On March 5th, Elizabeth Warren announced her withdrawal from the 2020 Presidential Election. This was an unsurprising move considering her disappointing outturn throughout the country following Super Tuesday. However, the impact of departure is not lost to feminists across America as she was the last female presidential candidate in the running. Her departure ensures that the next president will be a white man. The Democratic Party prides itself on its progressive platforms promoting universal health, gender equality, environmental conservation, etc. Yet, Democratic party voters are now faced with the choice between two white men in their late 70’s.
It is widely accepted that politics is a field that lacks equal representation, and the Democratic party is no exception. However, it would also be reckless to assume that the lack of female Democratic candidates reflects sexism within the party. As a party, the Democrats are ready for a female president, and they have been ready long before Hillary Clinton came along. This led to misjudgment of voting behavior for this upcoming election. Political scientists and analysts interpreted 2020 to be the year of the woman due to the backlash against a misogynistic sitting president.
As Super Tuesday showed, this is simply not true. Increasingly, there is a rise in an unhealthy voting behavior that sees people vote for who they think stands the best chance against Trump rather than who best represents their politics. This race has shown that electability is a critical factor, and unfortunately, Democrats would rather vote for Biden or Sanders because they believe that a white man has a better chance at beating Trump than a woman. It’s not that voters don’t see a woman doing the job of president; they just don’t think she can win an election to become president. The 2016 Presidential Election further supports this distorted idea. The misogynistic political environment established by the Trump administration created a tougher terrain for female candidates. The backlash against Trump fueled a successful political environment for female politicians at the local and state level in the 2018 mid-term election. But alas, it was not enough for the 2020 presidential race.
Most impacted by this are young girls and women across America. Since the women’s suffrage movement in the late 1800s, feminists throughout America have been teased with the prospects of having a female president. Despite progress in gender parity, gaping holes remain in certain fields where women simply don’t stand a chance. And in the midst of gender inequality, there are those who claim that enough progress has been achieved. If anything, this election should serve as a reminder that not enough progress has been made. The Brett Kavanaugh hearings should serve as a reminder that not enough progress has been made. The Trump administration should serve as a reminder that not enough progress has been made. The feminist movement is making progress, just not enough and we must remember that.
With female voters being the driving force within the Democratic party, the Democratic nominee (whoever it may be) will most likely choose a female vice-presidential candidate as a running. Politically speaking, this move will help with engaging female voters and boost campaign optics.