The research shows getting more women in office isn’t just about equality — it also gets more stuff done.
Here’s a shocking statistic: Throughout American history, 1,917 US senators have been men — and just 46 have been women.
Yes, there are caveats to this. Women haven’t been allowed to vote, much less serve in political office, for much of the country’s history. And even once they gained those legal rights, society and culture also had to change to accept women in leadership positions. (We’re just now possibly getting the first woman president — nearly 100 years after the 19th Amendment gave women nationwide, although not necessarily black women until the Voting Rights Act, the right to vote.)
But this still shows one of the many ways the US political system has been skewed to favor men.
A new video by the Atlantic profiling Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) demonstrates some of the many hurdles women face to getting into office — and why those hurdles are bad not just for equality, but basic good governance.
It opens up with an anecdote, told by Klobuchar, that is at once incredibly awkward and incredibly telling:
I remember one of my first months I was on the senators’ elevator. The door opens up, and the male senator says to me, “I’m sorry, this is senators only.” And the guy next to me, from my staff, says, “She is a senator.” And he looks aghast. And then I looked at him — and of course I knew who he was — and I said, “But who are you?”