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Almost five times as many men as women hold elected office in the U.S.

According to the American Women inPolitics Fact Sheet,
in 2011 women held 90 of the 535 seats in the 112th US Congress.

Women held 17 of the 100 seats in the US Senate . 17 out of 100.

Women held 73 of the 435 seats of the House of Representatives.

When I was growing up, I believed I could do anything, including be president. I remember when I was a young teenager, I realized, that would never happen. A woman president. There had never been one and there probably never would be. Not to be Debbie-Downer, but this new news was like finding out Santa Claus was a lie. I was overwhelmingly sad, but I was also pissed.

I grew up in your typical patriarchal family and it was assumed we would vote the same way as our parents. It became pretty clear, even from my early teenage years that my politics would be different from my parents. They still are. These days I try to divert all conversation that head down a political path. I already know where they go- nowhere. If I thought maybe the conversations could change something, I would argue til the end, but they go in circles until none of us knows whose sick joke it was to make us related and call us a family.

The thing about patriarchal politics is that men are still on top and make the decisions. But what about what I think? What about my opinions? If under patriarchal politics, I am expected to think like my father and then like my husband who I am expected to marry, then it is also expected I will vote like them.

I don’t vote like dear ol’ Dad. Love him, but don’t vote like him.

I think a lot of women get the message that politics is for the men. The guys know that stuff. Women don’t have to. It’s an old holdover from men knowing about and being in politics while women know about the home and don’t vote or worry about the larger world. It’s a boys game anyway. Right? Not for long.

Get ready world, women are trying to level the playing field. With National and State level allies, The 2012 Project is working to get more women into politics. It is non-partisan and is working to educate and raise awareness about women in politics and encourage strong women candidates.

It’s mission: “The 2012 Project is a national, non-partisan campaign to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures by taking advantage of the once-in-a-decade opportunities of 2012.”

They are directly outreaching to professional accomplished women and especially to women of color. They educate, inspire and connect potential candidates.

Here’s their website. Check them out:

http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/education_training/2012Project/about2012.php

Women who are potential candidates work with their state’s coalitions. The following eleven states have coalitions:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington

If your state isn’t listed, try to get a program there.

Right now there aren’t enough women in political office to have the little girl dream of being president be a reality. Though it’s clearly not just presidential candidates that we need, but the Congress, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Women candidates don’t make up even one fourth of those spots. Not even one fourth. That’s hardly representative.

Get women into politics! Let’s all play together. Get women into the game!

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