Politics and Power
*An understanding of the struggles of women to gain political power is important to the study of the psychology of women. The problems women face in the political realm are much the same as the problems they face in trying to find a place for themselves in any other nontraditional area of society. But because politics is such an important and power-laden sphere of life, women's efforts to gain access to political power present these problems writ large.
The efficiency with which a society runs, the goals it pursues, and the values that guide it are largely determined by those who hold powerful positions when important decisions are being made. Since its founding, this nation has denied women, who now comprise a majority of the population, full access to political and economic power. At first this denial was overt: Women were not allowed to vote, were not allowed to pursue certain occupations, and were generally not permitted to serve on juries. Progress has been made since then, but much of it has been slow, and today women are still discriminated against, though now the discrimination is often more subtle (see Chapter 14).
Before 1920, women were excluded from any formal participation in American politics. It was not until that year that the Nineteenth Amendment to____________________