When you grow up thinking that something is one way and everything you learn, see, and hear affirms it, you believe it.
That’s why I used to think that only men could be presidents. I believed that along with age, citizenship, and residency requirements, there was also a gender requirement to be President.
When young girls grow up and learn about the history of male presidents, watch TV and only see masculine figures on Capitol Hill, and look down their blocks and only see male names on campaign posters, how are they supposed to think any different?
But history is in the making.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency, more women than ever are making their voices heard and standing up for women’s issues.
In the upcoming general election on November 6, there is a record breaking number of women running for state and national offices such as governor and Congress. According to Bloomberg, 256 out of 524 women who ran in the Democratic and Republican primaries for Congress advanced to the general election. But that number isn’t final. 5 more female candidates from Louisiana and Mississippi are pending until their primaries are held on November 6.
Strides are being made in Wisconsin, too. For the first time in history, two women are running against each other for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat. Leah Vukmir is challenging the incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin, whose 2013 Senate election was monumental. Sen. Baldwin was the first ever female Senator in Wisconsin and the first openly gay Senator in the United States to be elected to Senate.
According to the Pew Research Center, currently 23 percent of Senators, 19.3 percent of U.S. Representatives, 25.4 percent of state legislatures, and 12 percent of state governors are women.
More women need to be elected to office, not just because they’re women, but because we need our voices heard. As 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2010 Census, it is only fair that women are equally represented on Capitol Hill.
Women running for office inspire change and prove that women’s issues matter.
The November 6 ballot will weigh heavy with issues that affect women: ending violence against women, reproductive rights, immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, gun control, economic justice, racial equality, and college debt.
It’s more important for women to vote now than ever. Women are on the ballot, women’s issues are on the ballot, and women have the opportunity to make a difference with their civic duties.
History is being made, but women still have a long way to go before reaching representation equality in the government. Women still face opposition from male counterparts and the media, and women still face stigmas that they cannot be world leaders.
The road to parity will not be easy, but it will be worth it.
I vote because I believe history is in the making. I vote because I believe women deserve strong, fearless role models. I vote because I believe that women’s rights matter. I vote because I want all young women to believe they can one day, they can become President.