2018: Year of the Woman

In 1992, women went to the polls in record breaking numbers and elected more new women to Congress than in any previous decade. Five of the eleven women that ran for the Senate were elected and 24 of the 106 women that ran for the House won. Thus, 1992 was declared “Year of the Woman.”

2018 could very easily be the second.

In last week’s midterm elections, 255 women ran for office in the two major parties. No matter their success rate, simply getting that mass amount of women to run is an accomplishment in itself.

Women don’t go into politics for many reasons. One is the sexual division of labor, or the fact that women feel relegated to the home. As a part of this and women’s sexual expectations of childbirth and care, the work schedules can make it even harder to care for children. Another reason is the ambivalence regarding women in power. Women in power often act masculine to fit in to society’s views of power, and are then given derogatory labels, however acting feminine is seen as weak. Along with these inhibitors, women don’t run simply due to their perception of having little chance of winning.

However, this year not only did a record breaking amount of women run, a record breaking amount of women won. Nearly half of Democratic women and approximately 24 percent of Republican women candidates won.

In addition to the large number of women elected, there were many firsts for minorities:

First Muslim women in Congress.

First Native American women in Congress.

First Latina Congresswoman from Texas.

First Black woman Attorney General of New York.

First Black Congresswoman from Connecticut.

First Black Congresswoman from Massachusetts.

First Lesbian woman in Congress.

Youngest woman elected to Congress.

Even before these most recent wins for women, 2018 was projected to be a year of the woman. But now? There seems to be no question. This year, feminism has fought back. Fueled by anger and the desire for their voices to be heard, women are rising.

Keep it up, ladies.

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made... It shouldn't be that women are the exception." —Ruth Bader Ginsburg