WHOSE HOUSE ARE THEY REPRESENTING?

WHOSE HOUSE ARE THEY REPRESENTING?

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,4 December 2012

The Snap:

After the 2012 Congressional election results were tallied, the media were almost in a frenzy reporting on the record number of women in Congress. In 2013, there will be 20 female Senators and 81 female House members. In other words, 20% of the Senate will be female as will 18% of the House. Still sounds like an underwhelming sausage fest to me. The story gets bleaker when you look at House committee leadership: zero.

The Download:

Good news first, democratic leadership are starting to look like they actually represent their constituents. Women and minorities will be the top Democrats in approximately half of the 22 committees. Overall, 53% of House Democrats will be female. In contrast, only 16% of the Senate Democrats will be female. Things start to look even more like you’ve hopped in the DeLorean and headed back to 1955 when you take a glance at the Republicans. 90% of House Republicans are white men and there are only four female Republican Senators. Not exactly representative of the 51% of the nation’s population that is female.

I don’t want to be the shrill ACLU card-carrying woman here but what in the hell will it take to get an actual representative Congress? Or maybe this Congress represents how difficult it remains for women to get positions of power in this country. Don’t get me wrong, there are some inspirational women out there for our nieces and daughters to look up to like Secretary Clinton, our three female Supreme Court Justices, Marissa Mayer, and Lady Gaga (no I’m not kidding).

Also, before you start thinking that I’m part of the war on men that Fox “News” imagines is ongoing, I love men, especially Ryan Gosling and Harry Connick, Jr. who are two of my current pretend boyfriends. My radio pretend boyfriend is Ky Ryssdall of Marketplace. Ryan will recite sensitive poetry while Harry plays the piano and Ky says witty things about the economy. What can I say? I’m a complex woman.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the continually depressing gender disparity in Congress. To be fair I’ll note that Oompa Loompas remain severely underrepresented. They still only have John Boehner.

Hat Tips:

Huffington PostSpeaker of the House John BoehnerBloombergU.S. Census BureauThe Daily Beast, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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