Colorado's Lady Politicians Are Kicking Ass

Illustration for article titled Colorado's Lady Politicians Are Kicking Ass

Colorado was the first state to allow women to vote and the first state to elect a woman to the legislature. Now, it continues to be a national leader for women in politics, with a legislature comprised of an astonishing 41% women.


A new biography of early female political pioneer Helen Ring Robinson explores the role of women in Colorado politics, how far they've come, and how far they have yet to go.

Robinson was a Colorado state legislator from 1913 to 1916. During her tenure, she fought unsuccessfully to have a law passed that would allow women to serve jury duty ("Their delicate ladybrains are too fragile to process thoughts of crime!" said detractors as they wrung their hands and clutched their pearls). She also fought for minimum wage laws, claiming that what the government needed were women to swoop in and "clean up" all that government corruption.

Maybe the state with the largest proportion of female legislators in the country is onto something. Colorado consistently ranks among the country's best states in terms of livability and physical fitness. Colorado cities consistently top lists of best places to raise a family.

According to the Denver Post, Colorado has yet to elect a female Senator or governor. You know what to do, Rocky Mountain political types.

Noel: In the Centennial State, women rule [Denver Post]



But...isn't Colorado also kinda a haven for far-righties? Like Focus on the Family? And that preacher...Ted Haggard? Also, huge military population, who definitely swing right (I grew up an Air Force brat, so I feel safe in the generalization) Granted, I lived in Colorado Springs in the Regan era, so maybe my memories are a bit more...Red State. I mean, huzzah for women in politics, but I dunno how that fits in with some very conservative elements in the state. Are these women elected in spite of the Dr. Dobson contingency? Are they part of it? Curious about how this actually plays out...