The next set of Democratic debates are coming up. Here’s something to keep in mind.

By Gilda Geist by on July 29, 2019

"Rally at US Sen 0197 Senator Elizabeth Warren" by mdfriendofhillary is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
"U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at L.A.'s Families Belong Together March" by lukeharold is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

Less than three years after the 2016 presidential election, a pattern is already emerging. Once again, we’re seeing intelligent, qualified women candidates being snubbed by voters who can’t seem to wrap their heads around the idea that a woman can be president.

In his recent opinion piece in The Washington Post, Robert J. Samuelson claims that though the 2020 Democratic candidates were “articulate,” “intelligent,” and “ambitious … without seeming too egotistical or ruthless,” none of them “seemed ‘presidential.’” But if not intelligence and ambition, what makes a candidate seem presidential? There are many answers, but the one that stands out in a presidential election cycle with a historical number of women candidates is gender. 

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 26, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 26, 2019

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(Photos by Justin Sullivan and Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Dear friends,
The Pew Research Center released data this week on attitudes toward women as candidates for the presidency and overall the trend is positive for women's leadership though some differences persist along partisan lines. Interestingly, those surveyed believe that women face barriers when running for office - addressing structural barriers is of course central to the mission of RepresentWomen:

 

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Interview with Pantsuit Politics

By Gilda Geist by on July 25, 2019

At a time when political tensions are high and the number of women in elected office is low, I asked Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers, the hosts of the podcast Pantsuit Politics, for their takes on how partisanship and women’s representation influence one another. With Holland on the left side of the political spectrum and Silvers on the right, the show features what their website calls, “grace-filled political conversations.” Since Holland and Silvers have been talking politics (politely) on the air since November 2015, they seemed like the perfect people to ask about where our society’s political conversations are taking us in terms of women’s representation.

 

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What we can learn from women leaders in Indonesia

By Gilda Geist on July 25, 2019

The RepresentWomen team met with a group of politically engaged women from Indonesia this week. They were visiting the United States as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which connects current and aspiring politicians abroad with their American counterparts. We were happy to sit down with these women to discuss women’s political participation and representation in our respective countries.

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Theresa May: More than just a failed Brexit deal

By Marilyn Harbert by on July 24, 2019

"UK offered Nissan $100 million to ease its Brexit fears" by Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

"UK offered Nissan $100 million to ease its Brexit fears" by Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Love her or hate her, today Theresa May tendered her resignation to the Queen and stepped down as U.K. Prime Minister. With net favorability ratings in the U.K. lower than U.S. President Donald Trump, many people will celebrate her departure. But as a strong advocate for gender parity in the Conservative Party and a female head of government when the world is short quite a few, she should be missed.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 19, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 19, 2019

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Happy 171st Anniversary of the Seneca Falls Women's Convention,

Today marks the 171st anniversary of a milestone in the conversation about women's equality in the United States. According to this post from the National Park Service the conversation was heated - matching the outside temps - as participants debated competing strategies to advance women's equality. Was it best to push for full voting rights or pursue other tactics. In many respects this important dialogue about strategy continues. I believe that we owe a debt to those early advocates to continue to think outside the box about what is possible and what is necessary:

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The 171st anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention

By Gilda Geist by on July 19, 2019

One hundred seventy-one years ago, hundreds of people convened in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19, 1848 for the first American women’s rights convention that would eventually spark the suffrage movement in the United States. Approaching the 171st anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, let’s assess how far we’ve come.

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Why gender categories are necessary for the Emmys

By Gilda Geist by on July 16, 2019

It will take a long time before there are enough Kate McKinnons, Mindy Kalings, Samantha Bees, or Maya Rudolphs to convince people that women are funny. That’s why the Emmys have gender categories. 

The “Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series” category for the Emmys is an absolute powerhouse. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Rachel Brosnahan, Natasha Lyonne, and more are up for the award. The “Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series” category is looking pretty good too, with Kate McKinnon, Olivia Coleman, and others in the running. 

Gender categories or not, these women are undeniably funny, and the gender categories are what allow them to be recognized for their humor and wit. Without them, these women could easily be buried by industry challenges created and exacerbated by sexism.

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Dr. Joan Perry was hope for Republican women. What happened?

By Gilda Geist by on July 16, 2019

Dr. Joan Perry and Rep. Greg Murphy have a lot in common. They were both candidates in the primary run-off for North Carolina’s third congressional district. They’re both doctors. They’re both Republicans. They’re both against abortion. But they also have one key difference — Murphy is advancing to the general election, and Perry isn’t. On July 9, in a race to fill a seat in Congress left by Walter Jones when he died, Murphy took home 60 percent of the vote, while Perry garnered only 40. 

This outcome highlights the Republican Party’s consistent struggle to elect women. While the results of the 2018 midterm election broke records for women’s representation, most of the victories were on the Democrats’ side. Democrats sent 89 women to the House of Representatives, while the number of Republican women in the House fell from 23 to 13. 

But why aren’t Republican women winning?

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Meet the Team: Gilda

By Gilda Geist by on July 15, 2019

"Being a politics major, most of the intellectual spaces available to me are dominated by men, so working with a team of driven and intelligent women at RepresentWomen is refreshing. I look forward to learning something new from all of them."

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