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Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:15 AM

Women Govern Differently Than Men. Is it finally time for quotas in the US?

http://nymag.com/thecut/2012/11/women-govern-differently-than-men-better.html

On a certain level, gender parity in government is an issue of democratic legitimacy: Women are a majority of the American electorate, and yet we have less female representation in government than most of the planet. (In a recent United Nations study of proportional gender representation in government, the U.S. ranked 78th, tied with Turkmenistan.) But according to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — who has campaigned heavily for other female candidates in this election cycle and is likely to win reelection against a female opponent — the lack of skirts in the Senate is more than a symbolic concern. “My own experience in Congress is when women are on committees and at hearings, the nature of the discussion is different, and the outcomes are better — we reach better solutions, better decisions are made," she said a year ago. But in this election, with only eighteen women competing for seats, there’s hardly going to be a longer line at the Senate gallery’s ladies room; the House race is more optimistic, with 163 women on the ticket.

...

But defining what constitutes a “women’s issue” can be tricky. For a forthcoming paper on female lawmakers' effectiveness, three political scientists crunched all 138,246 bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives over the past four decades. They found women introduced twice as many bills on civil rights and liberties bills; many more on “family” concerns; and significantly more on labor, immigration, education, and health. In other words, it’s about much more than who is paying for my birth control. They note that despite a century of discussion about health-care policy, it took a female speaker of the House to make universal health care happen. Or as Nancy Pelosi herself has said, “It’s personal for women ... my sisters here in the Congress, this was a big issue for us.”

...

The bad news, though, is how rarely female initiatives turn into reality. Women’s-issues bills are the ones that see the highest gridlock rates. Overall, only 4 percent of bills become law (I, too, am singing Schoolhouse Rock! in my head, but bear with me), but a mere 2 percent of women’s bills ever make it through the process, like Lilly Ledbetter did. That’s only 1 in 50. “These are issues that the average member of Congress doesn't see as crucial,” the University of Virginia's Craig Volden, an author of the forthcoming paper, told me, underscoring a very real aspect of our democratic legitimacy problem.

...

When you look at the rest of the world, this crisis of confidence is madness. Five of Latin America’s current heads are women. For two decades, Argentina has maintained a quota of 30 percent female representation. Granted, Latin America is hardly a hotbed of gyno-liberalism; most of these female leaders are anti-abortion, line-toting Catholics. So let’s consider Europe, where women’s organizations met in Strasbourg this week to organize toward 50-50 parity in the next election, as the continent’s one-third representation is considered an outrage. It’s a poignant irony that when the United States helps fledgling governments outline their democracies and develop their constitutions, we emphasize the importance of full female inclusion in government; there’s a reason that, despite a close adherence to Islamic sharia, Iraq ranks about 40 slots before us on the U.N. list.

...


The situation in this country should be a huge embarrassment.

I think we might just need to move to quotas to move things forward.

I would love to hear some jackass say 'quotas are wrong, our current system is better'... look at the way this country treats its own citizens as compared to countries with voluntary political party quotas and tell me that our 'merit-based' system is doing a better job.

This is a great site to find out more about quotas: http://www.quotaproject.org/

31 replies, 3038 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Women Govern Differently Than Men. Is it finally time for quotas in the US? (Original post)
redqueen Dec 2012 OP
cloudbase Dec 2012 #1
JTFrog Dec 2012 #2
BlueToTheBone Dec 2012 #4
JTFrog Dec 2012 #5
redqueen Dec 2012 #6
boston bean Dec 2012 #11
redqueen Dec 2012 #20
boston bean Dec 2012 #10
redqueen Dec 2012 #3
boston bean Dec 2012 #9
ismnotwasm Dec 2012 #15
backwoodsbob Dec 2012 #29
JoeyT Dec 2012 #7
ismnotwasm Dec 2012 #18
BlueToTheBone Dec 2012 #8
redqueen Dec 2012 #12
ismnotwasm Dec 2012 #13
redqueen Dec 2012 #21
msongs Dec 2012 #14
boston bean Dec 2012 #16
redqueen Dec 2012 #22
hack89 Dec 2012 #17
boston bean Dec 2012 #19
redqueen Dec 2012 #23
hack89 Dec 2012 #24
redqueen Dec 2012 #25
mercuryblues Dec 2012 #26
One_Life_To_Give Dec 2012 #27
Deep13 Dec 2012 #28
MineralMan Dec 2012 #30
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #31

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:33 AM

1. To immediately call anybody with

a different opinion a jackass makes you look like, well, a jackass.

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:42 AM

2. To come in here and immediately call another DUer a jackass is a personal attack.

It's not appreciated in the least and you have added absolutely zero to the discussion.

One might question your purpose here.

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Response to JTFrog (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:04 AM

4. "look like" means as if

not that you are...it's not a personal attack, more like a reflection to the poster.

Peace out!

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:08 AM

5. "makes you look like, well a jackass"

Yes, it's a personal attack. And they added nothing to the conversation.

The post squeaked by a jury 3-3. But I will ask the hosts of this group to watch this poster as the intent is very Obvious.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:34 AM

6. Would you please consider participating with regard to the subject of the OP? Please address post 3.

Thanks.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:15 PM

11. how do you guys feel about the two blocks?

I blocked because redqueens "jackass" comment was made in general.

The one blocked poster was personally calling RQ a jackass...

And the other blocked poster was agreeing with the first blocked poster.

I'll unblock if others think I should...

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Response to boston bean (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:54 PM

20. I might have given them more time to see if they were interested in participating in discussions

as adults... or whether they were (like so many others) only here to fling poo.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:07 PM

10. another to add... in defense of it... we just don't need it here. poster added to block list.

Last edited Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:56 PM - Edit history (1)

I unblocked this poster. After some consulting and review.

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:02 AM

3. Anyone who claims that our system works better than others around the world...

you know, the ones with universal healthcare, more access to higher education, higher standards of living, lower infant mortality rates, etc. ... is a jackass.

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:06 PM

9. pretty obvious why this one needs to be added to the block list.

Need I say anything more than??

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Response to boston bean (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:54 PM

15. I will never understand

The impulse to come in here simply to cause trouble. I'd say its juvenile, but I have too much respect for our young people.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:04 AM

29. can you put me on your block list please?

I would consider it a badge of honor

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:48 AM

7. I'm not opposed to it, but I'm uncertain how much it would help either.

The districts that elect insane right wing men would switch to electing right wing insane women instead. Instead of Louie Gohmert we'd have another Michelle Bachmann. It would be fairer, but I don't think it would make much difference. I don't even think it would make much of a difference on women's issues. The people right wing areas send are going to be the type that either already hate women, even if they are one, or are willing to throw women under the bus if they think it will get them ahead.

We're pretty much stuck with terrible representation until we fix redistricting so it can't be gamed.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:08 PM

18. I'm wondering if more women might help change that

Statistically, Michelle Bachman is a household word only because she's batshit crazy along with being a female in politics.

I'm wondering if gender equity would help form a checks and balance system in corruption in political issues, given what the article states is the bill introduction by women.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:57 AM

8. I think the word "quotas" is frightening

and maybe it could be reframed. Just a thought.

And it doesn't necessarily follow that women govern differently than men...I'm thinking Margaret Thatcher, Madeline Albright, Winnie Mandela...but yes, we do think and reason differently with a somewhat different agenda then men.

I'm thinking about training seminars for women wanting to run for political office. Actually, I would like to help train any Democrat to run for office; but I would like to see more women in office.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:43 PM

12. Did you take a look at that website?

Looking at the state of the world, I now think we need to force the issue.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:40 PM

13. I was talking to a friend from Kenya yesterday

We were talking about the political power women are slowly gaining in many areas of Africa, and she talked about the gender roles expected especially from, and by the African male.

Too many women in too many parts of Africa have picked up the pieces after war or genocide.

A thought experiment; would wars be as common with political gender equity?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:57 PM

21. I doubt the world would change overnight.

But waiting for changes to occur organically is leaving us behind the rest of the world as far as representation in the halls of power.

In other countries they already have voluntary quotas in politics, and they are now looking at quotas in governing bodies of private corporations.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:40 PM

14. the obvious solution = more women run for office and vote for each other. doh! nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:56 PM

16. Easier said than done.

The powerbrokers are male. They hold the money and the power.

They also make the messages.

I'm not sure what the answer is, and I'm sure yours is a part of the answer, but not the whole.

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Response to msongs (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:03 PM

22. From the linked article:

And yet women were still twice as likely as men to say they weren’t qualified to run and half as likely to be recruited by a party leader. Jennifer Lawless, who heads up American University’s Women and Politics Center — and ran for Senate herself in 2006 — surveyed 4,000 people in political pipeline professions to understand self-selection and support for potential candidates in 2001. She repeated the survey last year and found that there was no improvement — not by a percentage point — over the decade, a decade that saw Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and Nancy Pelosi wield the speaker’s gavel. “The good news is it’s not about the voters or systemic bias against female candidates,” Lawless told me. In other words, the problem is not that women can’t get elected when they run, it’s that women aren’t running.


It's easy to say 'more women should run for office'... it's not so easy to make the changes necessary in society to enable that to happen.

Age 8 is the peak for girls' leadership ambitions: ww.missrepresentation.org/leadership/cause-and-effect-why-we-need-to-tell-herstory/

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:08 PM

17. Getting male politicians to implement quotas that will force many out of office

will be an interesting political trick - any ideas how to pull that one off? I am not even sure you can get the Democratic party to accept quotas with regards to candidates. I think we should try but it won't be easy.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:29 PM

19. It would be quite interesting wouldn't it.

Trying to get the party to commit to running so many women candidates and then providing the $$ to make it happen.

Actually, the Democrats shouldn't have to have this suggested to them. You would think it would already be part of the platform. But it's tellling you don't see the men in our party out there talking about getting women elected.

Although, I hear Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schulz and Kirsten Gillibrand and Carolyn Mahoney speak about it all the time, and many more....

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Response to hack89 (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:03 PM

23. Voluntary quotas in politics is an important first step.

Other countries, countries with much better social safety nets than ours (coincidentally?) have already taken this step.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #23)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:36 PM

24. I agree

but I think it must be a bottom up effort. Politicians are good at rationalizing why they are unique and indispensable.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:44 PM

25. Indeed.

Women are among the most reliable of democratic voters. Those of us who think this trend in other countries is worth following have no small amount of bargaining power.

I am reminded once again of a quote about significant change for the better... that it never comes from the top down. "Leaders" always have to be dragged kicking and screaming forward by the will of forward-thinking people. I wish I could remember who said it... Jim Hightower I think... I would love to find it.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:57 PM

26. Part of the reason

http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork.com/2010/01/18/activists-have-plan-to-put-more-women-in-office/

Women in Politics Chair Donna DeWitt says a lot of women are not running for office for the wrong reason. “Too many women say they have to many skeletons in the closet,” says DeWitt. “And I’m amazed at that answer from a woman, because it’s not an issue with men. It’s not about skeletons, but about getting the training and confidence you need.”

Busting the good ole boy network is not enough if women won't run. I have never heard a woman say she would not vote for so and so because he is a man. On the other hand I have heard some men say they would not vote for a woman. SC elected it's first femal governor in 2010. So at least we have a partial answer. In redder than red state a man will indeed vote for a woman, if she is a republican.


Education has begun, I just it was better advertised.

http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/education_training/ReadytoRun/RtoR_InTheNews.php

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:50 PM

27. We demand it everywhere but elected office. Why is it exempt?

It works in the fire house and the police station. Why wouldn't it be effective on Capital Hill to include some version of affirmative action.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:51 PM

28. Women govern differently because gender identity...

...is a construct of the patriarchal society.

I would like to see more women in leadership positions--Jesus, it's only been 92 years since the 19th amendment so why isn't 1/2 of Congress female?--but when it finally gets to a point where it is no longer a patriarchy, then I do not believe that feminine gender will construct itself as consensus builders as opposed to being authoritarian.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:51 PM

30. In Minnesota, the DFL Party long ago implemented

something I think works very well. We have the caucus system here for parties endorsing candidates, and delegates to regional and state DFL conventions must be chosen with equal numbers of men and women. What that means is that when delegates are elected, there must be gender equality for those selected. It works very well. I've been a delegate to several state senate district and congressional district conventions and the equal numbers at those conventions has created a great environment. The same is true for all party organization officers and board members. Equal numbers are required for both men and women.

I don't know when this policy was adopted. It was in place, though, when I moved to Minnesota in 2004. It helps ensure that candidates for a DFL party endorsement are representative of the population. I like it.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:04 PM

31. Who would you rather have in office?

Michelle Bachmann, or Al Franken?

Meg Whitman, or Jerry Brown?

Linda McMahon, or Chris Murphy?

I know I'll be told this is a simplistic way of looking at a larger issue, but there are many women who have absolutely no interest in looking out for other women's best interest. I think the premise of the article is faulty. I do not believe that women govern better. I think that some do, and others are simply awful.

Unless you want to blow up the two party system entirely first....the fact is that the Republicans will be more than happy to run the Sarah Palins and Nikki Haleys of the world who are nothing more than puppets for a far right anti-female, anti-choice, pro religious right agenda.

I also think it's kinda funny they actually included Michelle Bachmann in the photo in the article. Do they even know who she is?

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