Female Candidates for Political Office

May 2022

Local laws allow candidates to access high-rise buildings for door-to-door campaigning.  Residents in these buildings can, at times, act in unexpected ways to this intrusion.

Female political candidates knocking on doors can be subject to attitudes and actions different from their male colleagues.

Men answering a door without pants create an embarrassing situation.  One candidate when asking “Can I count on your vote?” to a male not wearing pants received “if no one knocks on the door who’s more attractive” as a response.  Sexism can come from both men and women.  One woman answering the door commented “Ooh, I love your legs, I wish I had legs like that.”  For a candidate working hard to be elected it can feel as if their efforts are in vain.

At its best door-to-door campaigning is hard.  The candidate who received the above responses wore out four pairs of shoes during campaigning which included visiting 150 voters a day.

Candidates are intruding on individuals and their personal or private time at home.  Some make no effort at being presentable, personable or interested when intruded on at home.  Women can risk disrespect, condescension and danger when alone.  Female candidates get more comments about their looks, from men and women, than male candidates.