The Akin (achin') gaffes and the many other stories of late in the War Against Women have not only put a microscope on reproductive rights for women, but raised much larger questions. "Why do women put up with misogyny?" and "Why are there so few women in office?"
In Colorado, where women hold more elected offices at the state level than in any other state (and we have some of the strongest women in the country!), our numbers are still not even 40%, in a country where women are 51% of the population. Add to that our gross under-representation on the Supreme Court, and women cannot honestly point fingers at any other country. The political arena in the United States grossly under-represents women.
I am curious what kinds of systemic issues are beneath this problem. For those women who read Daily Kos and are brave enough to answer some questions, I hope you will. Not only will your answers be interesting, they may educate some Cro-Magnons who lurk on liberal blogs (and I say that with much affection, of course).
It will be interesting to see if the women who use their own names answer differently from bloggers who identify as women, yet who blog anonymously. It will also be interesting to see if these same questions posted on women-only blogs yield similar answers to this blog site, which has a considerable mix.
Do you find the political arena friendly to, or hostile to, women when it comes to debate?
When you have strong political opinions, do you share them openly and assertively, or are you afraid to do so? Why?
Have you ever been the victim of political bullying? Was the perpetrator male or female (or unknown/anonymous)?
Do you ever hold back your political opinions due to perceived intimidation by men?
Do you see the atmosphere in the political arena improving for women's equal participation, or getting worse?
Running for Office:
Have you ever thought about running for office? Why or why not?
If so, are you as aggressive as the men you know with similar education in regard to the level of office to which you aspire?
Expressing Your Political Opinions in Writing:
Do you blog? Where? Why?
Are there woman-friendly blogs and do you read them? Do you submit diaries to them? Why or why not?
Is your significant other supportive of your political interests?
Would your parents have approved of your political interests?
Do you have other women as mentors in politics?
Who has encouraged you the most to participate in the political arena, and was it effective?
Empowering Other Women:
Have you ever had a thoughtful discussion with male counterparts in the political arena about this gender issue? Why or why not?
Have you ever mentored another woman in the political arena?
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. If you wish to send them to me privately, send them to njcronk @ aol.com. Later, I intend to write about your responses, with all names and identifying information removed (unless permission to quote you by name is granted). Thank you!