The Gendering of American Politics: Founding Mothers, Founding Fathers, and Political Patriarchy
The gendering of American poltics began as a compromise between traditional patriarchal ideals that subordinated all women to male authority and revolutionary norms that recognized women's capacity for independence, reason, and patriotism. That compromise was manifested in the doctrine of republican womanhood which perpetuated women's exclusion from citizenship but afforded women sufficient educational opportunity and family influence to raise citizens and educate statesmen for the new republic. The gendering of American politics was concluded by a second compromise. The founders often expressed a desire to exclude disorderly men from public life and empower a few heroic men to exercise great leadership powers, but they generally settled for granting weak citizenship to most white family men and supporting elite government by accomplished gentleman legislators.