Ruth Marcus has an idea why more women do not get involved in politics, and, surprisingly, punditry. Considering what Hillary Clinton has had to suffer through (sometimes, someone said on CNN, it's "accurate" to call someone a 'bitch'"), Marcus' answer is surprising. She writes:
The ambition gap also reflected an underlying, and pronounced, cockiness gap. One-third of men, but just one in five women, rated themselves "very qualified" to hold political office; twice as many women (12 percent) as men (6 percent) considered themselves "not at all qualified." Men were more likely to try for federal office, women for the local school board. Nearly half the women, but fewer than a third of the men, said they did not "have thick enough skin" to run.
Those responses resonated with my own experiences. Becoming a parent tempered my career ambitions in ways I never anticipated. There are jobs I once wanted — jobs I'd be good at, actually — that now I would not pursue.
If the gender tables were turned, would Michelle Obama leave two young daughters at home to run for president? How would voters respond if she did? Would her husband put his career on hold to manage the family?
When the governor of Alaska gave birth the other day to her fifth child, my initial, not-especially-enlightened thought was: How in the world will she manage that? I have just two kids to juggle and no state to run, and I'm dropping balls left and right.
The cockiness gap, too, has parallels in the opinion-writing business. The undeniable underrepresentation of women on op-ed pages has always struck me as more a function of limited supply (women willing to speak out) than inadequate demand (male chauvinist editors). It is intimidating to put your opinions out there, especially in an age of online, highly personal vitriol. It takes a certain unbecoming arrogance to believe you have something valuable to say — even one time, no less week after week.
Sometimes the hardest glass ceilings are the ones women impose, whether knowingly or unconsciously, on ourselves.
Women, I guess, don't like to be called names–that's deep thinking.