely to have poor health and delay needed care than women without caregiving responsibilities.

Scientists believe that climate change, too, will impact women disproportionately. A United Nations report, for example, found that “women in China make up 70 percent of the agricultural workforce and have less access to income, land, technology, loans, and employment options outside of farm work than their male peers, according to the report,” reports Global Citizen. “If and when climate change wreaks havoc on China’s agriculture, women will be less able to navigate its challenges.”

What VOSD Learned This Week

More from The Voice Poll: The mayor’s race is gonna come down to the wire, and it’s giving us a messy view of how coalitions are forming in a Democrat-dominated city. In another pivotal race, District 3 on the County Board of Supervisors, Democrat Terra Lawson-Remer is holding a strong lead.

Residents countywide seem far more open to reallocating police funding than you might think based on how politicians have treated the issue.

And the vast majority of residents believe housing and homelessness are incredibly serious concerns – they just don’t agree on how to address them.

On the podcast, we talked about the poll, and conducted our election draft of the most interesting and anticipated races we’ll be watching.


San Diego Unified is trying something different with its latest round of early retirement incentives: It’s offering to deposit money directly into employees’ health savings accounts.


A local company was set to test a military-grade drone over the skies of San Diego, but newly provided emails show that plan got scrapped after regulators raised safety concerns.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like.” – Chrissy Teigen is talking here about photos taken before and after her pregnancy loss, but she could just as easily been talking about any decision a woman makes over her own body and image.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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