I’ve always thought that when the demographics of those in power become less male and less white, there has to be some subtle benefits to everyone from the resulting minor shifts in attitudes or priorities. Even if the shifting demographics include conservative women and non-white males, I just assumed there could still be some progressive changes when the dudes in charge aren’t all cut from the same background. Basically if you have more women in charge, won’t the sheer numbers make sure that women’s issues aren’t shorted?
Well, I’m starting to doubt that. Rachael Larimore on Slate’s XX Factor blog dug a little deeper the idea that John McCain pays his women staffers more than his male staffers.
He doesn’t, but he does have more women as senior staffers than Obama.
Only one of Obama's five best-paid Senate staffers is a woman. Of McCain's five best-paid Senate staffers, three are women.Here’s the interesting part. Despite the fact that John McCain had a majority of women senior staffers, he still voted against pay equity for women. So either the three most senior women staffers couldn’t convince McCain to change his mind, didn’t try to change his mind, or also were against the pay equity bill.
Of Obama's top 20 salaried Senate staffers, seven are women. Of McCain's top 20 salaried Senate staffers, 13 are women.
At least when Elizabeth Dole voted against the bill she sounded sorry about it. John McCain tried to imply they didn’t need to ensure equal pay for equal work at all, women just need to get more education.
So yeah, John McCain hires more women but other than those three individual women it doesn’t help women-at-large.