With all the
dancing cartwheels cheers fervor news about the Republicans taking over both houses of Congress, one important (and to me, surprising) bit of news was lost in the clamor:
…a banner election year for women. Come January — when new members are sworn in — there will be at least 101 women serving in the 435 seats across the U.S. Senate and House, the first time in American history that female members of Congress have reached 100. (The number could be higher: Four races with female candidates have yet to be called.)~~www.nj.com
Many Republicans and Democrats will have their eyes on this new Republican majority, though I suspect for different reasons. Some hope that with a majority, the business of government will kick back into gear. Some fear that changes made in recent years, such as ObamaCare, will be reversed. Some wonder how the 2016 elections will be impacted.
But, when I learned about the record number of women now in Congress, my hopes for a better-run government were based more on a different mix of the sexes than a different mix in political parties.
I am not a feminist. In the battle of the sexes, I don’t believe females are the stronger or the smarter. Each “side” has its strengths and weaknesses. However, there are two differences between men and women that I believe may have a positive impact on Congress now that the number of women in Congress is growing.
I first read about these characteristics in John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Though many have claimed the book had too many generalizations, once I read the book, I began to see the differences Gray spoke about in my own life:
- When someone talks about “a problem,” men want to fix it. They have the solution. Women, on the other hand, often want only to talk about the problem–to have someone listen. Often, they will then come to a resolution on their own.
- When men are under stress, they want to retreat. Wikipedia says: “…they withdraw temporarily, ‘retreating into their cave’, so to speak.” But rather than retreat, again, women want to talk about it.
Isn’t that what’s not being done enough in Congress these days? Nobody is talking. That’s why I think more women in Congress will be a positive thing. When problems or disagreements arise, they’ll want to talk about it.
CNN reported that regardless of party affiliation, women in Congress often meet to talk about issues over lunch, or dinner and drinks.
It reminds me of the friendship I share with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen. I doubt you could find a more diverse group of women. We differ in our political philosophies, our religious beliefs, our writing styles and genres, our marital and family statuses, our clothing styles, the way we talk–just about anything and everything. We are all different. Yet, we are very close friends who trust each other immensely. And we’ve had many a
debate argument discussion conversation (a few that ended with belly-ache laughter) on how to solve the problems of the world.
Okay, maybe the women in Congress won’t have conversations that end in laughter–at least not the belly-ache kind–but if they have the discussions, that’s the important thing. Even if they don’t come to an agreement (often, neither do my “sisters” and I), they will come closer to an understanding of each other’s “side” and perhaps move toward a compromise–another thing too often missing in our government.
No matter your party affiliation, you have to admit that sounds a whole lot better than running to a cave.
I didn’t realize there were so many women, either. It’s going to be an interesting next few years, I think, and I do hope there’s more discussion. But mostly I hope there’s more problem solving and resolution going on with our government.
I agree, too, Madison. There’s no way our country can survive a government that does not function.
I noticed how many women moved into or kept office and, contrary to the “war on women” rhetoric, many of them are Republicans. I hope they don’t attempt to be just like the men but bring their own strengths to the table, whichever table it is. (And I agree–men and women are patently not the same; not one better or worse, but different and complementary.)
(who admits she was cheering) 🙂
Janet, I was cheering, too, but tentatively, and not too loud. AFTER I see a difference, see that they’ve moved away from the partisanship that mucks up the process, then I’ll cheer. That’s why, for now, I have more hope that more women will bring about more discussion and resolution. But even with that, I teeter between hopeful and tentative.
An interesting view, Jan. I don’t have too much respect for many of our politicians, male or female. I do believe each sex – stereotypically – have their pros and cons… but both are affected by greed and self-promotion. I feel either is fallible, i.e., pursue their own agendas and beliefs.
Koji, I don’t have much respect for our politicians, either, and yes, either sex is fallible. But, with this different (and relatively new) mix we now have in Congress, I sincerely hope it makes a positive difference. I only wish the media would publicize it more so that these women would know they’re being “watched” and therefore might feel a little more pressure to do positive things rather than slide down that slippery slope of pursuing their own agendas.
I, too, wish the media would pressure the politicians – and themselves – to stay on the straight and true… I just feel money drives everything – and wrongly. 🙂 Hopefully, your wisdom will shine!
Exciting times for women when the new congress convenes in 2015 with at least 100 women.
The old boys club is cracking as the glass ceiling shatters.
Remember in 2013 when women Senators from both major parties met over pizza? Together they forged a plan to end the shutdown. Time magazine said at the time “Women are the only adults left in Washington.” Love it!!