Written by Nicholas Hooton.
A coalition calling itself “Real Women Run” recently began a campaign to get more Utah women into politics (2011). They observe that about half of Utahns are women, yet they make up only 17% of the legislature. They point out that Utah ranks 43rd nationally for female representation in its state legislature.
Many implicit assumptions are held by this group. Since they aim to create interest among Utah women in engaging in the political process, they assume women should have an interest in it. Why should anyone have an interest in politics? As noted social critic Albert Jay Nock explained, “There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man’s needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means.”
It may be said alternatively that there is a peaceful method and a violent method for achieving one’s desires. As George Washington observed, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force!” The numbers cited by the Real Women Run coalition indicate that the majority of Utah women employ peaceful means to their ends as opposed to the violent means of government.
It is no mystery as to why there are more men in politics than women. I am by no means ashamed of my gender, but there are certain physiological traits possessed in general by men that result in other statistics, such as the fact that most serial killers are men. This group would certainly not see the disparity in representation in this group and advocate for women to become more interested in murder.
Psychologists have found that, although the genders are more or less equally aggressive, men are more likely to act out their aggression through physical violence, as well as many other risk-taking behaviors. Aggressive risk-taking and charisma make politicians electable, but also give them a high probability of narcissism and antisocial inclinations. It may also explain why marital infidelity seems so prevalent among politicians. It doesn’t seem that the traits that make for successful politicians are those that ought to be sought by women.
Another humorous assumption held by this coalition is that government is, or should be, representative of the people. Although this assumption is held near and dear to the hearts of Americans, it is not supported by history or common sense. Government is representative only of the interests – corporate or otherwise – that are able to successfully parlay dollars and favors in their efforts to secure favorable political treatment for their business or cause. Legislatures are nothing more than marketplaces for the political means, where legislators may be bought and sold, and their services employed by the highest bidder.
The lack of representation of women in government ought to be a source of pride, one of the highest compliments that can be paid to the gender. Instead of encouraging more women to be engaged in the political process, coalitions ought to encourage men – encourage all – to abandon the political process in exchange for the peaceful and voluntary cooperation and association indicative of a civilized people, a way of living women ought to be proud to have mastered.