As I have said many times, I am a huge fan of “The West Wing.” That show is the first place I ever heard of Emily’s List as CJ Cregg – Alison Janney’s character – had worked with the group prior to working in Hollywood. Emily’s List is all about getting pro-choice Democratic women elected to office. You can read their mission on their web site.
Today I was reading an op-ed piece in The Boston Globe. The authors of the piece hold that a “critical mass” of females in politics would help greatly influence discussions on public policy. That “critical mass” is rather high, 30%, especially if you live in Massachusetts as there have only ever been five women elected to statewide offices.
Two summers ago, during the 2008 presidential primary season, I was reading an article in More magazine. While I cannot find the article online, I can summarize it. It talked about why all the power brokers in politics were men – because they contribute to political campaigns. Women do not. Not only do we not support fellow females who are running – and I do not advocate supporting someone just because that candidate is female, we do not support any campaigns. This means that in an arena where cash is king and contributions buy you power or at least a bit of an ear with someone in a campaign, women are falling behind.
Unfortunately, the truth is that when women fall behind so do the issues women care about – women’s health care issues, education, family issues, and equal pay for equal work. These issues are not exclusively female or woman issues. Everyone should care about each other’s health. Everyone should care about education and its escalating costs. Everyone should care about family issues – from sick leave to be with ill children to paid parental leave. Everyone should care about equal pay for equal work as we all benefit from equality, don’t we?
Should politics interest you, I suggest a few pieces for reading along with the links in the beginning of this post.