Thursday, September 17, 2009

Women Rule?

Politico cited a study on 9/15 performed by Stanford University and the University of Chicago that reached the conclusion that women legislators are better than men. I'm not sure that I disagree with this conclusion, though I fear that my judgment is based more on instinct than on scientifically gathered data. 

While I believe that the study comes to the correct conclusion, I believe that they do it in spite of using an improper measurement however. I say this because the criteria used for their judgment, as noted in the Politico posting, is that these women legislators are better because they introduce more bills and bring more money home to their districts than their male predecessors. 

Now if I were to fall back on the chauvinism that many of my gender were guilty of in the days of my youth, I would say something like: "Why of course ladies introduce more bills! That's like talking, and we all know how women do love to talk. And as for bringing more money back to their districts, that's just spending. Now as a man who's been married twice, let me tell you that I know more than a little bit about how women can spend money, so why should we be surprised to find out that they can do it when we elect them." (Please note that I would in fact never actually say anything like this. Besides knowing this statement to be completely false, I know that if I intend to live a long and happy life, making such comments would substantially reduce my potential for reaching my goal.) 

As a Constitutional Conservative however, my objection to this measure of success is quite simple and rather strong. Quite frankly, I believe that we have far too many laws already (and far too much government along with it). Anyone, man or woman, who in any way adds to the already onerous burden of laws on the books is quite the opposite of success as I measure it. In fact, I would consider a legislator who never proposed legislation (unless it was legislation which either took other legislation off of the books or simplified any existing laws) to be far more successful than one who added to the ponderous pile of nonsense that make up the body of laws in this country. 

As for being a legislator who brought more of the federal largess back to their district being used as a measure of success, again I would strongly disagree. We all know that government spends far too much as it is today, having long since passed drunken sailors in this ability. I would rather consider a legislator a success who not only didn't bring much money back to the home district, but who likewise championed less spending in every district in the country. 

Give me such a champion of fiscal responsibility, who is above burying their face in the public trough as their measure of true success. Give me someone who is able to convince other legislators of such responsible spending, and I will show you someone who garners my admiration. 

Does this study therefore prove that women legislators are not as good as men? I don't believe so. What I believe that it proves instead is that women are far better at playing the game of US politics than the men who set up those rules in the first place. Quite frankly, it's my opinion that women are better at many of these "labors of men" and have long proved it. I would prefer however, that rather than proving their worth by playing better at such childish rules than their male counterparts; that they instead change them and used their natural advantages to improve the system. 

It was Timothy Leary, one of the counter culture gurus of my generation, who stated it very clearly: "Women who seek to be the equal of men lack ambition."



Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


Timothy Leary (or, should it really be Leery?) said that?

Why that silver tongued little devil ;-)

In any case, I wouldn't argue either his nor your comments in this matter, as you both stated your cases flawlessly...

I bow to your wisdom in these matters.

(As for Leary/Leery..., he was most likely "tripping")


Roland Hansen said...

I have plenty of thoughts on this matter. However, for the sake of tranquility, I shall keep them to myself -- at the moment.

Tim Higgins said...


I look forward to having you expound on your thinking at greater length, as your insight is always a keen one. Based on the results of the study however, it is probably Judy's thinking on the subject that may provide all of us gender challenged pundits better results

Tim Higgins said...


Who would have expected such wisdom from that Timothy (or any, for that matter). As for bowing to my wisdom, such behavior is normally done at the porcelain altar, with relief (or insight) soon to follow.