For the past eight years, it has been the age of the woman in Washington state politics. The Evergreen State is not only the singular state to have a female governor and two female senators currently, it is also the only state ever to have accomplished this feat. Washington seems to be doing something right.
Governor Christine Gregoire and Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray are doing exactly what we love here at BUST: setting goals, achieving them, and supporting other women in the process. In the New York Times yesterday, Isolde Raftery cites these pioneering women as being representative of a decreasing gender gap, which unfortunately is idealistic and reductive, taking a few female successes as indicative of the political situation in general. In the accompanying article, as if to prove our point, retiring Washington state Representative Norm Dicks (almost too perfect a name for the everyman…?) expresses his problem with women advocating too much for women. When Ms. Gregoire, Ms. Cantwell and Ms. Murray campaigned together, Mr. Dicks thought to himself (and aloud, to the Times): “All of that is great but I feel like, ‘Can’t they find a good man to run sometimes?'”
What Mr. Dicks and many men across the country seem to forget is that we live in a political system that is dominated by men. Only 6% of governors in our fine country are women, and we also comprise only 17% of the Senate. Mr. Dicks continues, saying women in politics “have to be a little careful not to act as if they’re just representing women.” With the current political climate, we think women can use all the representation they can get, Mr. Dicks.
Image source seattlepi.com and knowyourmeme.com