CURRENT MOON

Thursday, December 14, 2006

How To Get Elected While Being Female


Women interested in Congress: Move to where the money is


What’s the formula for getting elected to Congress as a woman? For starters, move to the right district. That includes ones with high incomes and high levels of education. Then throw in some diversity and — perhaps surprisingly — low numbers of households with school-age children.

This formula is part of Barbara Palmer’s “Index of Woman Friendliness,” a tool that predicts which districts are most likely to elect women. The University of Maine professor spoke yesterday at a joint discussion with Women in Government Relations and Women Under Forty PAC — politically charged, diet soda-drinking groups.

Palmer discussed her latest book, “Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling,” which discussed how the factors of incumbency, redistricting and raising a family work against women in elected office.

“It just blows my mind,” she said, that in the 21st century, the world has 85 countries that elect more women to legislative bodies than the United States.


I can't say that these findings surprise me. High incomes and high levels of education tend to go together and, in general, I imagine that, where you find one, you'll find the other. Nor does the fact that districts with low numbers of households with school-age children are more likely to elect women surprise me. Districts with high numbers of school-aged children tend to be districts where people have large families. The only people having large families these days are wingnuts. Who don't approve of women in office.

2 comments:

left rev. said...

Nor does the fact that districts with low numbers of households with school-age children are more likely to elect women surprise me. Districts with high numbers of school-aged children tend to be districts where people have large families. The only people having large families these days are wingnuts. Who don't approve of women in office.

Or possibly, districts with high numbers of school aged children simply have more families with children, usually indicating more women with children upon whom fall the bulk of caregiving, which severely curtials the amuont of campaigning and public service one can do. In addition, unless the families with children are fortunate enough to be fairly well off, they are likely to require two incomes to support their lifestyle and those resource sucking children, which could also impede potential women candidates.

I would think that this could just be chalked up to typical old fashioned patriarchy rather than wingnut breeding habits (three words that bring up VERY unpleasant images). :)

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