Last week, I noted the gender gap in the fight for D.C. voting rights—at least, among the roster of activists willing to be arrested for the cause. In the first batch of civil disobedience arrests following the federal budget deal that scapegoated District rights, male detainees outnumbered female ones 29 to 11. At a youth protest later that week, all three detainees were men. But the gender divide is shifting: At a women-targeted protest staged last week, eight women sat in traffic to stand up for D.C. voting rights (among them Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh). And in a more general action on the Hill yesterday, female detainees outnumbered male ones 6 to 2.
That brings our current total to: 34 men and 25 women arrested for D.C. voting rights. It may seem like a little thing, but gender parity in the arrest roster ensures that District women hold visibility and influence in the city's politics—and that they have the social support necessary to risk spending the night in the clink.