I know it’s super provincial, but I don’t care: I love it when Seattle and Washington State get mentioned in the New York Times, especially for good things.
Nationwide, women’s groups point out the glaring gender disparity in public life, noting that there are only 6 female governors and 17 female senators. Across the country, women make up 23.6 percent of state legislatures, according to Off the Sidelines, a project started last year by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York. But in Washington State, women’s serving in public office has been as consistent as the rain.
“Every once in a while a note or a letter will mention it,” Ms. Gregoire said. “But mostly, it’s taken for granted.”
Courtney Gregoire, her daughter, would relay differences between Washington State and Washington, D.C., where she worked as the director of the National Export Initiative at the Commerce Department. She found herself biting her tongue when men mentioned her age (she is 32), and she started wearing pantsuits to appear older. Once, after being the lone woman in a meeting of 25, she called her mother.
The governor replied, “Welcome to how it was for us.”
There’s still a lot of work for equal representation here in Washington. A lot of women are retiring from the legislature this year. I mentioned a while ago that we might not have any women elected executive officers come November. I don’t think the Democratic party has done a particularly good job in recent years of recruiting women.
Also, the Norm Dicks quote (if it was in context) makes me glad he’s retiring.
“I think women tend to advocate for women, and I think to myself, ‘They ought to mention men, too,’ ” he said. “When I’m running, I’m not just talking about men, I’m talking about men, women and children. I think women in politics have to be a little careful not to act as if they’re just representing women.”
Ms. Cantwell, Ms. Gregoire and Ms. Murray have campaigned together, he said, and Ms. Murray in particular has focused on recruiting women to run for public office.
“All of that is great but I feel like, ‘Can’t they find a good man to run sometimes?’ ” Mr. Dicks said.
If only men would run for office sometimes.