The Senate was all-female this week after heavy snow kept everyone but the women at home.
Last week, much of the east coast was slammed with record snowfall, and spent the weekend digging themselves out. But when it was time for the Senate to head back to work this Tuesday, something interesting happened: only the women showed up.
The Senate convened for a short session this week to take up Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s “Energy Policy Modernization Act” after an estimated 18 inches of heavy snowfall buried Washington, D.C. Many legislators are still making their way back to the city, but as Murkowski opened the Senate session yesterday, she noticed everyone who’d made it in was female. She said:
“As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber and the presiding officer is female, all of our parlamentarians are female, our floor managers are female, all of our pages our female. Now, this was not orchestrated in any way, shape, or form. We came in this morning, looked around and thought, something is different this morning. Different in a good way, I might add.”
According to the political blog Roll Call, Murkowski and many others opted to stay in D.C. and ride out the storm, rather than returning to their home states for the weekend. Murkowski spent Saturday and Sunday giving updates on social media, tweeting about shoveling snow, and snapping pictures of people sledding on Capitol Hill.
In her address on Tuesday, she added that maybe so many females showed up ready to work because it’s just a part of our nature. “Perhaps it just speaks to the heartiness of women,” she said, “that you put on your boots and put your hat on and get out, slog through the mess that is out there.”
The lingering clean-up effort from the blizzard has no doubt made it difficult for legislators to make it back to work. Still it’s a pretty amazing testament to girl power that the Senate was fully staffed by females for a day when women only make up about 20 percent of it. Perhaps it speaks to our drive as women to overcome any obstacle in order to prove ourselves in a professional capacity. Or, maybe it’s that we’re just used to not being able to make excuses.
No matter how sick, busy, or inconvenienced we are, women are so often just expected to keep trudging through. We’re expected to shoulder the brunt of parenting and homemaking, and on top of that, many of us are also working to meet the demands of careers that we love. Women are rarely afforded the privilege of a true day off, and that’s probably why so few us are willing to take a “snow day” even when everyone else does.
Whatever the case, one thing is clear: blizzards are the new man cold and if you want to get shit done, you better call a woman.