Women from the establishment versus the “squad”: feminine political representation styles in the U.S Congress

Abstract

In 2019 an historical record number of women shaped the US Congress. In addition to the increase in female participation, there is also a wider ethnic, racial, cultural and class diversity among these congress members. In this political universe, two highly contrasting profiles stand out: on the one hand, the women of the establishment led by Nancy Pelosi; on the other, the challenging "squad" headed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Based on an analysis of social networks, press coverage, and legislative performance, in this investigation both styles of political representation are contrasted. The main result of this research is that in relation to the patterns of proposing laws, voting and fundraising there are no differences between the squad and the women of the establishment. The main divergences reside in their public discourse, in the ideological platform to which they ascribe and in the style of leadership they exercise.

References

BARNELLO, M. A., & BRATTON, K. A.

(2007). Bridging the gender gap in bill sponsorship. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 32(3), 449–474. https://doi.org/10.3162/036298007781699645

CARROLL DOHERTY, KILEY, J., & OHEA, O.

(2018). Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party Identification.

CARROLL, S. J., & FOX, R. L.

(2018). Gender and Electoral Politics in the Twenty-First Century. In S. J. Carroll & R. L. Fox (Eds.), Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (pp. 1–14). Cambridge University Press.

CENTER FOR AMERICAN WOMEN AND POLITICS.

(2018). Gender Watch 2018. https://www.genderwatch2018.org

CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.

(2019). Women in Congress: Statistics and Brief Overview.

CONNELL, R.

(2006). Glass ceilings or gendered institutions? Mapping the gender regimes of public sector worksites. Public Administration Review, 66(6), 837–849. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2006.00652.x

DAY, C. L., & HADLEY, C. D.

(2001). Feminist diversity: The policy preferences of women’s PAC contributors. Political Research Quarterly, 54(3), 673–686. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591290105400310

DITTMAR, K.

(2018). Disrupting Masculine Dominance? Women as Presidential and Vicepresidential Contenders. In S. J. Carroll & R. L. Fox (Eds.), Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (pp. 48–77). Cambridge University Press.

DOWD, M.

(2019). It’s Nancy Pelosi Parade. The New York Times. Retrieved from All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world

FOX, R. L.

(2018). Congressional Elections: Women’s Candidancies and the Road to Gender Parity. In S. J. Carroll & R. L. Fox (Eds.), Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (pp. 198–219). Cambridge University Press.

GEORGIA DUERST-LAHTI.

(2002). Knowing Congress as a Gendered Institution: Manliness and the Implications of Wome in Congress. In C. S. Rosenthal (Ed.), Women transforming Congress (pp. 20–49). University of Oklahoma Press.

GRIFFIN, J. D., NEWMAN, B., & WOLBRECHT, C.

(2012). A gender gap in policy representation in the U.S. congress? Legislative Studies Quarterly, 37(1), 35–66. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-9162.2011.00034.x

HAWKESWORTH, M.

(2003). Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward a Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions. American Political Science Review, 97(4), 529–550. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055403000868

HILL, L.

(2006). Women’s interests in formal politics: the gender voting gap in three industrialized settings. In L. Chappell & L. Hill (Eds.), The Politics of Women’s Interests: New Comparative Perspectives (pp. 66–92). Abingdon: Routledge.

HILL, L., & CHAPPELL, L.

(2006). Introduction: the politics of women’s interests. In L. Chappell & L. Hill (Eds.), The Politics of Women’s Interests: New Comparative Perspectives (pp. 1–4). Abingdon: Routledge.

HURTADO, A.

(1996). The color of privilege : three blasphemies on race and feminism. University of Michigan Press.

KELBER, M.

(1994). Women and Government: New Ways to Political Oower. Wesport: A women USA Fund Study/ Praeger Publishers.

KENNEY, S. J.

(1996). New research on gendered political institutions. Political Research Quarterly, 49(2), 445–466. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591299604900211

LAWLESS, J. L.

(2004). Politics of Presence: Women in the House and Symbolic Representation. Political Reseach Quarterly, 57(1), 81–99.

MANSBRIDGE, J.

(1999). Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women ? A Contingent " Yes ". The Journal of Politics, 61(3), 628–657.

MCBRIDE, D. E., & PARRY, J. A.

(2011). Wome’s Rights in the USA (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

PALLEY, M. L.

(2007). Women’s Policy Leadership in the United States. Political Science & Politics, 34(2), 247–250.

PALMER, B., & SIMON, D.

(2006). Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling: Women and Congressional Election, Routledge/ Taylor & Francis Group.

PARKER, B. Y. K., HOROWITZ, J., IGIELNIK, R., OLIPHANT, B., & BROWN, A.

(2018). Women and Leadership 2018.

ROTH, B.

(2006). Gender inequality and feminist activism in institutions: challenges of marginalization and feminist “fading.” In L. Chappell & L. Hill (Eds.), The Politics of Women’s Interests: New Comparative Perspectives (pp. 157–174). Abingdon: Routledge.

STEIN, J.

(2018). What Ocasio-Cortez wants for America after beating Joe Crowley. The Washington Post.

SWERS, M. L.

(1998). Are Women More Likely to Vote for Women’s Issue Bills than Their Male Colleagues? Legislative Studies Quarterly, 23(3), 435. https://doi.org/10.2307/440362

(2005). Connecting descriptive and substantive representation: An analysis of sex differences in cosponsorship activity. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 30(3), 407–433.

TETRAULT, L.

(2014). The myth of Seneca Falls : memory and the women’s suffrage movement, 1848-1898. UNC Press Books.

THOMSEN, D. M.

(2015). Why So Few (Republican) Women? Explaining the Partisan Imbalance of Women in the U.S. Congress. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 40(2), 295–323.

UNION, A. C. L.

(2019). Legislative Scorecard 2018. Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/other/legislative-scorecard-2018

US CENSUS BUREAU.

(2018). Population Estimates 2018. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US

(2019). Behind the 2018 US Midterm Election Voter Turnout. https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/04/behind-2018-united-states-midterm-election- turnout.html

VICKERS, J.

(2006). The problem with interests: making political claims for women. In L. Hill & L. Chappell (Eds.), The Politics of Women’s Interests: New Comparative Perspectives (pp. 5–38). Abingdon: Routledge.

WELLMAN, J.

(2004). The road to Seneca Falls : Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman’s Rights Convention. University of Illinois Press.

Published
2019-12-30
How to Cite
Cruz Lera, E. (2019). Women from the establishment versus the “squad”: feminine political representation styles in the U.S Congress. Norteamérica, Revista Académica Del CISAN-UNAM, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.22201/cisan.24487228e.2020.1.389
Section
ESSAYS