Per Jessica Sparks, in the Wall Street Journal, reporting on Gallup poll results, Americans believe the country would be better governed with more women in office. The first thing to note is the distance between the poll question and the headline. Here’s the question:
Do you think this country would be governed better or governed worse if more [women] were in political office?
And here’s the headline (with ellipses excluding other categories of answers):
Americans Think Women… Govern Better
That’s not an accurate summary of the results. One could believe that having more women in government office at this point in history (when they are underrepresented) would take advantage of the sexes’ complementary qualities and bring broader perspective to government. If the dominance simply flipped from men to women, then that would decrease the advantage of diversity.
I do think, however, that a question asked the way the headline implies would still find a large number of people saying “better,” rather than “worse.”
Before the summer began, and I was doubling as daytime caretaker of our newest child, I’d sometimes watch the Fox News show Outnumbered while feeding her. (Put it in the category of simply not having interest in seeking out some other source of background noise.)
On one episode, the four women and one man (Geraldo, I think, that day) discussed exactly this question, with unanimous belief that, yes, women would govern better if they dominated our politics. I thought then, as I think now, that such a belief is mainly a testament to the success of cultural propaganda. From every commercial and sitcom in which the woman is a calm, collected mastermind while the man is a bumbling doofus (especially if he’s a husband) to the monomaniacal focus of variations-of-Marx college curricula, tarring “the patriarchy” with every problem in human history (and sometimes in quantum physics, too), it’d be surprising if the poll results were any different.
The increasing tilt of the propagandists helps to explain this curve, from the Gallup poll:
The size of the gaps is telling, with dramatic drops in the “govern better” category as one’s education and cultural formation was during periods of lighter progressive hegemony. It’s also interesting that the “govern worse” percentage doesn’t go up in kind. The real growth is in “no difference” and/or “no opinion,” which were the other two options. This isn’t a fading patriarchy; it’s a fading of true tolerance and rationality.