The Women Behind the Blue Wave
It’s strange to reflect that 2018 might be the year of the woman when it was only in 2016 that Americans had hoped to see their first female president. But with a trade war looming just over the horizon, a migrant crisis fomenting on our southern borders, and special counsel investigation making increasing inroads into the President’s inner circle, we are indeed in strange, if not trying, times. But if the President and all his apologist men had hoped that women would file meekly into the voter’s booth this November, then they’re in for a rude awakening. Women aren’t just planning to vote in record numbers; they’re running for office in record numbers. And in a ratio of 3:1, they’re Democrats.
To comprehend how truly breathtaking this rise of female candidates is, we only have to look to our recent history. In 2016, for example, 167 women — Democrat and Republican — received their party nomination and ran for the House of Representatives. That number today for Democrats alone is 187, up from 120 only two years prior. That’s a jump over 50% and we see similarly impressive jumps in races across the country. In 2016, only 15 women ran for Senate, 11 of which were Democrats. Today that number is 23, 15 of which are Democrats — a 35% bump. Better yet, we see these numbers reflected in local elections, where 916 women are running for seats in their state legislatures, 655 of which are Democrats. To put that in perspective, 2016 saw a total of 660 women run for state legislature, regardless of party. Simply put, women all over the country are motivated, and they’re over overwhelmingly running as Democrats. They’re overwhelmingly supporting the blue wave.
However, as the NYT points out, even if women were to win every race in Congress this year, it would still be a far cry from receiving equal representation of their male counterparts. But a wave of female candidates could drastically reshape our legislatures, and not just in terms of blue or red, Democrat or Republican. Two years ago, we dreamed of a country where we could tell our daughters that she, too, can aspire to hold the highest office in the land. And it hurt to see that dream frustrated. It hurt to sit our daughters down and explain to them what expletive after expletive meant, and it hurt to explain why people would say them about women. It hurt to see our country brush the glass ceiling, but never break it. And while that pain is still fresh in our minds, a wave of Democratic candidates — of female candidates — can still keep the dream alive.
So to the President and all of his men, on behalf of all the women you’ve ridiculed, mocked, and disrespected for the crime their gender, we only have one thing to say: We are still here. We are still voting, we are still running, and we are still planning to one day smash the glass ceiling.