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The Sciences

Holding Ourselves Back?

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumApril 7, 2009 12:25 AM

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I've long pondered why more women do not pursue politics. Madeleine Kunin, the first female governor of Vermont, composed an interesting piece on the subject after visiting a Women's Studies course where female students surprised her by expressing fear of being judged for speaking out. According to Kunin, we may be holding ourselves back by internalizing stereotypes about XX in power and politics:

Many women do not want to venture out into the "opinion world" until they are certain of themselves, the facts, and that they are right. They are afraid of being shot down. The result is often silence. To be political means to speak out, to risk being called "catty", or worse. I don't hear men worrying about whether they may be right or not. They enjoy the fight, whether it is with words or fists. Women still tend to shy away from controversy, to be uncomfortable with competition. Perhaps that is why only 17 percent of the members of Congress are female, and men are still largely running the country.

Read her full thought-provoking article over at HuffPo...

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