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

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

New Hampshire Is for Ladies

155651248
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?

Advertisement

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.