A bunch of men telling women what’s good for them

Speaking of the Republican party…Politico points out that there are fewer Republican women in Congress than there were ten years ago.

So far this year, Republicans have nominated women in just 26 of the 308 congressional districts that have held primaries. That’s a mere 8 percent—and it’s in line with the current makeup of the House Republican Conference, which is 91 percent male and 9 percent female.

Welllll, you know, Christina Hoff Sommers would say that’s because women prefer not to go into Congress, and you can’t mess with people’s preferences. It’s not at all structural or systemic or a result of the several thousand roadblocks there are in the way of women who seek public office. The way things are is exactly how they’re supposed to be, because they’re exactly how everyone intended them to be, so relax and go back to sleep now, after sending a large donation to the American Enterprise Institute.

During the past decade, that disparity has actually grown wider, as wave elections swept out a number of established Republican members of Congress (in 2006, 2008 and 2012), and swept in a lot of new ones (in 2010 and 2014). Since 2006, the proportion of women in the House GOP caucus has dropped from 11 percent to just 9 percent today. Although there are now 247 Republicans in the House, up from 229 a decade ago, there are fewer women: 22, down from 25.

Over the same period, Democratic women took advantage of these electoral shifts, replacing men from their party’s old boys’ network with women backed by EMILY’s List and other advocacy groups seeking to increase women’s representation in office. From 2006 to today, women grew from 21 percent of the House Democratic Caucus to 33 percent. And the party isn’t about to let anyone forget it: Their new class was on display in full force when the House’s Democratic women gathered on stage behind Nancy Pelosi during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Women cominna getcha!

This growing disparity, with Democrats electing ever more women and Republicans ever fewer, repeats at every level of government: U.S. Senate, statewide offices, upper and lower state legislatures, and municipalities. (The Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University maintains useful records on this.) What that means is that there’s no sign the GOP’s current woman problem is going to get any better any time soon.

It’s almost as if the Republican party doesn’t really feel all that welcoming to women.

The decline of the Republican woman is a public relations disaster for the GOP.

It means that every time a male Republican officeholder or candidate puts his foot in his mouth about women—from former Congressman Todd “legitimate rape” Akin to Donald “blood coming out of her wherever” Trump—effectively the only Republicans who can rush to their defense are other men. Whenever Republican leaders gather to speak about welfare, abortion, the minimum wage or pay equity, they look like a bunch of men telling women what’s good for them.

Look like? Look like? They don’t look like, they are.

To be honest, though, I don’t consider this a problem, because I don’t think women should be Republicans; Republicans don’t look out for the interests of women. If the Republican party doesn’t want to fix that problem, that’s their tough luck.

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