Little Has Changed For Lady Pols

When Erika Falk began delving into the press coverage of female presidential candidates between 1872 and 2004, she found little change. Surprising, given that in 1872 women didn't have the right to vote and could not be served alone in a restaurant after 6 p.m. "When you compare the amount of coverage they get to men over the years, women have about half as many articles written about them," says Falk, a Johns Hopkins University professor and author of the upcoming book Women for President. Falk notes that women are more likely to have their appearance scrutinized and less likely to have their policy positions covered.

In this race, Sen. Hillary Clinton gets her title dropped and is referred to by her first name far more often than the guys. And while Falk also found that though Clinton got less coverage than male pols in the first month on the presidential trail, she was just as likely to have her policies covered. Yet female pols are still considered novelties, says Falk: "When a woman runs, we still think, 'Oh, how unusual.' "

By Anna Mulrine


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