“A Congresswoman must look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, speak on any given subject with authority and most of all work like a dog.” -- Rep. Florence Dwyer, R-NJ, 1957-73
April 6, 2007 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Related site (where I got the title quote): Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington.
posted by Miko at 11:17 AM on April 6, 2007

I had never heard of Jeannette Rankin. She was amazing.
posted by the_bone at 11:33 AM on April 6, 2007

Terrible interface on an interesting site. Also, check out the picture of Cardiss Collins on her campaign button (pink button listed under Artifacts). Most. Inspiringpolitician. EVAR.
posted by DU at 11:35 AM on April 6, 2007

Great idea, terrible website. No, I'm not going to turn off my force fields to read your popups.
posted by gum at 11:36 AM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

congrats women, you now make up 19.5% of the US Congress.
posted by j-urb at 11:37 AM on April 6, 2007

Speaking of campaign buttons, what's Edith Green doing? White chicks with gang signs?
posted by MtDewd at 11:41 AM on April 6, 2007

And each one hotter than the last!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:42 AM on April 6, 2007

Women in Congress

I was expecting something... uh... oh nevermind.
posted by hal9k at 11:52 AM on April 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

I had never heard of Jeannette Rankin. She was amazing.

Yeah, she's one of my heroes. Talk about Profiles in Courage—to cast the only vote against our entry into WWII took incredible guts. I ♥ pacifists!
posted by languagehat at 12:26 PM on April 6, 2007

Edith Green is putting on earrings, because she's a lady, dammit!
posted by piratebowling at 12:32 PM on April 6, 2007

Whoops -- I'm sorry. I didn't know there were any popups - I'm not seeing them, maybe due to the firewall and stuff at my job. For me, things look fairly smooth.
posted by Miko at 12:40 PM on April 6, 2007

OH you must mean the word balloons in the profiles. Sorry you don't like.
posted by Miko at 12:42 PM on April 6, 2007

Miko: No, all the content behind all the balloons and stuff is blocked by fairly normal don't-do-that-crap preferences and extensions in Firefox. Any site that for simple navigation relies on users' browsers autorunning every Flash object that's served to them is broken.
posted by gum at 1:35 PM on April 6, 2007

My favorite pearl from Rankin:

“If they are going to have war, they ought to take the old men and leave the young to propagate the race.”

Miko, don't pay too much attention to the cranky internet purists, they hate it when their ideals aren't met.
posted by django_z at 1:45 PM on April 6, 2007

Wikipedia has some interesting (and slightly snarky) observations, courtesy of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (the world association of legislatures):

As of 2007, 83.7% of Congress is male and 16.3% is female. The global average for female representation at the parliamentary level in 2007 was 17.0%. Rwanda has the highest percentage of female representation in the world at 48.8%, followed by Sweden. Iraq and Afghanistan also have higher percentages than the United States. Many countries have introduced quota systems that reserve a certain number of parliamentary seats for women. In 2005 countries that used a quota system had nearly double the level of female representation, 26.9% versus 13.6%. A quota does not exist in the United States.

As of 2007, the US ranks 68th in terms of women holding office in the legislature. This puts the US just above Turkmenistan, and just below El Salvador and Panama. Interestingly the US is also below Liechtenstein, a nation that did not allow women to vote until 1984. The US does have higher female representation than several developed nations, including Ireland, Greece, France, Russia, Malta, and Japan, but lower than most others.

check out the picture of Cardiss Collins.... Most. Inspiringpolitician. EVAR.

In those days, women needed to look -- as they say -- twice as serious as the men to be taken just as seriously. Yes, I know. 1980.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2007

Women make up 19.5% of the US Congress, and more than 50% of the population? Is this an imbalance?
posted by Cranberry at 3:52 PM on April 6, 2007

Strange the percentage is so low, considering that, according to this, there are slightly more women than men voting in recent US elections.
posted by Potsy at 4:33 PM on April 6, 2007

Sadly, the Iraqi Council of Representatives has a higher percentage of women than the United States Congress.
posted by willie11 at 4:39 PM on April 6, 2007

Strange the percentage is so low, considering that, according to this, there are slightly more women than men voting in recent US elections

Yes, but that is only strange if you think women should always vote for women. They shouldn't; they should vote for the candidate whose positions and working style they favor. I am female, and my state has two female senators, but I gleefully voted against them both because I don't like their platforms. I don't want to choose my representation based on gender.

In an bias-free culture, presumably, there'd be no gender preference by men for men or by women for women. Presently we probably have a bit of a gender preference for male candidates by both men and women, on average. This will be true as long as we are still talking about whether 'a woman' can be President, or whether a specific female can be President. The idea that somehow your gender determines your political viability needs to be dealt with.

But bias in the voting booth doesn't explain the imbalance on its own. There's also a relatively low ratio of female to male candidates for office (for a lot of reasons which are also interesting to think about).
posted by Miko at 5:24 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Excellent post Miko, thanks. The Center for American Women in Politics housed in Rutgers University offers another overview of women's presence in Congress. In their Historical Overview there is a subcategory: Women who succeeded their husbands in office. A very interesting practice.
posted by carmina at 1:29 PM on April 7, 2007

Excellent post, thanks Miko.
posted by nickyskye at 1:18 PM on April 8, 2007

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