Feminism | Posted by Brian C on 06/23/2011
An Old Boy’s Club
Ask a random Congress person about how Congress runs and odds are their response would sound a little something like, “It operates pretty much like an old boy’s club, please excuse me, I need hard candy.” Needless to say, the climate of Congress has not changed in YEARS (The newly elected Congress brags an average age of 58.2 years old). Representatives get re-elected by overwhelming majorities despite being convicted of 11 ethics violations (looking at you Charlie Rangel). I would support the sentiment, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” however the truth of the matter is that it is broke. Someone needs to get into Washington and change the very fabric that binds it together. Someone like a woman.
To all ye nay-sayers, the discussion about the under representation of women in Congress is still relevant. Look no further than the near halt of the federal government over the budget crisis. So what gets cut in this new, responsible budget? Well, government is still feigning respect for education so all they did was cut Pell Grant funding (psssht, who needs underprivileged people to get an education?). That wasn’t enough. The government needed more as constituents were upset with the economy and fed up with reckless spending. As opposed to raising taxes on people who can afford it or cutting spending for the countless numbers of our “military operations” (we’ll explore constitutionality at a later date), the government decided to slash the budget for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is an organization that helps support women. More facts: there are virtually no women in congress (number at 16% in the House after midterm elections, a decline in number for the first time in 30 years). As someone who has taken Linear Algebra, let me do a little math for ya’. This is still more than 1/3 lower than the female percentage of the population (prodigy kid, right?). Planned Parenthood was an easy target. Who would stand up for its countless valuable services when the only women present in Congress are in the rut of ‘seniority rules’ bureaucracy? Coupled with the fact that the buzzword ‘abortion’ could be used, Planned Parenthood was as good as done.
The point is this: we live in an era where political courage is absolutely essential to improving the outdated red tape maze that is the government. We need people who are willing to rock the boat of the old boy’s club. I plead young women interested in politics to actively pursue the field. Think about this: the United States ranks 90th in the world for having women in elected office. I understand that there are other meaningful avenues to explore in parenting and careers (not to mention that with expansion of services, it’s becoming easier to become an excellent mother as well as a successful professional), but we really do need women in Congress. Considering women are also becoming as educated as men or even more educated than men, it is dire that the trends reverse.
The role of a congress person is to give a voice to the voiceless. As can be seen with legislation such as Planned Parenthood cuts, we need an expanded collective voice in Congress. Incumbents win re-election in the House an average of well over 90% of the time. So not only is the same group being represented over and over (could add a thousand more over’s), but it is being represented by the same group over and over (see previously used parenthesis). To be frank, the voice of the old white male has already been heard for over two centuries…
What can you do to help? As an American citizen who can vote, you have power. Go out and campaign! Light fires! Inspire those around you! At the very least be an informed voter and elect a new era of officials that expand the voice represented in Congress. With your help, political climate change can be more than a myth.
Read other posts about: Charlie Rangel, Congress, Feminism, feminism and politics, old boys clubs, Pell Grant Funding, Planned Parenthood, politics, vote, Washington, women in Congress, Women in Politics
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