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Why I Find Senator Tammy Duckworth Bringing Her Child To The Senate Inspiring

Senator Tammy Duckworth recently made history, and national headlines, by being the first person to bring a baby onto the Senate floor for a vote. The Senate only recently changed its rules to allow senators to bring their infants onto the chamber floor. During floor votes, a lawmaker must be present in person to vote. The change was submitted by Duckworth, after becoming the first senator to give birth while in office. The change is both progressive and inspiring. It allows women, such as Duckworth, to continue to accomplish their duties while caring for their children.

Political positions are notoriously male-dominated, meaning that very few women are often included when passing and voting on laws. This makes it even more inspiring that a woman, in Duckworth’s position, not only got to that place but continues to make strides for women who will come after her. While more people continue to push for inclusion and equality, including equality in the workplace, this is a huge step in the right direction. If the rules within political buildings enforced on political leaders are gendered and unfair, it sets a precedent for laws in every other workplace. Submitting and creating change in such a large, political setting sets a precedent that will cause other workplaces to take notice.

I believe that feminism is about more than what mainstream media critics might label it as. It isn’t “bitchy,” “man-hating” women, and it isn’t only women who burn their bras and refuse to wear makeup. It is equality, fully and totally, in all aspects of life. If women, like Duckworth, have children and are restricted in their ability to access them, it is unfair treatment. Men do not have to worry about breastfeeding their newborns, so a rule that singles out women due to their biological abilities is inequality. Whether a woman wants to be a working mother, a stay at home mother, or have no children at all, she should also be given fair and equal treatment in the workplace.

I look up to women, like Tammy Duckworth, who continue to pave the way for woman leaders of tomorrow. I can only aspire to one day make a change that, too, creates a world of equal opportunity.

Savanna is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago who loves to eat fries and discuss policy.
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