The steady ascent of more and more women to positions of political leadership reflects basic changes in our society which cannot be undone. That’s because men depend on these changes as well as women.
Families are smaller, so few of them need stay-at-home mothers for a lifetime. Modern families need two working parents; single women must make their livings on their own. And women are more educated than men. It stands to reason greater numbers of women will be called to call the shots in Harrisburg, then.
Men and women are not totally different creatures and they share many political habits and concerns based on other shared allegiances. We don’t have a Men’s Party and a Women’s Party.
But women as a bloc do tend to have issues of their own. They tend to have lower incomes, so they are more concerned about financial security and less impressed by social prestige and power. Health and education are high-priority matters for them. Children and the elderly aren’t afterthoughts for them.
Women may be less taken with campaign metaphors of conflict and victory than men are. They like to see public problems worked out in an orderly, cooperative manner.
This year has seen an illustrious woman politician, State Rep. Babette Josephs, step down after a lifetime in the gritty trenches of political struggle. But the signs of the times are that she was not an anomaly, but a harbinger of greater changes to come.
Women increasingly will speak to Harrisburg. And increasingly, women will speak from Harrisburg as well.