A matter of representation

18 percent of Utah Legislature is female, well behind the percentage of other states

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  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 27, 2010 3:20 p.m.

    Perhaps this was good reporting of some facts, but the interpretation seems to be decidedly from the liberal left perspective.

    The crux of the "reporter's" complaint seem to be that not enough liberal women are getting elected.

    Well, Becky Lockhart, Enid Greene and many other elected office holders won strictly on account of their merits, not some perverse equal opportunity quota. They have the support and respect of the voters. Sounds like the system works just fine.

    The toughest job, and the most important one in our state, or any state, is that of mother and homemaker. If Utah women are doing that and it reduces the number serving in public office, we are the better for it.

    How about a similar story to see if the teaching profession is "dominated by women" and our kids are getting too much nurturing and drama instead of whatever male teachers would emphasize.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 27, 2010 2:31 p.m.

    Utah is male dominated because 18% of the legislure is female, as opposed to 20-25% in other states? Anyway, the whole claim about female legislatures being liberals is not neccisarily held up when in practice. Are we to believe that Becky Lockhart is some sort of liberal. Along with Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley and of course Virginia Thomas. Hm, I do not think so.

    Another factor that the article totally ignores is that states with term limits have in general elected more women to the legislature. I can think of two cases in Michigan, where we limit house members to three two-year-terms and state senators to two or three four-year-terms, who succedded their husbands in the state legislature. I am sure it is more, if it was not for term limits the husbands would have stayed in office. Insterstingly enough Mrs. Rocca was just as consistently conservative in her voting as was Mr. Rocca. Surprise, surprise.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 27, 2010 2:24 p.m.

    18% is not very different from 20-25%. Anyway, Utah is still one of few states that had a female governor and a female Chief Justice at the same time.

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Nov. 27, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    From the article: "That feeds a perception, both inside and outside the state, that when it comes to politics, Utah has always been male-dominated."

    It's not a perception, it's a reality since the numbers can't be dismissed. The question is: so what?

    I don't know of anyone outside the state complaining about the percentages of men and women in the Utah Legislature. Maybe NOW or Planned Parenthood is in their meetings, but no one else.

    Seems like another trivial matter that the Dnews is trying to gin up anger towards for some unknown reason.

    If women want to run, great. If blacks want to run, great. If men want to run, great. If X wants to run, great.

    What their positions are on issues is what matters.


  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Nov. 27, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    SOOOO WHAT?! If women are not in the legislature, maybe they're in the more important place. Home is where the future is determined. The legislature is where we deal with current spats. Home is where it's at.

    If a mom or dad can handle both, fine, but if they have to pick one or the other, home is more important. And as a voter I definitely shouldn't be picking my representative based on their gender, or race, or color!

  • Phred Ogden, UT
    Nov. 27, 2010 7:49 a.m.

    The whole substance of this article boils down to one quote from the Democratic side of the aisle.

    "Scholars have found that female state legislators' votes and policy preferences are different from males. Women tend to take more liberal positions on public health, gun control, social welfare and environmental protection issues....and that's why it's so important to get women into office." - Jones

    The whole purpose of this article is to promote a liberal agenda, not to represent Utah women. Notice that the reference is not to women of the state of Utah, it is about the select women IN the state legislature.

    The fact is that the women of Utah (who are the majority of voters) have chosen who they think can best represent their interests and it is overwhelmingly not liberal.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Nov. 27, 2010 7:02 a.m.

    A fascinating theory, Kelly, but illogical.

    Your use of the term "lags" implies that there is a race between states with a goal of electing representatives based on their chromosomes as though that would improve legislative output. The fact is, most couples are couples because they share common goals and ideals and principles and no matter which one is elected, they would vote the same way as if their spouse were elected.

    How do we lag if we are one of only 3 states with a female House speaker?

    How do we lag when we and Wyoming led the nation in approving women's suffrage?

    Are women somehow downtrodden by male voters? Not when the majority of voters are consistently women.

    Are women candidates less likely than men to be elected if they run? No.

    Are women being discouraged from running? Not according to your research.

    Is it necessary to be a woman to understand the concepts of good government and represent the interests of their female constituency? Not really. By that same logic, neither man nor woman could possibly represent the best interests of their children because they are not children.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Nov. 27, 2010 4:05 a.m.

    This article is completely out of line and misrepresentation. When has reverse discrimination become a qualification or right?

    This article implies these statistics were intentional and discriminatory when in fact they are the reality. Article like this is what create problems in society, they are filled with innuendo and half truths to imply discrimination and are racist. In stead of showing charts of fiction how about some documentation of facts to prove their accusations? This and other groups like them look for disparities and print accusations and falsehoods on limited information.

    They also assume that by race, religion, sex, or any other cause that there is statistics that should be enforced to insure discrimination. That is the only purpose of anti discrimination laws, to make sure discrimination is enforced.