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Tailored for courses on women and politics, elections, and gender politics, [this book] strikes a balance between highlighting the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2008 elections and providing a deeper analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape electoral politics in the United States.
For the first 128 years of our country's history, not a single woman served in the Senate or House of Representatives. All of that changed, however, in November 1916, when Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress--even before the Nineteenth Amendment gave women across the U.S. the right to vote. Beginning with the women's suffrage movement and going all the way through the results of the 2012 election, Ilene Cooper deftly covers more than a century of U.S. history in order to highlight the influential and diverse group of female leaders who opened doors for women in politics as well as the nation as a whole.
Women are less likely than men to be recruited to run for office. They are less likely than men to think they are qualified to run for office. And they are less likely than men to express a willingness to run for office in the future. This gender gap in political ambition persists across generations and over time. Despite cultural evolution and society's changing attitudes toward women in politics, running for public office remains a much less attractive and feasible endeavor for women than men
It was all as unpredictable as it was riveting: Hillary Clinton's improbable rise, her fall and her insistence on pushing forward straight through to her remarkable phoenix flight from the race; Sarah Palin's attempt not only to fill the void left by Clinton, but to alter the very definition of feminism and claim some version of it for conservatives; liberal rapture over Barack Obama and the historic election of our first African-American president; the media microscope trained on Michelle Obama, harsher even than the one Hillary had endured fifteen years earlier. Meanwhile, media women like Katie Couric and Rachel Maddow altered the course of the election, and comedians like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler helped make feminism funny. As Traister sees it, the 2008 election was good for women.