A Vision of Integrative Leadership
There are more people buried in Arlington [National Cemetery] than you think. On the back of many tombstones -- who would look there? -- is another inscription. It says, "His Wife." That's it. His Wife. A few, very few, say something like "Lucy, His Wife." Almost never a date of birth or death. Buried behind Her Husband, not next to him, no tombstone of her own.
-- Maxine Berman, The Only Boobs in the House Are Men
State Representative Maxine Berman describes the anonymity of the unknown wives of Arlington cemetery to drive home the point that women remain collectively invisible in American politics. In a bitingly sarcastic, sometimes bawdy portrayal of life in the Michigan State Legislature, Representative Berman laments the absence of women wielding visible political power and wonders whether politics and legislatures would be different if they did. 1 The picture of women as committee leaders suggests that when legislatures reflect the diversity in the general population, they also may "think, feel, reason and act" in a different fashion. Indeed, the perspective from the other side of the tombstone has the potential to be quite different.
I conclude where I began this inquiry by interrelating gender, leadership, and legislatures, the institutional context in which committee chairs "do leadership." By studying women in legislative leadership roles, a distinctive pattern of legislative leadership emerges. Just as Jeane Kirkpatrick proclaimed twenty years ago "political woman exists" 2 here too the most important conclusion is that an integrative style of legislative leadership exists and is more visible in the committee behavior of women than of men.
At the outset, I described two styles of leadership drawing from a variety of theoretical perspectives. These two types -- aggregative leadership and integrative leadership -- differ in their underlying logics, their styles of behavior, and their structure and purpose. (Recall figure 2.1 in chapter 2.) Integrative leader-