Our government holds a giant role in society. It shapes the citizens’ morals, the laws they live under, the ideas they formulate, and so much more. This makes people who hold governmental positions extremely influential, even more so now than those from 15 years ago, due to technological innovations to watch politicians’ every move. All this being said, the people that are placed into power to control a major part of our lives must reflect the behaviors and ethics that citizens look for in order to create a general equality in our country. Human behavior is learned, not innate, so politicians must be inspiring teachers.
So what is the message sent to young and adolescent girls when they see that the men to women ratio is shockingly unbalanced in our government? The Center for American Women and Politics shows that as of 2014, women hold a mere 18.5% of the 113th Congress, 20% of the Senate, and 18.2% in the House of Representatives. There are less women in the government in the USA than in those of Cuba, China, and Iraq. As young girls begin to learn about politics and government, they can only conceive the idea that they are not qualified to be life-changing leaders. According to the documentary Miss Representation written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, [inlinetweet prefix=”click here to” tweeter=”” suffix=” on @rhino_press”] an equal number of girls and boys want to be the President at the age of seven. [/inlinetweet]
As the years pass by, so do women’s aspirations of pursuing the presidential honor and achievement. As a result, extreme leadership of the United States of America have dramatically decreased in women’s minds. With the low amount of women in power, a social norm begins to formulate: women are just not suited for politics and it should be left for a more efficient gender. Even when there are women who stand against the norms and attempt to change the statistics by running for office, discrimination hinders them from being placed high in the government. The National Women’s History Museum states that at least 35 women have run for presidency, most of them beginning unknown. In America we have yet to elect a woman as president, pushing us behind Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, and even Pakistan. Having a single, fixed outlook on a topic is never a good idea, especially involving something as important as the government which fuels our entire society. If we want a fresh and new perspective in running our country, we have to fight for change. We have to stand up for women in power and encourage those to make a difference and become leaders. Quoting Dr. Marian Wright Edelman, “you can’t be what you can’t see.” So let’s create something worth watching.