Gender Politics

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This interesting article on Politico discusses a new study that shows women lawmakers outperform men in Congress, in terms of a number of factors such as delivering discretionary spending to their districts, introducing more legislation, and doing so earlier in their first terms, getting more co-sponsors for their bills, etc.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27152.html

This mirrors coverage showing that women now outperform men in higher education as well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/education/09college.html

The Politico article also mentions the fact that women running for political office face many more challengers than do men, a fact that surely must be related to their performance once elected–that is, only the most tenacious of female politicians are able to clear the extra hurdles laid before them, not only in terms of the less tangible, socially imposed gender expectations they face from birth and in terms of the skepticism that many voters still, incredibly, feel about women in positions of leadership and authority, but in terms of the greater numbers of (male) opponents they must defeat in order to claim their seats.

In any case, it’s an interesting study which, while in a sense good news (in the sense that  it’s nice to have concrete proof that women politicians are indeed “ready to lead” contrary to many still-prevalent lines of chauvinistic thought) also hints at the uphill battle still faced by women in politics and how much work is still to be done in leveling the playing field.

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About Katie Heimer

I'm a graduate student of media studies at the New School. My main academic interests in the field center around issues of women in the media (both in terms of representations of and access to) and the overlapping issues of media reform and education. This website will serve as a chronicle of my progress and growth, both intellectually and personally, as I navigate my master's of media studies.
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