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Across the Isle but Still Facing the Same Problems: Kamala Harris and Amy Coney Barrett

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

“The future is female” is becoming less of a tagline and more of an actual reality for the American people. Women have stormed the political world and gained attention for decades now but two of the biggest seats are up for grabs right now, and they’re potentially going to be filled by women. Senator Kamala Harris is a candidate for Vice President and Judge Amy Coney Barrett was appointed for a seat on the Supreme Court. Two women on complete opposite sides of the political spectrum, but in one case face the same issue—sexism. 

1. Questioning their ability to run for office

When Senator Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden’s running mate, many opposing views filtered in. Surprisingly enough it wasn’t just because of her views, but because of her sex. It is hard to think of one occasion when a man was questioned on his ability to properly lead the country, but Senator Harris on the other hand heavily was. Trump was quoted saying, “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements…I have no idea if that’s right,” when asked about a theory of Senator Harris not being eligible to run since she is a daughter of immigrants—even though Senator Harris has been involved in politics for years, everywhere from California’s Attorney General to holding a US Senator seat. 

2. Sexist toned questions

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an established attorney, jurist and professor who was appointed by President Trump after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As usual, the appointment process began with hearings about ACB. Just two years ago Judge Kavanaugh sat in the same position; the only difference is, he is a man. Some questions asked to Judge Kavanaugh included the following: “What should be done about cases in which we later learn that a Supreme Court decision was based on bad information? As a justice, would you push for the court to revisit those cases? What would you do personally if you later learned that one of your opinions relied on data or statistics you later learned were false or misleading? What steps do you take to make sure that doesn’t happen in the first place?” These entry-level questions help to get an understanding of Judge Kavanaugh’s style. However, Judge Amy Coney Barrett received questions from Senator John Kennedy such as, “Who does the laundry in your house?” In a professional setting, her male peer felt the need to ask this type of question when discussing her ability to serve on the Supreme Court. 

3. Name calling

Political elites have not been shy about how they view Senator Harris. President Trump described Senator Harris as a “madwoman,” “condescending” and “angry.” His son, Eric Trump, was recorded liking a tweet calling Harris a “whorendous prick.” When Fox News host, Tucker Carlson mispronounced Senator Harris’ name and was corrected his response was, “So what?” 

Women have come a long way in politics, but that does not mean they’re equal yet. Democrats and Republicans have differing views on almost everything but do see the commonality of sexism towards women. Two of the biggest women in politics right now—Kamala Harris and Amy Coney Barrett—are so different yet so alike in the social issues they face on a daily basis and it brings a sense of humanity. Both women need to fight for the bigger issue, which is making it true that the future is female.

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FSU 23' Political Science Major Anything and Everything Cats & Coffee
Her Campus at Florida State University.