I was watching the Big Vote on TV last night, and d'you know what I noticed? The absolutely overwhelming number of men in the House, as compared to women.
I'd always been aware the women were vastly under-represented, but it really hit home last night, as I saw man after man stand up to vote on the future of our government and our country (okay, that's a little melodramatic, I'll admit. But still.).
My angry feminist side, long dormant amid too much work and too little energy, had been stirred. This isn't right. What can I do about it?
I have neither the temperament nor the inclination for politics. I would make a lousy candidate. But -- short of putting my money where my mouth is -- what can I do to encourage other female candidates? And to get them elected when there are female candidates?
And then there's the partisan question... do I want to see one more (insert disliked party here) elected, just because she's a woman? In my riding, it's something of a moot point, since all the candidates so far declared or rumoured are men. But it's a well-known fact that women candidates are more likely to run in ridings that their party doesn't expect to win. It's been a source of some political anger and melodrama that, when they succeed in winning the ridings against all odds, and end up holding them for so long that they begin to be seen as "safe seats," men from the party come along and want to run in those ridings (witness the Sheila Copps affair).
I'm genuinely at a loss. Can anyone point me in the direction of some good writing on the subject of encouraging women's participation in politics? Or, even better, point me to an appropriate advocacy group to which I could lend my support?