News outlets had a field day reporting the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anthony Weiner (great name, dude) sex scandals. But think – when was the last time a female politician dominated headlines for tweeting her vagina to young male followers? Any reports about a female pol’s secret love child or a sex scandal involving a prominent female public figure forcing a bellhop into performing oral sex on her? It’s not just the fact that we routinely hear about far too many zippergates, but frankly, I think women fare far better in the political arena than men.
For example, it’s a fact that women tend to work harder than their male counterparts do in Congress. Stats show women introducing more bills, making more public appearances and participating in more legislative debates than men. Women seem to inherently have a clearer understanding of social issues, especially those pertaining to children and the disadvantaged. They actually take the time to study the bills. Bottom line: they do their due diligence.
Yet women are underrepresented in local, state and national elected offices. In the top 100 most populated cities, women hold only eight mayoral positions. There are only six female governors in our 50 states. And nationally, the numbers of women in Congress certainly don’t reflect representation of the national citizenry in terms of sex. In the House, there are currently 360 men and 75 women. In the Senate, there are 83 men and 17 women.
I have always been a firm believer that we should vote for the most qualified candidate, not on the candidate’s sex. Unfortunately, many qualified women chose not to run for elected office, citing the difficulty in fundraising. And that’s true. But maybe, just maybe the 2012 elections will alter the political landscape. Frankly, I’m at a point where I want my elected officials to not only represent me, but look like me as well. And you know what? If a couple of not the brightest, not the best women get elected, so what? It’ll fulfill my prophecy that “equality will have arrived when mediocre women enjoy the same job opportunities that mediocre men have had for years.”
Photo courtesy of Leader Nancy Pelosi’s photostream.