President Obama’s re-election got most of the attention Tuesday night, along with a few notable Senate victories like Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill. But as a citizen of New Hampshire, I had a very peculiar election experience: I went to sleep in a regular old state on Tuesday night, and I woke up in a matriarchy.
On Tuesday, my state’s voters elected a female governor, Maggie Hassan, and two female members of Congress, Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster. Since we already have two female senators, Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, that means our top five elected officials are all women. Ayotte is a Republican, and the other five women are Democrats.
New Hampshire often brags about being “first in the nation” because we hold the first presidential primary every four years, and now we’re first again: No state has ever done this before.
As Kerry Howley joked in Slate:
Is this a good thing? What if they all meet up and their cycles sync and they get their periods at the same time? What if there is some kind of national emergency and someone has to rotate abstract shapes in her mind while parallel parking? What if a giant spider invades and there is no one to kill it?
Assuming that no giant spiders are on their way to New Hampshire — I’m pretty sure I would have heard about it from the many bugs already in my home — this is a pretty awesome development. It’s not that all-female leadership will turn this state into a magical matriarchal paradise full of free birth control and mandatory year-long family leave policies. But it’s an encouraging signal to young girls, and it’s simply pretty darn cool for everyone else.
Photo: Children Inspire Design