chapter  8
20 Pages

Where We Are

Women of the Twenty-first Century

For women, housework and child care still play major roles in their decisions to pursue political careers. In contrast, "Men pursue goals of whatever type with a single-mindedness absent in women"; women tend to consider the impact on their families. Just as the first women were running for Congress in the early twentieth century, the development of careerism made it more difficult for women to succeed. The system has evolved to the point where incumbents are typically unbeatable. The combination of low approval ratings for President Bush and these scandals produced a substantial Democratic victory. The Democrats gained thirty seats in the House of Representatives and six seats in the Senate. In the House elections, no Democratic incumbents were defeated, nor did the Republicans capture any open seats defended by the Democrats. Without doubt, cultural and social attitudes have changed since the 1950s. A college degree is now regarded as important to the futures of both men and women.