• Congressional Hearings Are Sausagefests

    Birth Control Hearing

    Remember Darrell Issa's birth control hearing, a fair and balanced examination of the Obama administration's contraception insurance mandate titled, seriously, "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State: Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?"

    At the time, commentators expressed amazement at the amount of balls it took for a bunch of men to stage a hearing on reproductive rights. As it happens, it took five pairs of balls and zero lady parts, because the witnesses on the first panel were exclusively men from conservative religious organizations.

    But now it's time to make some points in the panels' defense. First, it was clear from the looks and demeanor of the panelists that none of them would ever need birth control. Secondly, all the womanly hysterics over the lack of female representation at the birth control hearings was misplaced, because — good news! — it turns out there are often zero women witnesses at any Congressional hearing.

    A review by Women Impacting Public Policy, a  nonpartisan organization which educates and advocates on behalf of women-owned businesses, found that 43% of congressional committee hearings involving private witnesses failed to include a single woman on the panels.

    The worst offenders were the Democratically-controlled Senate Armed Services and Budget committees, which excluded women 83% and 63% of the time, respectively. The House Armed Services Committee was a close runner-up, holding hearings without a single woman 59.26% of the time. Even committees tasked with issues like health and education, over which nurture-minded females might worry their pretty little heads managed to exclude women roughly 20% of the time.

    Finally, we figured out what the Capitol Rotunda was for. It's as close as members of Congress can get to building a treehouse with a No Girls Allowed sign, without raising suspicions about their maturity.

    Tags: Democrats, House of Representatives, Men and Women, Republicans, Senate


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