Vice President Mike Pence served chicken with asparagus; the Office of Management and Budget opted for Chick-fil-A takeout; President Donald Trump chose chicken with Brussels sprouts and twice baked potatoes; while House Speaker Paul Ryan offered “memorably bad chicken Parmesan”.

As I studied the weekend postmortems of the Republicans’ failure to change the nation’s health care system it struck me: the media mentioned chicken more often than women.

In those lengthy articles, I counted more than three-dozen different men, identified by name, described playing some role in the process. I found just two women, both in Tim Alberta’s lengthy Politico piece. One was House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, in a cameo being interrupted by members talking about health care. The other: radio talk host Laura Ingraham, mentioned in passing as an example of where Republican surrogates appeared in the media.

The enormity of the health care defeat aside, the all-male power structure at work in GOP-led Washington is just as shocking.

It certainly contributed bad optics, as political communications folks call it, when Pence tweeted out a picture of exclusively male participants around a conference table discussing the health care bill.

That was Thursday’s meeting with the House Freedom Caucus—a group of 30 of the most conservative Republican representatives, all of whom are men.

But the male dominance was hardly confined to that caucus, or to the Congress. The White House staff and cabinet most involved, according to the reports, were Trump, Pence, Bannon, Mulvaney, chief of staff Reince Priebus, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, legislative affairs director Marc Short, economic advisor Gary Cohen, and the ubiquitous Jared Kushner.

Even the outside think tank influencers who got involved were men.

None of this figures to be much different on issues other than health care. In Congress, just nine percent of Republican members are women. Men hold almost all of the leadership posts and committee chairs, as well as top staff positions. That’s been true (and getting more pronounced) for some time. The Trump administration’s replication of that imbalance has come about more suddenly—and perhaps, because people have come to expect this from Republicans, received less attention than it should.

Yes, you can find some women who played a role in the AHCA process. Black led one of the committees that considered the bill along the way—although there has been little to suggest that changed or contributed much in the process. Conservative financial backer Rebekah Mercer is known to have considerable influence on White House policy, although not much has been reported about her role with AHCA specifically. Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway attended some of the health care meetings on Capitol Hill, though her function seems to have been very limited. And some women staffers likely did a lot in unreported behind-the-scenes roles, including Ryan’s chief of staff.

Still, the search required to find just these few women with any influence on the process is just further evidence of how overwhelmingly male it was.

Whether that factored into the ultimate failure of that process is un-provable—but a case could be made.

For one thing, studies have suggested that having more women involved, as lawmakers and top staff, helps legislation get done. There tends to be more cooperation, and less petty, ego-driven nonsense—and, according to the reports, there was plenty of that nonsense. Perhaps the most telling anecdote, again from Alberta’s Politico article, had Trump losing the conservative House Freedom Caucus by, of all things, off-handedly expressing confidence in their leader Mark Meadows, congressman from North Carolina. That, Alberta reports, made the other caucus members suspicious that Meadows had grown “too cozy with Trump,” which in turn made it “impossible” for Meadows to agree to a deal, because “he would look incredibly weak.”

To reiterate: a crucial negotiator blocked progress on a bill affecting millions of Americans’ health care and more than a sixth of the country’s economy, for exactly the same reason an eight-year-old shoots a spitball when the other boys taunt him as the teacher’s pet. Surely some women behave this badly, but one can’t help but suspect their presence might have helped keep this sort of thing in check.

Women’s input might also have altered, before it was too late, policy details of a “repeal and replace” bill with almost no appeal to the public. The Republican legislation, officially titled the American Health Care Act (AFCA), polled at a pitiful 17 percent approval and 56 percent disapproval at mid-week. That was largely due to provisions cutting Medicaid and subsidies for the poor, in order to remove tax increases on the wealthy. It seemed that perhaps the policy-making Republican men, accustomed to talking among themselves, didn’t even realize how that might bother some Americans—a likelihood seemingly confirmed when Ryan boasted, in a public forum on AFCA, that he had dreamed of capping Medicaid since his fraternity keg-party days,

And there were more of the types of comments we’ve grown accustomed to, from Republican men seemingly tone-deaf to the female half of their constituencies. More than one complained that men shouldn’t have to pay for pre-natal care coverage, and Mulvaney himself expressed indifference to women who might be unable to get maternity care coverage, suggesting that they could lobby their state governments in hopes of persuading them to do something about it.

For that matter, perhaps some women influencers in the White House might have stopped Mulvaney from releasing, and bragging about, a program-slashing budget proposal just as Americans were trying to make up their minds about the AHCA.

Americans were being asked to have faith that Trump and his team, through some vague second and third “prongs” of policy implementation, would never actually leave millions, including the old, the sick, and the poor, uninsured and without care and treatment. And just then, Mulvaney stood in front of the cameras with a grin to defend the defunding of Meals on Wheels, after-school programming, and health research. That was just one of the fathers of AHCA failure. Perhaps mothers would have done just as badly—but they could hardly have done worse.