Women now hold 78 seats in the House of Representatives, and one-fifth of the Senate is made up of women.
But just as surely as time marches on, so it is the nature of some politicians to think themselves above those they are elected to serve.
Enter House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who wanted to celebrate the opening day of the 113th Congress with a photo of all the Democratic female members posing on the steps of the Capitol.
But when the time came to take the picture, four members were late and the Washington winter made waiting on the tardy a task too cold to bear. The picture was snapped sans the four.
Since the invention of the camera, standard practice for such photos is to include the names of the omitted in the caption.
But Pelosi is anything but a standard politician.
Pelosi, using Photoshop, doctored the picture so it looked as if every woman was actually there. Nor did she label the photo as an illustration.
Her second problem was this response:
"It's an accurate historical record of who the Democratic women of Congress are. It also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive and that they had to get back into the building to greet constituents, family members, to get ready to go to the floor," she said.
No, a doctored photo without a disclaimer is not the same as an accurate historical record.
Pelosi is not the first to publish doctored photos as original, but we deserve better from our elected officials.
With Americans' trust in their government and elected officials at an all-time low, Pelosi's defense of her action only makes matters worse. If one of the most powerful individuals in the nation thinks it just fine to present falsity as truth, how are we to determine the difference when it really matters?
The Joplin, Mo., Globe