Count the number of women running for president. And get used to it.

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

February 11, 2019

Count the number of women running for president. And get used to it.


By Margaret Carlson,

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) whomped President Trump and then ungraciously rubbed it in. At the State of the Union — which she had forced the president to reschedule — she leaned over and clapped in his face.

Women running for president, take note. No one is asking if the speaker is likable. They don’t do that when you win. And now that there are five of you, enough to field a basketball team, you shouldn’t give it another thought. Lose the happy face unless you feel like it, raise your voice, argue a point, get called for charging the basket and, yes, persist. Each of you has policies, foreign and domestic, to attract support — or not. There are funds to be raised, campaigns to be run, debates to crush and votes to get out. There are too many of you — more of you at the moment than men — to clear a hurdle men don’t have to. Your standard male member of Congress is presumed to be qualified without the added requirement he be likable. So are you.

As the Year of the Woman gives way to the Year of Many Women, the female candidates are woke to the ways in which they are required to pass a test they shouldn’t have to take in the first place. How sexist to hammer away at Hillary Clinton’s voice, her wardrobe, her hair (as opposed to the most bizarre pile of fur atop a head anywhere). Already, the last campaign is from another era: before #MeToo and Time’s Up; before millions of women marched, organized and voted; before they knew the damage a misogynistic president could do to women’s health, pay and reproductive rights. No one thought a U.S. president would orphan children to make a point about his wall.

A USA Today/Suffolk poll published in September found that the percentage of voters who would prefer to vote for a woman as an antidote to the mess we’re in was more than twice as high as the number who would vote for a male candidate. November followed and brought the largest midterm landslide in 44 years, driven by women. More than 100 of them arrived in Congress, and, if you’ve been watching, they’re not all that worried about whether you like them.

Click here to read the full article published by The Washington Post on 11 February 2019.

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