He Runs, She Runs: Why Gender Stereotypes Do Not Harm Women Candidates

Princeton University Press
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While there are far more women in public office today than in previous eras, women are still vastly underrepresented in this area relative to men. Conventional wisdom suggests that a key reason is because female candidates start out at a disadvantage with the public, compared to male candidates, and then face higher standards for their behavior and qualifications as they campaign. He Runs, She Runs is the first comprehensive study of these dynamics and demonstrates that the conventional wisdom is wrong.

With rich contextual background and a wealth of findings, Deborah Jordan Brooks examines whether various behaviors--such as crying, acting tough, displays of anger, or knowledge gaffes--by male and female political candidates are regarded differently by the public. Refuting the idea of double standards in campaigns, Brooks's overall analysis indicates that female candidates do not get penalized disproportionately for various behaviors, nor do they face any double bind regarding femininity and toughness. Brooks also reveals that before campaigning begins, women do not start out at a disadvantage due to gender stereotypes. In fact, Brooks shows that people only make gendered assumptions about candidates who are new to politics, and those stereotypes benefit, rather than hurt, women candidates.


Proving that it is no more challenging for female political candidates today to win over the public than it is for their male counterparts, He Runs, She Runs makes clear that we need to look beyond public attitudes to understand why more women are not in office.

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About the author

Deborah Jordan Brooks is associate professor of government at Dartmouth College. Previously, she was a senior research director at the Gallup Organization.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 21, 2013
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781400846191
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Process / Campaigns & Elections
Political Science / Political Process / General
Political Science / Women in Politics
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Women remain dramatically underrepresented in elective office, including in entry-level political offices. While they enjoy the freedom to stand for office and therefore have an equal legal footing with men, this persistent gender imbalance raises pressing questions about democratic legitimacy, the inclusivity of American politics, and the quality of political representation. The reasons for women's underrepresentation remain the subject of much debate. One explanation--that the United States lacks sufficient openings for political newcomers--has become less compelling in recent years, as states that have adopted term limits have not seen the expected gains in women's office holding. Other accounts about candidate scarcity, gender inequalities in society, and the lingering effects of gendered socialization have some merit; however, these accounts still fail to explain the relatively low numbers. Drawing upon original surveys conducted in 1981 and 2008 by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of women state legislators across all fifty states, and follow-up interviews after the 2008 survey, the authors find that gender differences in pathways to the legislatures, first evident in 1981, have been surprisingly persistent over time. They find that, while the ambition framework better explains men's decisions to run for office, a relationally embedded model of candidate emergence better captures women's decision-making, with women's decisions more often influenced by the encouragement and support of parties, organizations, and family members. By rethinking the nature of women's representation, this study calls for a reorientation of academic research on women's election to office and provides insight into new strategies for political practitioners concerned about women's political equality.
A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.

From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing.

Yet we did, and Last Call is Daniel Okrent’s dazzling explanation of why we did it, what life under Prohibition was like, and how such an unprecedented degree of government interference in the private lives of Americans changed the country forever.

Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.

Through it all, Americans kept drinking, going to remarkably creative lengths to smuggle, sell, conceal, and convivially (and sometimes fatally) imbibe their favorite intoxicants. Last Call is peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. (Perhaps most surprising of all is Okrent’s account of Joseph P. Kennedy’s legendary, and long-misunderstood, role in the liquor business.)

It’s a book rich with stories from nearly all parts of the country. Okrent’s narrative runs through smoky Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between the sexes were changed forever; California vineyards busily producing “sacramental” wine; New England fishing communities that gave up fishing for the more lucrative rum-running business; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, where politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank openly and without apology.

Last Call is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly told. It stands as the most complete history of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent’s rank as a major American writer.
This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl--and a young woman--trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world, of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community that made all the difference.

Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist. Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman--and the first black woman ever--to serve as Secretary of State.
 
But until she was 25 she never learned to swim, because when she was a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor decided he'd rather shut down the city's pools than give black citizens access.
 
Throughout the 1950's, Birmingham's black middle class largely succeeded in insulating their children from the most corrosive effects of racism, providing multiple support systems to ensure the next generation would live better than the last. But by 1963, Birmingham had become an environment where blacks were expected to keep their head down and do what they were told--or face violent consequences. That spring two bombs exploded in Rice’s neighborhood amid a series of chilling Klu Klux Klan attacks.  Months later, four young girls lost their lives in a particularly vicious bombing.
 
So how was Rice able to achieve what she ultimately did?
 
Her father, John, a minister and educator, instilled a love of sports and politics. Her mother, a teacher, developed Condoleezza’s passion for piano and exposed her to the fine arts. From both, Rice learned the value of faith in the face of hardship and the importance of giving back to the community. Her parents’ fierce unwillingness to set limits propelled her to the venerable halls of Stanford University, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the university’s second-in-command. An expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, she played a leading role in U.S. policy as the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Less than a decade later, at the apex of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, she received the exciting news--just shortly before her father’s death--that she would go on to the White House as the first female National Security Advisor. 
 
As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother’s cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling.

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