CHAPTER Political Resources
This outcome certainly would not be predicted by dominant ideologies in the United States. Americans value democracy; the political environment is rich with concepts of majority rule, equality, individual rights, and popular sovereignty. The conventional explanation for this inconsistency between the theories of democracy and low female representation runs something like this: Women have had the right to vote only since 1920. It has taken several generations for women to acquire the culture and resources for political action, that is, to develop the interest, knowledge, and economic base to become serious players on the political scene. Women’s family roles continue to be a major barrier to their participation. Feminists tend to favor explanations that expose the cultural biases of masculinist political institutions (Duerst-Lahti and Kelly 1995).