Much is being made of Nancy Pelosi as the first woman speaker of the house, especially since the 110th Congress began yesterday. Wow. While it’s important to applaud this moment, let’s put it into perspective. Patting ourselves on the back for finally having a woman speaker of the house is like throwing a celebration party for a pampered athlete who’s won a race after 109 attempts: the victory rings hollow and should have happened a long time ago.
16% of the members of this nation’s governing body is made up of women — that’s 2% more than the count on Wednesday, the Republicans’ last day as majority party. Women make up 52% of the population. You do the math.