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The United Boy’s Club of America: Equality is an American Fiction

America is supposedly founded on the idea of opportunity and equality for all — but who are we kidding, really?


We’ve all heard about the sexism that female politicians have to face. It’s an unfortunate truth; the general tone of misogyny found in American media is no less prevalent in the political arena. From Drumpf‘s vulgar snips at female candidates, reporters and moderators, to the undertones in litter-liners like The New York Post, women in politics are far more likely to be subjected to inappropriate media scrutiny and criticism than their male counterparts.

Lack of Representation: How equality is an American fiction

The United Boy’s Club of America: Equality is an American Fiction

The New Yorker’s cover showed all the potential Republican nominees (but, interestingly, left out the already-announced –and now irrelevant– Carly Fiorina.)

America’s propaganda machine dictates that we live in a country supposedly founded on the idea of opportunity and equality for all.

But do we really?

Take one hard look at how gay and black people have been treated by the US government, and it’s glaringly clear that justice, empathy and equality isn’t something that America has traditionally made a priority. Obama has made many attempts to remedy that, but he’s been continually blocked by bigoted and corrupt Senate Republicans.

That’s right — in 2016, after almost all other democratic countries have had multiple female presidents/prime ministers (including Pakistan — I mean, come on!!), in the United Boy’s Club of America, women still hold less than 20 percent of congressional seats, and just over 10 percent of governorships, despite composing a majority of the US population.

The United Boy’s Club of America: Equality is an American Fiction

The American government is a major sausage-fest

In fact, America ranks 94th in the world for percentage of women in its national legislature. This should be humiliating to our government, as we fall just behind Kenya and Indonesia, and barely ahead of the United Arab Emirates. But then again, if they wanted more women in power, there would be more women in power. Not surprisingly, at the current rate of progress, it will take nearly 500 years for women to reach fair representation in government. And that’s not by accident…

There’s no doubt: America is not a world leader when it comes to equality.

This is an especially important issue, because various studies have shown that having more women in politics makes a significant difference in terms of the policies that get passed. Female legislators are far more likely to try to get progressive policy passed on issues like the environment, support for families, civil rights, education, health, labor, violence prevention, incarceration and other important social issues.

The United Boy’s Club of America: Equality is an American Fiction

Here’s just one of many examples where America falls short in legislation that benefits women, including paid maternity leave, which benefits us all:

The state of maternity (and paternity) leave in America is absolutely terrible. Here’s why:

How are women supposed to have a voice, or stand up for women’s rights, when we’re outnumbered in every voting situation? In all types of positions of power, women continue to be largely underrepresented across the United States. I’ll save the almost non-existent representation of gay, atheist, black and ethnic people for another article; that’s a whole other can of worms.


Read more in the ‘United Boys Club of America’ series:


Tell us; do you vote in local elections? Have you ever voted for a female politician?

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 20 Comments

  1. It’s incredibly hard in the corporate work place. I definitely had certain co-workers that would only look at the opinions of men and ignore mine. But there’s also definitely very positive, very encouraging male leaders too, the ones that really help raise and encourage female ones. Those people are amazing!

    • Anne Dawson

      I know the feeling! My opinions in the office are usually set aside or last priority because my colleagues would consider male opinions and thoughts first. 🙁

  2. Ashley Moore

    Well I’m not interested in the politics too much but I keep myself aware of what’s happening around the country and what the politicians are doing. 🙂

  3. Shirley Fuchs

    We (women) face several obstacles to participating in our political lives. Gender discrimination can take place in many different settings, but typically occurs most often in many situations including employment and politics. Some women have overcome these obstacles, that even benefited the society at large. So wonderfully said. Thanks Hilary! You inspire us all. 🙂

  4. Mary Johnston

    Most profound information I’ve read. Women are always underrepresented everywhere. There’s always an been unfair treatment to us women in the workplace, athletics and academics. The residual effects of favoritism towards men and unfair treatment of women is the primary cause of this. Yes, I’m always participating in local elections and I’ve voted for a female politician.

    • Mary Johnston

      *There’s always been unfair treatment to us women in the workplace, athletics and academic.

      • Franny Pimms

        So true! I notice it where I work as well. Several of the men I work with stare at my chest just a bit too long, as if they want to make me feel uncomfortable. :/

  5. Hazel Collins

    Despite the increasing presence of women in American politics, gender stereotypes still exist. I would say yes to both of your question. For me, if i have a complaint about the way our country is being run, voting is a way i feel that i can make a change. I can choose a candidate to suit to my views. It’s not the only way to participate but it’s the easiest way!

  6. What I appreciate about your writing is you never fail to share articles or researches to support your thoughts. Thanks for sharing the article “The Legislative Effectiveness of Women in Congress.”

    Voting in local elections is an important step to encourage more women aspire and pursue political office, so YES I do vote and support female candidates in local elections.

  7. Courtney Watson

    YES, I participate during elections through casting my votes and YES I vote for female politician(s). But of course I make sure to take a look at their political agenda. I still believe that we can achieve equality though major political and cultural changes should happen to remove barriers to women’s interest in running for office.

  8. Gabby Williams

    Inspiring article! And the video you shared is alarming. As a mother, I understand the importance of having paid maternity leave.

    There’s really a need to raise awareness about the barriers women face in pursuing political ambitions. I’m sure there are a lot who are qualified but need motivation.

    Answers to your questions: BOTH YES 🙂

  9. Hannah Mayers

    Great article, Hilary! You reminded me of a study by Professor Jennifer Lawless of American University’s Women & Politics Institute entitled “Men Rule: The Continued Under-Representation
    of Women in U.S. Politics.” One of the findings of the said study was: “Female potential candidates are less competitive, less confident and more risk averse than their male counterparts.”

    I personally think that women should support women. We need to help female potential candidates be confident and pursue their political ambition.

    • I’ve read the research you’ve mentioned and if I remember right, one of the findings was: Women are less likely than men to receive the suggestion to run for office — from anyone. Well, if we look at the current political situation, equality is really an American fiction. But I think there’s still hope, we can still achieve equality.

      To answer the questions:

      Do you vote in local elections? – Yes, I vote in local elections. I make sure to find time and vote.

      Have you ever voted for a female politician? – Yes, I did vote for female politicians.

  10. Yes! I ALWAYS exercise my right (and obligation) to vote. I’ve observed that women’s political representation is dropping and this gender gap in political ambition have effects on women’s health, education and economics. I personally think that women can make a difference and we can prevent this political gender imbalance if we’ll go out, vote and support women candidates, this can help encourage more women be involved in politics.

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