We Need More Women & Fewer Weiners

SONY DSCSeriously, we are missing the other half in politics!

I’ve been thinking about writing an article about the absolute chutzpah politicians like Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer have portrayed. I honestly mean that as a form of flattery, well before the latest Weiner scandal broke out.

Picking up the pieces, despite the derision their scandals have caused is truly an art form. I’ve been reading Sherly Sandberg’s tome Lean In and the revelation, honestly it’s not news to most women, that we set up own barriers to success due to our proclivity to hold back has made me even more fascinated with these comeback stories.

Every morning as I enjoy my caffeine, I’m inundated by politicians who think they can win back voters and take their rightful places – despite poor and sometimes illegal actions they’ve made.

That, my friends, is chutzpah. Imagine if we all had that kind of chutzpah? Sandberg has asked women, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and ask, “What would you do if you had Anthony Weiner’s chutzpah?”

Seriously, I think I’d become a politician and I wish more women would veer in that direction. We could use help passing The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been introduced numerous times in Congress but hasn’t passed in both chambers. It would also be helpful if vital services that can help lower income women and their families, like subsidized childcare, weren’t always on such a slippery slope.

Women are under-represented at all levels of government. Here are some sobering statistics, according to Center for Women and Politics:

  • Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress.
  • Only 22% of all statewide elective executive office positions are currently held by women.
  • State Legislatures are only 24% women.
  • Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor.
  • Women constituted 54% of voters in the 2008 elections, but only 24% of state legislators.
  • Women of color represent only 4% of Congress and 23% of women Members of Congress.

It gets worse,

  • The United States trails behind much of the world—ranking 90th in the number of women in our national legislature. Note: The U.S. is listed as 73rd, but after accounting for tied rankings of other countries, the ranking for the U.S. is 90th. Data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Let’s stop recycling scandals. We need more candidates and I say the other half needs to find the chutzpah to run.





  1. Hello Vilma,

    My name is Jamie Coffey and I am the Special Assistant to the President of Barnard College, Debora Spar. I am writing to you today regarding your blog and your knowledge as to the importance of women in leadership. I see you have already posted about Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, and I’d like to bring a unique perspective from a new book on this important topic to your attention.

    My colleague Debora’s new book, Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, hit the shelves just a few weeks ago. Throughout Debora’s personal and professional experiences, she has asserted herself as a proponent of women’s education and leadership, which she highlights both in her new book and this recently published post here: http://wonderwomenthebook.com/2013/09/17/women-despite-being-leaders-are-still-not-wonder-women/

    The ultimate goal of Debora’s work is to reach audiences just like yours with her message. Please consider sharing this post on your site and continuing to spark the important conversation that needs to be had for the benefit of women everywhere.


    • Thanks for reading Jamie! I’m a big fan of Debora Spar’s work. I loved, loved, loved her Newsweek article. I would love to do a review of her book. I’m putting it on my reading list now!

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