Discussions about politics can get rather intense, especially when the increasing role of women is thrown into the mix. You know that there will be that one person who will confidently assert that women in politics is not a good idea, what with all the mood swings and sensitivity we are all apparently born with. Whenever I hear talk about women in politics, I can’t help but think about my mom. And although I know not all women want to be or are mothers, myself included, I like to use my mother as a reason why women should be in politics. Bear with me as I walk you through the signs of natural political ability exhibited daily by one particular Puerto Rican woman.
Politicians today have to have very thick skin, as technology has made it easier for the masses to constantly watch over people and scrutinize every single detail about their lives. Today’s audience can be described as trigger-happy with insults and comebacks. My mother, at one point in her life, had two very dramatic teenage girls and a pre-teen boy on her hands. My siblings and I talked back whenever we were denied permission to something or were simply full of that teenage angst. But she was patient, orchestrating peace treaties with us, yet also being tough when it was necessary. She is an expert multitasker, doing a million things at 100 miles per hour while wearing four inch heels. And my mother is not alone in this. There are more than a billion women who are calm and collected but also finish what has to be done, despite being the so-called weaker sex.
Now my mother might not be running for US Congress, but this year there is a record number of women, mothers or not, who are. Rutgers estimates that 422 women are running for a seat in the US House of Representatives, 54 for US Senate, and around 207 running for governor, lieutenant governor, or other elective executive positions. A record breaking 34,000 women have reached out to Emily’s List since 2016 to express their interest in running for office, not only for 2018 but for the years to come. The women running for office in 2018 represent women all across the country, regardless of political ideology or race. They are continuing the work begun by Susan B. Anthony and Cady Stanton—fighting for the right to be heard and for their opinions to be considered.
The reasons behind this surge of women running for office can only be speculated. Could it be the Time’s Up movement? The increase in sexual misconduct allegations against men? The powerful women who have made waves in the past year? The inspiring women’s marches? Whatever the reason, women are fiercely challenging the male dominated political world, all while staying calm and collected.
-Maria Velasquez Soler