Thursday, June 10, 2010

Women continue to close the gap in politics

Tuesday's primary elections did not bear out the predicted anti-incumbent fervor, but they produced another story: women won some important races, including the Republican primaries for governor and senator from California!

Over at CNN, however, Jennifer Lawless makes a point that I have made before: we are still nowhere near parity in political representation.
Referring to the victories of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Sharron Angle and Blanche Lincoln, ran the headline, "Women Win Big in Tuesday Primaries." followed suit, flashing across its homepage, "It's Ladies Night at the Ballot Box." The Washington Post ran a story entitled, "Women Triumph in Races Across the Country." And the Daily Beast summarized last evening's events by concluding that "Women Rule Primary Night..."
These women, however, represent only a fraction of the total number of candidates seeking positions of political power. Yet their famous faces tend to obscure, at least in part, women's severe numeric under-representation in U.S. politics, as well as their prospects for major political gains in November.
I was discussing this with my mom, a Californian, who made a point of voting for every woman on the ballot. You might not agree with this, but I can totally get behind it. It's hard to know everything about all the races, but we are so far behind in representation that I'm willing to take a chance on a woman who's putting herself out there.

A couple of great organizations have dedicated themselves to correcting this imbalance. Emily's List raises money for pro-choice Democratic women candidates for office, and The Wish List is a fund-raising organization for pro-choice Republican women running for the Senate or House. These are great organizations to support - even C.J. Cregg on The West Wing was an Emily's List employee! There's a lot to celebrate today (especially with 3 women on the Supreme Court!) and hopefully these victories will energize women to run for office and the public to fund-raise for and support them!

1 comment:

  1. This piece is part of our new initiative to incorporate positive feminist news into our stream of gripes and grumbles, and give exposure to the many wonderful organizations out there doing good work on the part of women and other oppressed groups. (Unfortunately, I had to go and rain on its parade with a follow-up piece on the terrible media coverage of female candidates.) If you're in favor of us featuring more positive news, let us know in comments! And, if you have an idea for an organization who deserves mention for the good work they do, either put it in comments or shoot us an email at femonomics at gmail dot com


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