TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY
The Dallas Morning News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Dallas Morning News makes the case as to why more women should be elected to public office.
When Texan Kay Bailey Hutchison was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1993, there were seven female senators in office — a record.
One of the first things the other women advised Hutchison was to avoid walking by Sen. Strom Thurmond’s desk — they knew from experience that he liked to grab the buttocks of female senators as they passed by.
At the time, such behavior was winked at by the other members of the Senate club.
Today, there are 22 women in the Senate, another record, but at 22 percent, hardly representative of the 50.8 percent female population in the U.S.
That could be changing, largely due to the #MeToo movement that erupted after accusations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and others.
The tsunami of sexual misconduct complaints washing across the country — which has led to the resignations of politicians from Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold — has created new openings and inspired a record number of women to consider elective office.
According to recent reports from the EMILY’s List political fundraising group, the number of women seeking information about running for political office has skyrocketed from 1,000 in 2016 to 26,000 in recent weeks.
Most seem motivated by the harassment backlash, others disapprove of the Trump White House, still others are frustrated by congressional gridlock.
Is this “a moment?” Could this be a turning point that brings more American women into elected office?
Consider this: Women account for just a fifth of all U.S. representatives and senators, and 1 in 4 state lawmakers. They serve as governors of only six states and mayors in roughly 20 percent of the largest cities.