We Need More Women & Fewer Weiners

anthony weiverSeriously, we are missing the other half in politics!

I was thinking about writing an article about the absolute chutzpah politicians like Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer have portrayed. I honestly mean that as a form of flattery—well before the latest Weiner scandal broke out.

Picking up the pieces, despite the derision their scandals have caused, is truly an art form. I’ve been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s tome Lean In and the revelation, honestly it’s not news to most women, that we set up own barriers to success due to our proclivity to hold back, has made me even more fascinated with these comeback stories.

Every morning as I enjoy my caffeine, I’m inundated by politicians who think they can win back voters and take their rightful places–despite the poor and sometimes illegal actions they’ve taken.

That, my friends, is chutzpah. Imagine if we all had that kind of chutzpah? Sandberg has asked women, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and ask, “What would you do if you had Anthony Weiner’s chutzpah?”

Seriously, I think I’d become a politician and I wish more women would veer in that direction. We could use help passing The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been introduced numerous times in Congress but hasn’t passed in both chambers. It would also be helpful if vital services that can help lower income women and their families, like subsidized childcare, weren’t always on such a slippery slope.

Women are under-represented at all levels of government. Here are some sobering statistics, according to Center for Women and Politics:

  • Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress.
  • Only 22% of all statewide elective executive office positions are currently held by women.
  • State Legislatures are only 24% women.
  • Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor.
  • Women constituted 54% of voters in the 2008 elections, but only 24% of state legislators.
  • Women of color represent only 4% of Congress and 23% of women Members of Congress.

It gets worse.

The United States trails behind much of the world—ranking 90th in the number of women in our national legislature. Note: The U.S. is listed as 73rd, but after accounting for tied rankings of other countries, the ranking for the U.S. is 90th. Data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Let’s stop recycling scandals. We need more candidates and I say the other half needs to find the chutzpah to run.

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Vilma Sceusa

Vilma Sceusa

Vilma Sceusa’s story starts with a love of books and she has a degree in English to prove it! A career in marketing and advertising was followed by a stint as a stay-at-home mom. Ready for her next chapter, she started writing for local news outlets and is the founder of the blog, That Girl Is Back.com where she features real stories about real women who are making midlife what they want it to be - along with commentary on career relaunching, raising teens, the sandwich generation and women’s issues. Vilma is married and is the mother of two wonderful teenagers, a 16-year-old daughter and a 14 year-old-son fully enshrouded in the angst of “teenhood” (Ok that’s a made up word!). The hormonal household is rounded off by a bevy of pets including Harry, a black lab mix named after the infamous Harry Potter; Dobby, a cat with a past, named in honor of the beloved house elf in the series; and Penny a stray cat that reminiscent of the infamous German proverb, “always comes back.” 

  3 comments for “We Need More Women & Fewer Weiners

  1. Carla Diamantopulos
    July 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Great article. I totally agree. It would definitely be a positive change for the country if more women got involved with politics today.

  2. July 30, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Interesting article. I do agree that women tend to hold back more than men, but in terms of working in politics I think many women are put off by the lifestyle that it entails.

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