Female Senators, Their Ranks Increasing, Reflect on Breaking Into the Boys’ Club

Welcome to the Senate

the idea is usually not uncommon for women inside Senate to suffer through a case of mistaken identity. When Ms. Klobuchar arrived, in 2007, she stepped onto the senators-only elevator, only to be confronted by a male colleague. “This particular is usually a senators-only elevator,” she recalled him telling her. “I looked at him in addition to I said, ‘in addition to who are you? I AM a senator.’”

Not much had much better by the time Ms. Heitkamp arrived in 2013. She recalled trying to step onto the subway of which connects Senate office buildings to the Capitol. A guard asked for her identification, which she produced. “So you’re a Senate spouse?” she said he asked. “I went, ‘No. I am THE United States senator through my state.’”.

Separate in addition to unequal?

For a long time there was no women’s bathroom on the second floor of the Capitol, off the Senate chamber. Ms. Klobuchar said of which when she arrived, there was a modest bathroom, not large enough to accommodate the Senate’s growing female population. So she in addition to then Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat who was regarded as the dean of female senators until her retirement last year, “self-appointed ourselves to the ‘expand the woman’s bathroom’ committee.” The architect of the Capitol presented them using a plan to add one stall. Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Klobuchar recalled, was not impressed. “She says, ‘You know what This particular is usually? This particular is usually a glass-ceiling bathroom.’”

Proper attire required

The men also have a better gym than the women in addition to the men’s gym carries a pool. When then-Senator Kay Hagan, the North Carolina Democrat, arrived inside Senate in 2009, she wanted to swim there, only to be greeted using a sign on the door of which said “men only.” There was a reason for the sign, Ms. Collins said. There were at least two male senators — she might not name them — who enjoyed swimming inside nude. Today, women can use the pool, in addition to the sign says “Proper Attire Required.” When Ms. Hagan lost her race in 2014, the women of the Senate threw her a goodbye party — at the pool.

About those bipartisan dinners …

Ms. Heitkamp boasted of which she ran the “most fun” dinner; she took the women of the Senate bowling at the White House bowling alley, in addition to bought her colleagues bowling shirts. “in addition to we got in big trouble,” she said, “because we stood on the lanes, in addition to they had to resand the lanes afterward.”

No children allowed?

Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, recently became the first female senator to give birth while in office. She is usually right now pushing to change the rule of which bars senators through bringing children onto the Senate floor. Ms. Klobuchar, the senior Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, is usually working with her. “Of course,” the senator said wryly, “my husband does joke, ‘Well what do you mean? There’s a lot of babies on the floor already.’”

Watch the full discussion, below.

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