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James Brody June 24th, 2011 03:18 PM

Women in Politics
John Lott told us in 1999 about the effects of women's voting on election outcomes, government size, and government budgets.

A new study pinpoints 2010 as the important year and seems to ignore Lott.

“While female political candidates face some hurdles when seeking executive office, they actually have several advantages over their male counterparts, according to new research out of the nonpartisan Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF).

The study, “Turning Point: The Changing Landscape for Women Candidates”, conducted by BLFF in partnership with Lake Research Partners, American Viewpoint and Hughes & Company, showed how 2010 changed the environment for women seeking governorships, making being a woman more of a political positive than ever before.

Peter Csermely (2006) lays out a framework for both Lott’s conclusions, the 2011 study, and for many others. The word, however, is NOT encouraging.

Women often function as “weak links” that change their function as activities around them change. Resilience and flexibility appear as if the weak links were shock absorbers. Women are usually weaker as individuals but are networked to each other such that no one—man or woman—deals with just one woman. Women watch each other and move in unison, and their brains are organized to do just that.
Their synchrony, however, is made more flexible and, therefore, more resilient when women’s lies become conditional truths that can be used or ignored in different circumstances. Families may survive intact for generations because grand mom and mom were not only stubborn but also skillful liars.

These organizations characterize the third of four phases in network evolution. Singleton-recruiting grows webs that change into “winner-take-all” … every participant is only a step or two from the center and never operates without collaboration with that center.
Meteors, invasions, droughts, floods, disease, earthquakes, and Martians can disrupt Stage 3 and collapse it into fragments for recirculation…
The ladies may love what’s happening now but most of them have no sense of the nightmares that may come tomorrow...


Csermely, Peter (2006) Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from Proteins to Social Networks. NY: Springer.
Lott JR & Kenny L (1999) "How Dramatically Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?" (September 1998). Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 107, Number 6, Part 1, pp. 1163-1198.

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