“Never forget that it only takes one political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be put in jeopardy. Those rights are never to be taken for granted; you must remain vigilant throughout your life.”
-Simone de Beauvoir
|A surge of female winners in this week’s state elections — most of them Democrats, and many of them women of color — reflected women’s rising power since the 2016 election, AP’s Sarah Rankin and Sara Burnett report.
In Virginia, Juli Briskman, a cyclist who was fired after she flipped off President Trump’s motorcade, was elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, representing an area that’s home to one of his golf courses.
In Maine, a 23-year-old Somali American woman was elected to the Lewiston City Council, defeating another Democrat and what she described as “internet trolls” who lobbed racist and sexist attacks via social media.
Tuesday was an extension of the blue wave in 2017, when Democrats picked up 15 Virginia House seats, with 11 won by women. The next year, three women in the state defeated incumbent Republicans in the U.S. House.
One of those women, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, said the campaigns in Virginia haven’t just been won by women, but they’ve also been powered by female volunteers and animated by issues women prioritize — such as gun violence prevention and health care.
Spanberger read Tuesday’s results as evidence of the success of centrist, pragmatic politics. She advised Democrats with national ambition to “pay attention.”
“People want us to act, to focus on solving problems, not be the most ideologically pure,” she said. “People are not expecting perfection. But they are expecting you to try.”
DT’s approval rating among women has been lower than with men throughout his presidency.
Pew Research Center data shows DT’s average approval rating over his first two years in office was 44% among men, compared with 31% among women, a gap in presidential approval wider than for other recent presidents, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
“(Women have) just decided, ‘OK, if someone like this can get elected, something is very, very wrong, and we need to start speaking up and changing it.’”
And I dreamed a dream.
I dreamed I saw a land. And on the hills walked brave women and brave men, hand in hand. And they looked into each other’s eyes, and they were not afraid.
And I saw the women also hold each other’s hands.
And I said to him beside me, “What place is this?”
And he said, “This is heaven.”
And I said, “Where is it?”
And he answered, “On earth.”
And I said, “When shall these things be?”
And he answered, “In the future.”
Dedicated to the women of Nov. 6, 2018
Remembering their earlier struggles, Anthony closed her letter: “And we, dear old friend, shall move on the next sphere of existence—higher and larger, we cannot fail to believe, and one where women will not be placed in an inferior position, but will be welcomed on a plane of perfect intellectual and spiritual equality.” The sentiment was timelier than anyone expected. Stanton, who had been homebound and in ill health but still publishing commentaries, died before the letter was published on October 26, 1902, two-and-a-half weeks before her birthday.
In her letter, Anthony sounds optimistic, despite her lament that only in death will they experience equality. She seems confident in the suffrage movement’s new leaders. There is a sense that things can only move forward for women.
-Humanities Magazine, by Katy June-Friesen, Volume 35, Number 4