Martha Coakley: FIRST female Massachusetts senator?
In the 221 years of Massachusetts’ statehood, it has never elected a female senator. Never. But now we face a historic moment where that could finally change.
Next Tuesday, December 8th, is the primary that could pave the way for Attorney General Martha Coakley to become a senator.
We had the pleasure of talking to Martha and asked if she has faced any different hurdles as a woman candidate:
“There are still different standards and scrutiny that women candidates come under and I think we can help each other with organizations like the Women’s Campaign Forum get past those.”
Martha is humbled by the opportunity to carry on the issues that Sen. Kennedy cared about, and is also grateful for his work in helping to pave the way for more women candidates:
“One of the things that Sen. Kennedy was so terrific about was fighting discrimination in any way, shape, or form. I think the work that he did against discrimination has allowed me and other women to run for office.”
But Nancy Hopkins from the Huffington Post asks, will women vote for a woman? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always yes. But why?
“One reason is unconscious gender bias: women, like men, don’t see women as having leadership potential.” [...] No one escapes the biases of their culture. As long as women remain second-class citizens, women as well as men will hold them in lower esteem.”
If all members of our society are undervaluing women, how will we ever achieve equality in public office? Will people ever be willing to stand up and say, “I’m voting for her because she’s a woman?”
We already know Martha Coakley has the merits and experience to make a great senator. The question is, will her gender encourage or discourage support from voters?
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