Not content with electing a governor, a congresswoman, a statewide office holder, and a senate president, the Wichita Eagle headlined its article on the November election, “Kansas Legislature losing women as other states gain female representation.”
“In 2018, Kansas had 48 female lawmakers, and women held 28.5 percent of all seats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures,” frets Jonathan Shorman. “But once new lawmakers take office in January, that number will drop to 43. Women will hold 26 percent of seats.”
In 1999, reports Shorman, women held as many as 33 percent of the seats in the Kansas legislature, putting it well above the national average. Now, alas, it has fallen below the national average, a minor tragedy for the PC bean counters in the media.
Missing from Shorman’s article, which recaps a panel discussion on women in politics hosted by KCUR, is any notion of why this matters. As one panelist noted, women win at the same rate as men in comparable races. The differential comes because women are less likely to run.
It has become axiomatic in liberal circles that if women do not do most anything in the same proportion as men, there is something sinister afoot. The Eagle article does not do much to ease anyone’s minds.
Wendy Doyle, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation, made the argument that President Donald Trump’s surreptitiously recorded boast “about grabbing women’s genitals” spurred an interest among women in running for office. These women were apparently untroubled by President Clinton’s history of serious sexual predation, nor that of Senator Ted Kennedy.
The most salient remark reported by Shorman was voiced by Senate President Susan Wagle, a conservative Republican. “Women bring valuable experience to the table and my hope is to see a rise in women running for office next cycle,” said Wagle, “especially for conservative women who are often ignored and forgotten.”
Of course not all conservative women are ignored and forgotten. As Sarah Palin and many others can attest, they are often treated as traitors to their sex and demeaned accordingly. If there is any one variable that discourages women from running, it is likely that.