Wednesday, January 27, 2016

All-Female Senate

                While not a STEM field, politics is another area in which women are greatly underrepresented. There are only 84 women in the House of Representatives and only 20 Senators are women. Lawrence Summers claimed that men are more willing to put in the hard work required to be very successful in STEM fields, but after the blizzard in Washington the women in the Senate proved that they, too, were willing to work hard. On Tuesday, the only people who showed up to work in the Senate were women. I think that is telling enough that maybe the underrepresentation of women is society’s fault and not actually the women’s.
                This incident reminds me of something I read a few years ago about Ruth Bader, a justice on the Supreme Court. When asked when she believed there would be enough women on the court, she replied that she thought there would be enough when there were nine. Now, in case you didn’t know, that would mean that the entire Supreme Court would be composed of women. That sounded unreasonable to me and many others, but, as she said, “For most of the country’s history, there were nine and they were all men. Nobody thought that was strange.” She has a fair point.


  1. When I heard about this, I thought it was super interesting! Something I thought about while reading the article you attached was the quote by Charlotte Whitton, “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult". The women in politics are incredible and hardworking, even harder working then men in politics! I wonder if the reason that only women showed up post-blizzard is because they recognize that they have to work harder. Just food for thought!

  2. If you have never seen the documentary Miss Representation I strongly recommend it! The movie talks a lot about the underrepresentation of women in many fields, and especially in high up positions, and it is truly shocking. I have never heard that Ruth Badar quote before, but I think it does an excellent job summing up how the underrepresentation of women in government and other fields has become normalized. When we accept this as the norm it only reinforces the idea that women are not as cut out for these jobs as men, when in fact, as you mentioned in your post, they are equally capable, if not more. We will only ever reach equality when the idea of having a Supreme Court composed entirely of women is not an earth shattering and incomprehensible thought. Really great insight with this post. I think you are bringing up some concepts worthy of discussion!