Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Raising Ms. President

I can only presume that most of my readers are women (Hi, Mom!) and I can also guess that most of you have a desire, goal or wish to be, do, or become something.  
But how many of you hoped to become the President of the United States?  Or, president of your senior class?  Or the class representative in the 4th grade?  

If so, why?
Were you sure that you were an effective communicator, an easy going person that connected with others?  Did you know that you could easily represent others?  
  If not, why?
Did you second guess your ability to lead, to make decisions, or to reason?  Were you worried your peers wouldn't take you seriously?  

Same!  Women are conflicted everyday to make big decisions or leaps of faith because of the Confidence Gap, which is directly associated with women's thought process when thinking of running for office.  Sociologists and Political Scientists alike found that the reason women weren't running for office was more deeply rooted than their choices as an adult.  They found that from the very beginning we are socializing our girls in ways that might not encourage them to be a leader or run for office.  I know from experience when I announced that I would be a political science major, I was greeted with the "You're too delicate for politics" lines and "politics is a man's world" scenarios.  Clearly this is more common than we thought.  

Kiley Parker describes this as "a documentary about the reasons why women don't run for office and what organizations, families and individuals can do in order to encourage more women to run. Women do make a difference, but the problem of getting them to imagine themselves as political leaders is deeper and more systemic than many studies originally thought."

Here is an infographic that explains the benefits of women in power.

We were lucky enough have the chair of our Political Science department bring Kiley Parker to Washington College for a film screening.  I was so energized after the documentary and I really think that at some point down the road, I would love to work for an organization that inspires women to run for office.  Let's make sure we are asking our little girls just as often as we ask our little boys, "Do you want to be the President of the United States?"  And hopefully soon enough we will see our first Ms. President.  

Be sure to follow Kiley Parker's journey on Twitter at @RaisingMsPresident & follow Raising Ms President on Pinterest!  

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