New Hampshire Delegation is All One Gender, and Not the One You're Used To

What Women Really Think
Nov. 7 2012 1:15 AM

New Hampshire Is for Ladies

A young girl looks out from a voting booth as her mother casts her ballot in Manchester, N.H.

Photograph by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.

There was little doubt that New Hampshire would elect Maggie Hassan governor Tuesday, making her the only Democratic woman governor in the nation. Nor was there much doubt that Democrat Ann McLane Kuster would win the race for Congress in New Hampshire’s 2nd district, joining the state’s lady Senators—neither of whom were up for re-election—in the federal delegation. The question was whether Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, a social worker who says she turned to politics because of her experience cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina, would win the other House seat. She did. New Hampshire’s leadership is now homogenously gendered, and not in the way we’re used to.

Is this a good thing? What if they all meet up and their cycles sync and they get their periods at the same time? What if there is some kind of national emergency and someone has to rotate abstract shapes in her mind while parallel parking? What if a giant spider invades and there is no one to kill it?


Whatever your concerns, I will submit that this is a big deal, and maybe not as unlikely as it seems in a Congress that was only 17 percent female on Monday. You’d expect women candidates to cluster not just in places where they’re welcome but also in places where other women have shown that it’s possible. Now we can sit back and watch the lady-love spread to more benighted states, which is to say all of them. Or, alternately, watch New Hampshire burn to the ground.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.