Buying Politicians Is A Man’s Game

Rebecca Traister mulls the lack of big political donors among women:

[M]en have known for generations how to use money to exert influence and buy access, shape policy, and make inroads into the world of electoral politics. Women, by contrast, historically saw money not as a means to expand public power, but to ensure personal or familial security, survival, perhaps a slim chance of independence. There are many phrases for the small caches of money that women stash away: pin money, mad money, the Yiddish word knippel, which means a secret sum of money that a wife siphons off in order to protect herself and her family in case she loses the husband on whom she has had to depend. These phrases existand almost always refer to money used for the literal safety and protection of womenbecause money was so scarce for women, and chances to replenish funds lost on a bad bet or ill-timed investment were non-existent.

It’s not crazy that, in a contemporary context, throwing money at politicians and policy-makers would still be an easier, looser, more practiced move for wealthy men than it would be for even wealthy women, who we like to think of as having clambered over all the gendered obstacles of the past, but whowith 95 percent of CEOs still maleremain a very small exception to very long-standing male rule.