Paulette Delcourt: Women Are The Majority, So Why Don't We Rule?

If women were represented in policy, we'd make 50 percent of the decisions.

Last week during the primary voting, I realized there was something missing. Women.

OK, there were women on the ballot, but there were a heck of a lot more men. This got me wondering about who exactly was passing federal laws on my behalf. People like me?

As it turns out, the decision-makers aren’t much like me at all.

Despite the fact that we ladies constitute more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, we only comprise 17 percent of Congress.

However, if you look at the facts, the country would be better off if women were in charge:

Women have smarticle particles: More women hold degrees in higher education than men and graduate from high school than men.

We have good genes: Over the age of 85, women outlive men 2 to 1. Maybe that's why Medicare covers Viagra.

We’re responsible: 4 percent more women vote than men. We just keep voting for men.

As I dug into my research, I learned Congress is even less like me than I thought. While only 1 percent of the US population is a millionaire, almost half of the members of Congress are (47 percent).  

During a recession, while most of us were digging change out of their sofas to buy groceries (they’re too big to shake out), the net worth of our Congressmen actually increased 25 percent (since 2008).

Speaking of money, we ladies take an additional hit. For every dollar a man earns, women still only earn 77 cents, a disappointing statistic if we consider 59 percent of the workforce age 16 and over is female.

An additional gender “tax” is waged on women who can pay up to 50 percent more for health insurance than men. One reason for the penalty is related to the one thing women are decidedly much better at than men: giving birth.

I admit I didn’t realize how much more women paid for health insurance. This fact is coming to light as the disproportionately gendered Supreme Court weighs in on the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Millionaire Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi promised us that we’d have to “pass the bill to know what is in it,” and I guess that has come to pass and disturbing details are coming to light.

Sadly, I’ve been so busy having babies, earning 77 percent of my value, working four jobs and digging for snack money in my sofa I didn’t even realize that I had become so expensive. There was that time my husband told me that if he dropped me from his company’s health plan the insurance bill for our family of four would be cut in half. That should have been a clue.

Nobody seems to know what is in that health care bill, but I hope I can still get my annual exam as recommended by my doctor. That’s not a decision I’d trust to even a well-trained actuary.

I hope as we learn to cut costs women aren’t further penalized for the one thing we can control: our health.

Let’s just hope the path to reform doesn’t come with too many shortcuts. Like this one (click it).

Meg April 21, 2012 at 05:23 PM
If you think this is just about "vanity" that is completely wrong. Many times women enrolled in college, grad school, or even high school are forced to put their education aside. You don't really see pregnant girls at prestigious universities. Of course you can argue that women can go to school pregnant, but that can be pretty embarrassing to many women. Medical complications can also inhibit their ability to attend classes. When you are fathering a child, you don't face these problems. As a current student, I know that if I were ever to become pregnant, it would realistically and seriously hinder my personal career aspirations. After saying this, I can't really spend too much more time arguing with you. I guess we can agree to disagree.
Kent Frederick April 21, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Maybe women have enough sense to stay out of politics. It's incredibly partisan. People have a very low opinion of politicians. Politicians are always raising funds for future campaigns. Whereas men have egos that lead them into politics, women don't have the need for power trips that come from winning elections and getting their names in the media on a regular basis.
Paulette Delcourt April 21, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Kent I just had a similar conversation with my neighbor, not so much gender-based, but psychologically-- maybe narcissism is what draws people to politics.
Paulette Delcourt April 22, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Meg I had a sorority sister who "disappeared" her sophomore year--nobody knew what happened to her. Well, I found out recently she had to drop out of college because she got pregnant. I still don't know what became of her, but I sincerely hope her family supported her so she could finish her education--statistically an educated woman earns more, and it's pretty clear we need every advantage.
Robert Jr. April 29, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Life's too short to bicker ... some things we'll agree on, some we won't ...but I do hope we find equality among genders as best as possible so focus can be made for the better good for all.


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