Male-dominated government explains why most complaints are against men
Published 5:47 pm Thursday, December 19, 2019
By ELAINE WILSON-REDDY
“Integrity: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY” — Merriam Webster.com
Last week, I wrote about the lack of integrity regarding a handful of local incidents that have occurred in the past few months. The column was posted on social media, where I broke one of my personal rules: I read the comments. Most of them were innocuous and one was actually very positive.
One comment gave me pause. A man asked why I didn’t call out the female congressional representative who said, “We’re going to impeach the m*therf***er!” Then he wrote, “but she’s not a man,” implying I bash men but ignore bad female behavior.
I have given his comment a lot of thought this week. He is correct, to a point. I did mention only men last week and many of my columns are about men behaving badly. We live in a male-dominated society, a patriarchy, if you will.
Our local Danville and Boyle County governments are all male, except for the lone female city commissioner. Male city manager, male commissioners, male judge executive, male magistrates. Our local schools are a little more diverse: Danville schools have a female superintendent and assistant superintendent, two male and two female building principals. Boyle schools have a male superintendent and male assistant superintendents, three male and two female building principals.
Men outnumber women in local positions of leadership 4 to 1.
In the state government, 31 out of 138 seats are held by women, or 22.5%, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Men hold all four of the Kentucky legislative leadership roles.
Our federal government numbers are similar to the state numbers with 23.2% of the House of Representatives being female. The current senate is represented by 25 female senators, a solid 25% of members.
Looking at these numbers, it’s no wonder men are called out more often than women for bad behavior. There are 75% more men in leadership positions, which puts them in the spotlight more times than women.
That’s not to say all women always act with integrity. When Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) made the above-mentioned comment, she was newly sworn in and speaking at a Move On event in Washington, D.C. Should she have used different language? Absolutely.
Cursing and name-calling from our leaders is unacceptable. I only have to point to the president of our country for his abysmal lack of integrity. The name-calling, lies, the contempt for people who aren’t rich white men, and his complete lack of respect for (and knowledge of) our form of government encourages lower levels of thinking and intellect.
Every time I think he can’t perform at a lower level, he digs and proves me wrong. This week, he insulted the widow of former representative John Dingell. Trump related that Mrs. Dingell called to thank Trump for the state honors afforded Mr. Dingell after he passed away. Mrs. Dingell said she thought her husband was looking down and would have been pleased. Trump, at one of his ego-stroking rallies, said maybe Mr. Dingell was looking up, implying he had gone to hell.
The people at the rally laughed and clapped. When the president of our country lacks even a modicum of integrity, it affects the culture of those he represents.
It’s no wonder there are so many men in the news behaving badly with Trump as a role model.
For the record, there are 6.51 million more females in our country than males. We outnumber men by 4% but they outnumber us in leadership roles by 75%. Our laws, policy and societal standards and norms are anachronistic, a throwback to the “glory days” of keeping women out of government and decision-making roles.
Until women are equally represented in leadership roles, headlines will be dominated by men.
I appreciate the comment by the male reader. He planted a seed that has allowed me to explain why men have been the focus of many of my columns. I’m cool with changing that ratio. Put more women in roles of leadership and watch the tide turn.
“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” — Samuel Johnson
- Elaine Wilson-Reddy, JD, is a professional educator, consultant and advocate. She lives in Danville.