Not Nearly Enough

13 Nov

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I was thrilled watching so many women get elected on Election Night. A historic amount of women were elected: 20 senators and 81 representatives. After all the sexism in the campaign, these women have shown that women’s voices are heard and respected by constituents.

I found an article that argued that even though women have made gains, they still haven’t made enough. According to their research, female politicians are more effective when the amount of females match that of men. If that’s true, women have a long way to go before garnering significant political influence…. It’s a little depressing.

Women make up about 20% of lawmakers in the United States even though half of the US population is women. Apparently, when women only make up 20% of a lawmaking body, female lawmakers speak only 60% of the time a man may speak on the floor. They are more likely to be rudely interrupted, less likely to take an aggressive stance on their beliefs. 

Studies have shown women speak less when they’re outnumbered. It’s depressing, but the article argues that women will only have full influence when there are more female lawmakers. Otherwise, female politicians are less effective than their male colleagues.

I have trouble accepting this research, because it essentially disregards any potential influence elected female officials have…. The article supports a more balanced legislature, I just wish it was in support in matching the gender makeup of America, not giving our current politicians more emotional support.    

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