Final Project: Women in Politics

This election cycle, I’ve had a big chance to see how women are represented in political races (as in when they’re the candidates) and how they represent themselves. I looked at almost every candidate on the Texas ballot, my home state, and I think it’d be interesting to do a comparison between Texas and a less conservative state to see if any major differences occur in how female candidates present themselves via their webpages and debates, and how they are presented in ads (by their party and the opposition party). 

From what I’ve seen so far in the Texan candidates for various offices, the female candidates tend to emphasize their roles as wives and mothers heavily on their official pages, whereas the male candidates mention their family, but don’t talk about how “fatherhood is the most important part of their life” or things like that.

Overall, it would be interesting to explore the idea that we accept women more in public office now, but only if they assure us they still adhere to many of the traditional gender roles we expect of them.

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4 thoughts on “Final Project: Women in Politics

  1. This seems like a really interesting topic! Now that the election is over, you’ve probably seen that there are a lot of “firsts” that happened- Tammy Baldwin is the first openly gay Senator, Mary Gonzalez is the first openly pansexual elected official in the US, Tammy Duckworth is the first disabled female veteran in Congress, and Mazie Hirono is the first Asian-American female Senator. Instead of comparing candidates from Texas to candidates from a less conservative state, you might want to compare them to the women mentioned.

    • That’s very true! We did have many firsts this election, and we even got a larger percent of women the Senate than we’ve ever had!

      It would be very interesting to compare different female candidates who strongly identify with one group or another (LGBTQA or veterans or disabled or racial/ethnic minority) and see how they represent themselves and how they were represented by their opposition.

  2. I find this topic to be very interesting. I would especially like to see if more liberal states have their female politicians focus on motherhood or if they emphasize on some other part of what it means to be a modern woman. I feel that it would be interesting to compare the number of women in public office and comparing them between conservative and liberal states and see what fraction of each actually match traditional gender roles. I believe this can tell you what the ideals of each respective party actually is.

    • I like this direction as well! One thing that really surprised me was that Massachusetts had never had a female senator before we elected Elizabeth Warren last night! There are a few factors that contributed to this (Ted Kennedy holding one seat for 47 years being one factor), but it was so strange to think that Texas had a female senator (Kay Bailey Hutchinson elected in 1993) before Massachusetts.

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