Women Still Not Running for Public Office

For the American version of the Fawcett report, see the recent Brookings Institute report which surveyed thousands of men and women in public service, to produce “the first comprehensive investigation of the process by which women and men decide to enter the electoral arena.”  The good news is that by most measures, women perform as well as men in office and once on ballots.  The less thrilling news is that women are far less likely to run.  This is for both internal and external reasons, e.g., women report feeling less ambitious with respect to high office, but in addition, women are asked less often, seeming to occur as options less often to recruiters. (Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post immediately noticed the difference between women in public service primarily responsible for house- and child-care, 60%, and men in public service primarily responsible for house- and child-care, 4%.  One might call that a significant difference!) 

If only my dad were in a position of power. When I asked him to imagine candidates for vice-president, all he could come up with in either party were the names of women. I suggested, oh, about 80% of the U.S. Senate, to which he replied, “Nah.”  Way to go, Dad!

A belated happy birthday

to us, the Feminist Philosophers blog! It all began in March 2007, when Sally Haslanger suggested to me that a feminist philosophy blog would be a good thing. I said I wasn’t the blogging type, but she encouraged me to start thinking about how to do a blog that I might want to be a part of. So I decided to start trying it out mid-May last year. And I guess it’s pretty clear now that– for better or for worse– I am the blogging type. Stoat and Monkey blogged with me at the start, and since then we’ve been joined by Cornsay, Digivordig, Edna in the Sea, Heg, Introvertica, JJ, ProfBigK and Telbort and by now we’ve got quite a blog going! We’ve got to know lots of great feminist and philosophical bloggers (and even some at the intersection of the two) online and even started meeting up with bloggers off-line. Our top posts of all time (sigh) remain the oh-so-popular “Loving Wife Spanking”, “Incredibly Fat, Ugly Woman in Yogurt Ad”, and “Woman as Video Game”. Nothing against these posts, but I suspect that the scores of people who search every week for ‘ugly woman’ or ‘spanking’ weren’t actually looking for feminism or philosophy. But hey, maybe they’ve actually liked what they found. So, what do you think? Should we change our tagline to “Come for the spanking; stay for the philosophy”? More seriously, many thanks to everyone who posts, comments, or lurks on this blog, and to everyone who’s been kind enough to encourage us!