By Sandy Lish and Evelyn Murphy
Women are poised to win several elections to powerful positions in state government next month, and we’ve heard talk in various corners of the business and political communities that some (mostly men) are ready to proclaim 2022 as The Year of the Woman.
Huh? The year — singular?
Perhaps the remarks were intended as a compliment, but it’s difficult not to see such simplistic designations as patronizing, a pat on the head, as if this year is an aberration, a once-in-a-generation occurrence, and the natural order of things will soon return.
It’s true that Massachusetts will probably have its first elected woman governor and a woman lieutenant governor. The state could elect a woman attorney general, who would be replacing another woman. Our treasurer will remain a woman.
Impressive, yes, but it’s time to accept women in political power as normal, not something exceptional to be treated like a rare eclipse. It’s what happens when women are given a chance to show what they have done and can do on a level playing field. It’s what happens in meritocracies, where the voters do the hiring. They don’t vote identity politics, they vote for competence and commitment.