With the Nevada Legislature reaching a historic landmark by having the first female majority in the Legislature, the eyes of the nation are on Carson City.
There have been a number articles penned on this subject but none did as much disservice to this achievement as one in the Washington Post by Emily Wax-Thibodeaux.
This article showed incredible gender bias and is guilty of the very things that they say they are opposed to. Male members of the Republican party are unflatteringly referred to throughout the article. Senator Cancela is applauded for her quick retort toward a fellow legislator, regarding vasectomies when there was a legitimate question regarding her bill on abortion rights. There is a comment regarding former Assemblyman Jim Marchant’s failure to be re-elected, alluding that it was due, in part, to his comparing the tax exemption bill on feminine hygiene products to a man’s jock strap.
The original interaction from the author with female members of our caucus was to do a bipartisan article that highlighted our ability to work across party lines and achieve goals that move our state forward. I would add that this is nothing new – I have served in the legislature for six years and this has always been the case, regardless of the gender make-up of the legislature. Nevada has always prided itself on leading the nation on important issues and doing it together.
The female legislators that were focused on in the article were noted as representing various Union interests, with bills that were being championed limited to tampons and abortions, while totally ignoring the multiple professions and issues that we represent.
The female members of the legislature represent several generations. Their professions are vast, including several attorneys, a social worker, educators, small business owners, a retired prison guard, a medical doctor, and an anthropologist, to list just a few. The bills that were sponsored successfully covered issues regarding occupational licensing reform, education scholarships, early childhood health, sex trafficking, juvenile suicide, code enforcement, access to health care, lowering prescription drugs, civil commitment, professional licensure and domestic violence. This is just a short list of the many issues that were addressed by our female legislators.
This article was really about identity politics. Not equality. Until we are viewed as legitimate policy makers, across all parties, we are not equal.