Chapter

The Question of Equality

in Real Democracy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226077963
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226077987 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226077987.003.0008
The Question of Equality

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From city councils to the halls of Congress, no representative institution can match the town meeting in terms of women's presence. Moreover, with a pair of minor adjustments, Vermont's local democracies could be the first to provide full representation for women. These adjustments stand out because of a most heartening surprise in the data: it is otherwise impossible to predict variations from town to town in women's attendance at the town meeting. In the context of this chapter's analysis, lack of predictability is perhaps the most important indicator of equality. Size might influence women's attendance in two ways. First, meetings with larger raw numbers of citizens of both sexes in attendance might have a higher proportion of female attendees. Second, the kinds of women who live in the more complex environment of larger towns might be more at ease as participants in the political process, especially at such a physically open process as the town meeting.

Keywords: local democracies; Vermont; halls of Congress; women representative; equality; political process

Chapter.  10049 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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