gender composition of 114th Congress and over time

Chart of the Day: The 114th Congress is 80 percent male and equally white

As the 114th Congress convenes for the new session today, here’s a little visual reminder of just how far from being a representative democracy the US really is.  

The new Congress, which is one of the most diverse in our history (uh, yay?), is made up of roughly 20 percent women and even fewer people of color, which is a very slight improvement over the last one. If you’re a glass half-full kinda person, though, you may be heartened to see these minuscule steps towards diversity in the context of the centuries upon centuries of white, male rule that preceded it. (Check out the charts on Congress’s racial composition, which look very similar, at the Washington Post.)

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Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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