Women in the Senate? A commentary on Tammy Baldwin’s presentation at the CHF

Over the weekend, I attended Tammy Baldwin’s session on women in government. Her talk was chiefly about how women behave inherently differently in government than men do, and how more women (and minorities) in government will more accurately represent the people (i.e. so a selection of people from one small group doesn’t have to represent all the groups). She described how because there are fewer women in government, although they may have hugely differing ideas, “at the end of the day, we choose not to fight”. She said they tend to mediate more arguments between parties, and settle disputes into bipartisan agreements. She says that because of this, the addition of women makes for a more peaceful and competent Congress. Although I may be a bit offed by some of the things she said, I have to admit that in my experience, she is largely right. For the most part, women are definitely more peaceful than men, and although this can lead to suppression of their voice, it also means they can settle arguments quicker and more peaceably than men, which is a great thing to have in Congress. They can also offer different lines of thinking when solving a problem, which helps push equal representation of the people’s will.

She then moved on to her own decisions, and the obstacles she overcame. She said most women do not try to go into government because they are told they cannot, either explicitly or subliminally. She noted that politics is mostly spoken of in terms of sports or battles, which are generally considered men’s activities (I realize that there are plenty of women who go to war or appreciate sports, but it must be acknowledged that these things are chiefly dominated by men). So when people talk politics, they use terms that are most commonly associated with men, and that men can therefore relate to better. She also said that sometimes women don’t try to do things because they feel inadequate, though she didn’t elaborate on this. She said that although it is easier to do things when they’ve already been done before, “if you wait until things are easy, you’ll be waiting all your life”. She said she didn’t run to make history, but I think she can serve as a great example for aspiring female or minority politicians. In my opinion, she showed that running for office as someone who is unexpected to is possible, that it helps balance the Congressional scale of equal representation, and that it can serve as an inspiration for others to do the same.

P.S. I also went to David Axelrod’s session at the CHF, and I noticed that unlike the pink lights used at this session, the lights they used there were blue.

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