Culture August 21, 2017
Don't get me started on Women of Color.
Women make up more than half of the United State’s population. But the representation of women in government shows a concerning disparity.
Women make up only 19.6 percent of the US Congress. 110 out 535 seats in Congress are occupied by women. Yet women are widely regarding as key individuals in local and national elections. As a matter of fact, many attributed Clinton’s loss in November 2016 to her inability to gain white women’s votes.
To a fault perhaps, Clinton spent a great deal of time explaining her unique viewpoint on political issues “as a woman.” But a 2016 Politico article claimed that, “the women’s vote” does not exist. Why doesn’t it? Even if conservative women can’t be swayed to vote Democrat, why aren’t they putting fellow conservative women in office?
Why aren’t women of the Democratic party putting other Democratic women in office? Women of Color and LGBT women make up smaller portions of the population, but they can still come together and work to elect individuals who represent their demographic.
Researching this topic was incredibly depressing. Every office I researched had a sliver of a percentage of women. Tammy Baldwin is the only Queer woman in Congress. One out of 535 people.
The numbers of women in politics are truly bleak. And when it comes to Women of Color (and LGBT women) they get bleaker and bleaker.
It’s not a United States-specific problem. Countries the world over have a male-slanted disparity in public offices. And women make up half or more of the population in most countries worldwide.
So it seems that women everywhere have a problem standing up for each other and seeing women in legislative/executive positions. According to the Economist, only two countries have more women than men in government and only four have a somewhat equal skew.
“Votes for Women” takes on a whole new meaning. Susan B. Anthony marched so that women would have the ability to participate in their legislative process. Martin Luther King Jr. marched so that people of color could vote without obstacle and intimidation. Driving to the poling place every election is the very least that any man or woman could do to keep our nation from backsliding. A vote isn’t worth anything unless you use it.
America is supposedly an advanced nation. But it seems that “advanced” doesn’t necessarily mean “equal.” People tell their kids they can be whatever they want when they grow up. Trump’s victory has inspired a lot of women to make their own runs for office.
So tell your kids they can be president. And then mark your ballot where your mouth is. If you want an equal nation where individuals of all backgrounds have a real voice in American politics, those people have to be in office.
Consider what you want your America to be. Consider the America you want for your children.
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