Politics and GenderAvenger: Counting Without Ideology

Last November, we declared, “Our journey is disrupted, but we shall not be deterred.” The GenderAvenger Team wrote that our mission of inclusion, based on deep convictions about the urgency and importance of diversity, requires a redoubling of effort to ensure that women’s voices would be heard.

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We asked ourselves "What now?," and you answered with a resounding "Keep doing what you do."

Since then, you have sent us GA tallies of events that disappointed and events that shone. Avenger Kathleen and Avenger Jess continue their counting of The Writer’s Almanac and The New Yorker. Kathleen finally got a reaction from someone at The Writer’s Almanac, and Jess alerted us to stay tuned as the new cartoon editor at The New Yorker begins her tenure.

We also noticed that attention to tech, finance, science and other industry-focused events, plus lists of the best of this and that, is now being matched by posts about the almost daily barrage of events affecting women’s lives in the political arena.

The GenderAvenger approach to this new outpouring of concern is to stick to our core mission: counting without ideology.

We don’t ascribe motive; we describe actions. Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron were Avengers of the Week after they appointed women to 50% of their cabinet positions. And we note when they fall short, as President Trump has, whose cabinet includes only 16% women. Interested in a state by state look women in government? Check out the Gender Parity Index created by Representation 2020, headed by our great ally, Cynthia Terrell.

While other organizations devoted to political action help guide understanding of where elected officials stand and whether, based on organizational priorities, they should be supported or opposed, GenderAvenger’s job is exclusively to examine whose voices are setting the debate. We don’t engage in political action.

We do pay particular attention to discussions of policy and who has a seat at the table. When community members tweeted about 13 male senators setting health care policy, we retweeted them, and when we were alerted by a tweet that American Bridge was holding a conversation about resisting the new President’s policies with not one woman on their panel, we retweeted that.

We need you to keep watching and counting.

We need you to keep watching and counting as think tanks and media outlets discuss policy across the political spectrum. We need you to fire up your GA Tally and let us know when you see a promotion of or are at an event where organizers should be complimented or condemned for their attention to gender balance. Remember, it is just as important to show that gender balance can be achieved in the public dialog as it is to show how disturbing it is when women aren’t even part of the equation.

As always, we count on your counting.