With the American government composed of sex offenders, eyes are turned towards women as we approach the 2018 midterm elections. If Kavanaugh’s appointment validated anything for American women, it’s that there is still so much work to be done.
Over the past three plus centuries, women have proven that despite adversity, we continue to rise above. Despite systematic mistreatment and abuse, women have proven their unrelenting fervor to fight back against our oppressors. This phenomenon is evident simply in the number of women running for office. As over half of the population, women are grossly underrepresented in government, with less than 20 percent of Congress made up of female-identifying representatives. This year, 2018, marks a record number of women campaigning, and an overwhelming number of campaigning women have come forward with their own stories of assault. This year, 256 women won state primaries, 197 of whom are Democrats. Democratic women have also won the nominations in overwhelmingly Republican districts. Three current senators, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, have announced they are strongly considering running for president in 2020.
Kavanaugh’s appointment served as a reality check for women, and showed us where our efforts to date have gotten us. Because we are not in a place we would like to be, women are more motivated than ever to mobilize and head to the polls on November 6. The outcry from women in support for Dr. Ford both during and after the testimony has taken the #MeToo movement to a new level, with slogans like #BelieveSurvivors now trending. Female-identifying candidates have been seen wearing shirts and holding signs that read #BelieveSurvivors to show support for taking women’s causes to the polls and incentivizing more women to vote.
The election of President Trump two years ago energized Democrats to take Washington back, and Kavanaugh’s appointment is simply more fuel for the fire. Recent events emphasize that our leaders value partisanship over morality. Our own Senator Susan Collins cowered under pressure and voted to confirm Kavanaugh, rather than using her womanhood to stand in solidarity with Dr. Ford. Many swing voters who voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election are more fired up than ever and are joining the Blue Wave that is sweeping the media.
Young adults, 18-30 year-olds, make up the largest voting-eligible group for the 2018 midterm elections. Young people also make up some of the most politically-charged, liberal-minded people in America, which is why it is important for students not only at Bates but all over the nation to vote in the midterms.
Women are looking to spark a revolution. From shattering the glass ceiling, to ending gender based violence, to making our voices not only heard but listened to, women everywhere have had enough. Women are prepared to use the Kavanaugh fallout to their advantage and take back control of the House. It may not happen in 2018, and it may not even happen in 2028, but I am confident that women will soon have equal representation in government. Someday, when a woman speaks out about a traumatic assault in front of the whole world and risks her safety, she will be listened to, respected, and believed. No one will call her a pawn or a part of a P.R. stunt. It took women almost one hundred years of fighting to get the vote, and even if it takes one hundred more, one day, we will have a woman as President of the United States of America.