“Yes, thank you,” the representative replied, waiting for the operator to spot her blue pin with the congressional seal.

A small sorority worked to penetrate the good ol’ boys club (and not be mistaken for staff). “With so many new women and minorities, everyone’s constrained to be politically correct,” Charles Wilson, the colorful Texas representative, told me that year. He deadpanned that he tried to irritate his colleague Patricia Schroeder of Colorado “by calling her Babycakes, but that’s about it.”

Despite stereotypes — “The word was women could not get along,” the former California senator Barbara Boxer recalled Friday to Katy Tur of MSNBC — women worked together to buck rules about how they couldn’t wear pants on the Senate floor and lobbied for a women’s restroom off the House floor so they wouldn’t have to trek to the women’s reading room. (That wouldn’t happen until 2011.)

Representative Louise Slaughter of New York told Hillary Clinton, the new first lady, of trying to include women’s health issues in the budget, noting: “It’s almost certainly the first time that these guys on the budget committee heard words like ‘cervix,’ ‘ovaries’ and ‘breasts’ spoken out loud.”

Hillary drolly riposted, “At least in that context.”

Nancy Pelosi told us at a lunch for women journalists last December that she never made it into a Democratic speaker’s office until she became the Democratic speaker.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *