Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Where are the Republican women?

California has been represented by two women Democratic Senators for over two decades. My Congresscritter, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has been in office even longer. And her predecessor was also a women. No wonder I find this chart surprising.
The line representing Democrats shows that women are, quite rapidly, climbing toward parity of numbers with men of their party in Congress. Republican women got stuck around 1990.

The New York Times article from which I lifted the chart emphasizes the magnitude of the gulf between the parties.

As one measure of the gap, 17 Republican women have served in the Senate in its history, and 14 Democratic women currently serve in the Senate.

This article says the disparity reflects a lack of Republican women in lower offices, especially state legislatures. But why?

My political intuition tells me that women's priorities -- supports for families and children, for expanded educational opportunities, for equal pay for equal work -- fit more comfortably with Democratic orthodoxies than with the priorities of the GOP. But that seems too simple an explanation. The category of women is not monolithic. Certainly there are plenty of assertive conservative women (even if I think they are bonkers.) You would think they'd be demanding more places in the limelight.


Brandon said...

The photo of 2016 potential Republican candidates (your post of 31 May) includes two women. I recognized Carly Fiorina but wondered who the other woman was. Looking at it now I had a hunch she was the governor of New Mexico, and it is Susana Martinez.

In Hawaii we've had a few Republican women in government through the years, most famously Pat Saiki and Linda Lingle (the former governor). I think Cynthia Thielen is the only Republican woman in the Hawaii Legislature, and she's very moderate, even liberal compared to some of her counterparts in mainland legislatures (she voted in favor of the same-sex marriage bill)

The condition of being "bonkers" is not exclusive to one party.:)

janinsanfran said...

Hi Brandon: The Rep woman you have in the leg (Thielen) is exactly the sort of Republican the article I got the chart from says no longer runs for Congress -- too hard to win the primary.

I'm not going to pretend that some Dems are not pretty crazy, but the bonkers seem to have infested the Republicans big time these days.

Rainer said...

I recommend to you the blog of Steve Sailer ( Sailer has for a long time argued that it's more a gap between the married and the unmarried (married women are much, much more prepared to vote Republican, but obviously less prepared to act as candidates). This view - it's above all a marriage gap - finds more and more traction in the mainstream press, too.

Hattie said...

There is a kind of Republican woman who is socially conservative but pro choice. I've known several, like my aunt. They are not happy with the party as it is now. They are intelligent, secular in outlook and are perfectly ok with gay rights, racial equality and equal rights for women. They came up at a time when becoming Republican was a status marker of upward mobility. It's no longer that! There have been just that handful of distinguished Republican women in the past,but the current crop is pretty awful.

Brandon said...

Once upon a time there were pro-choice Republicans and pro-life Democrats.

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