To follow-up on Riverdaughter’s and Stateofdisbelief’s posts, I want to point out that it is vital that we not let Obama get away with merely appointing a few women to high profile positions. As I noted in the comments of RD’s post, there is only one woman on either the DFA lists. One freaking Vaginamerican! Democracy for America believes that WE ONLY HAVE ONE WOMAN IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THAT IS QUALIFIED TO BE SECRETARY OF STATE?
In DFA’s defense (playing the Devil’s Public Defender) there aren’t many women in either party with the credentials and experience for that job. But the reason for that (removing my court-appointed dumptruck hat) is that women can’t get credentials and experience if they can’t get in the goddamn door!
There is at least one pipeline into every important job. For the Supreme Court the main source of appointees is the Circuit Court of Appeals, which in turn is filled primarily with judges from the Federal District Courts. If you want to sit on the federal bench before you’re old and grey you’ll need to be a lawyer from a top law school. While that is not by any means the exclusive path to SCOTUS, it does demonstrate my pipeline analogy.
If admissions into top law schools are disproportionately male, the entire pipeline will be disproportionately male as well. Male lawyers means male judges, justices and SCOTUS appointees. Anyone who works around the legal system knows that it is still a male dominated profession. The best long-term solution is not to promote women disproportionate to their overall numbers (although it is a valid and important short-term remedy) but to focus on increasing the admission of women to top law schools and their appointment to the bench at the lower levels. Feed the pipeline at one end and you’ll change the results at the other.
It doesn’t start with post-graduate programs or even college admissions. It starts at the “K” end of the “K-12” system. When girls receive subtle (and not-so subtle) messages that their future roles in society include babymaking, housework and support staff, but not leading or decision making, you’re feeding the pipeline incorrectly.
Do not cut Barack Obama any slack, do not “wait and see” what he does before you say anything. Demand equality. Misbehave.