Posted by: isabellarivascnu | November 10, 2016

Small (or Big) Victories

This election has been chaotic to say the least. The race was incredibly close for most of the night, with Trump coming out on top in the end. Some have described it as “one of the biggest glass ceilings almost being shattered.” While the nation is still processing what this means for themselves, some may think that this was a loss for the advancement of women in politics. But I believe that we have something to celebrate. In January, there will be 38 women of color in Congress.

There are many firsts among these women – Masto of Nevada is the first Latina senator. Harris of California is the first Indian American woman to serve in the Senate. Murphy of Florida will be the first Vietnamese-American woman to be in Congress. In the senate, the number of women of color quadrupled- from 1 to 4. On a state level, women of color are also making strides towards diversification of governing bodies. In the Minnesota state legislative race, the first Somali-American lawmaker was elected. Her name is Ilhan Omar. Kentucky just elected their first black female legislator in 20 years.

Progress is happening. At a relatively slow rate? Yes. But, progress nonetheless. Women still face vast underrepresentation in politics, women of color face even more underrepresentation. But I think this election has proved that citizens across the nation are taking notice- and slowly but surely, their votes are resulting in elected officials. Change is on its way.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/10/one-election-bright-spot-for-democrats-women-of-color/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/9/13570672/election-2016-women-of-color-senate-black-latina-elected

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Responses

  1. Yes! I really appreciate this post! I think if we do more to celebrate the small victories the American attitude would slowly change. An attitude of gratitude can change a nation and even the world. We should be so excited about the wins for these women instead of negatively focusing on whether or not your candidate won. I believe We’re going in the right direction and even though it’s taken awhile I think our future as women, wether in the work place, politics, or as domestic caretakers, looks very promising!

  2. I really appreciated reading this post. It is nice to read something positive after this election. It is so incredible to see the gains women of color have made in the Senate and at the state level. It gives me hope that progress will continue in this country. I am scared for our nation currently. We have made so much progress in many difference aspects including advancements in rights for women, LBGTQ, minorities, and others. These unconventional leaders are becoming more present in leadership positions throughout various realms. However, after the election we begin to see a rise of the traditional, classic leader–white male. I understand this only fits the presidency, but if our country is moving backwards will this trend continue to affect other sectors as well? It would be a shame for our country to step backwards. Like you mentioned, we almost shattered the glass ceiling. It would be amazing if we could keep ourselves at this point, and eventually shattered the so ceiling. Lets continue making progress and not step backwards. No matter who is in power.

    -Allison

  3. Realistically, we will have a female president one day. It could be in four or forty years. There are hundreds of factors that lead up to an individual being elected to President of the United States. Hillary Clinton did not have all those factors this election cycle. She could win in four years! A significant step we can take, as voting citizens, is to continue to elect lower level officials to reflect our society demographically. These thirty-eight new congress women will make strides for future female politicians. I am personally excited to watch their progress over the coming years.

  4. I hadn’t heard about all those women who were elected, or about the changes you discussed, and I’m glad you brought it up. Hopefully, change will keep moving in the same direction for women in politics.
    I still understand the frustration of “the glass ceiling that was almost shattered” however. As we say very often in class, you can’t be what you can’t see. For better or for worse, congress, and the policy makers in it, are not nearly as visible as the President of the United States, so changes there do not have the same mental effect. And truly, I think the glass ceiling is something of a mental block.Even as women gain influence and power in other respects, the world watched while the women who would have been the first female President of the United States, had the position snatched out from under her at the last moment. I think everyone is very aware of the barrier that seems to exist between women, and the most visible, powerful position in the United States.

  5. Bella, I absolutely agree with you- change is on the way. Regardless of the presidential election outcome, we as a country are making progress. There are more women being elected to local positions which is extremely encouraging. Not only are they beginning to hold more positions, but by them earning those spots, they’re being more visible to young girls that these positions are open for them to attain. Also, because more women are in these state-level positions, they will then be seen as more qualified for further positions and continue advancing and breaking the glass ceiling.

  6. I think that is a great way to look at things. The fact of the matter is even though she had trust issues which stemmed from both Democrats and Republicans and she still made it very close. It was fun watching the election take place, it was an election that was historical and we all witnessed it. One fact that I feel like somebody might have overlooked is that Trumps campaign manager was a woman, and she was essentially responsible for helping him get elected, that is a major plus!

  7. Thank you for sharing the positives that I think have been overlooked about this election. Huge leaps and jumps were made in the Congress this past election and it make me so happy that this happened. These women might not be president but they are still reaching and breaking those glass ceilings. It is hard not to focus that we almost had a woman president, as heart-breaking as that is we need to focus on these grounds we did make. Who knows maybe one of these women are going to be the first female president.

  8. I completely agree with that. What is interesting to know is that Hillary did win the popular vote and received more overall votes than Trump. That being said, the election is over and the results are in. I do think that we are making progress and being able to have a women on the ballot for the presidential election is a milestone in and of itself.

  9. Many countries around the world have been able to accept the leadership of women in such high authoritative positions such as the presidency but why does America still hesitate to accept this idea that a woman can become a president? I wonder if the patriarchal mindset is so imbedded into our culture that no matter how much we try to progress we still will go back to square one. It is encouraging to read that there will be 38 women of color in Congress. We are trying to progress towards developing the norm of women in leadership positions of high authority. But what must happen in order for the glass ceiling to be completely shattered?


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