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Archive for January 18th, 2013

A kinder, gentler Congress?

No, not so much says N.C.State political scientist Andy Taylor, writing for Carolina Journal,

One of the big pieces of news from this year’s elections was the large increase in the number of women elected to Congress.

Eleven women won U.S. Senate races — five newcomers and six incumbents — meaning the upper body of the 113th Congress will have a record 20 female members. The House also will have more women than ever with 83.

For many, this brings hope that Congress will become a kinder and gentler place, one more capable of compromise and consensus and, ultimately, greater productivity. Women, the argument goes, are less confrontational and aggressive than men and more likely to empathize and work with political opponents.

This proposition is, of course, greatly exaggerated, if not fundamentally inaccurate. It is commonly held among practitioners on the left and within the gender and women’s studies crowd. These individuals are continually on the lookout for male-female differences that go beyond basic biology. Indeed, the academics among them need to find disparate behavior across the sexes to legitimize their own existence.

To be sure, there are significant and interesting political differences between men and women, but they generally have little to do with the kind of gender traits feminist theorists like to talk about.

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January 2013
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