The 2016 election left so many women upset and feeling hopeless. Clinton seemed like the perfect first female president with all of her previous experience and connections. Not only was Clinton beaten by a man, but a man who had expressed his disrespect of women in countless ways. The future seemed bleak, with a man who seems to condone sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex in the White House. I even remember crying reading Clinton's concession speech. She spoke specifically to women, acknowledging the lack of accomplishment in shattering "that highest and hardest glass ceiling". Clinton went on to tell all of the little girls watching to believe in the power of their dreams and to know they are capable of anything. In that horrific moment, it felt as if we would never reach the level of equality we deserve.
I have to say that my faith and hope was renewed watching the incredible women running to be the democratic nominee for 2020. While there are still over twice as many men as women currently in the race, there are candidates representing all different types of women rather than a singular candidate who is forced to speak for an entire half of the population. Each candidate has her own approach, her own strategy, and her own policy ideas. Women are finally taking the place they rightfully deserve in American politics.
On average, women beat men in the debates in terms of speaking time. On Tuesday night Elizabeth Warren claimed the spot as the candidate who spoke the most. Warren defended her policies brilliantly and reminded audiences about how hard she is willing to fight and how effective her policy has the potential to be. Let's focus on that fact for a second: a female candidate spoke the most in a debate for nomination for President of the United States. We certainly can have hope with women that strong fighting to be the leader of the free world.
Kamala Harris actively challenged Joe Biden, a powerful man in the Democratic Party. Harris would not back down, asking for answers to her pressing questions that were comprehensive and complete. Kirsten Gillibrand, who consistently fights against workplace harassment and was the face of #metoo, went so far as to question Biden on his previous statement from 1981 about how women belong in the home. These women challenged powerful men on issue after issue, proving to women everywhere that we are silent no longer.
Tulsi Gabbard showed the power of a female veteran and proved that women are perfectly capable of the knowledge needed to be Commander yin Chief. In all white, Gabbard stood on that stage as a symbol of every battle women have fought and won. Gabbard is never one to flaunt her gender as a strategy, but she subtly acknowledged her gender's roots in a beautiful way.
Even more than killing the debate stage, three women have already been given confirmed spots in the September debates, making it even more likely that a woman could indeed be the democratic nominee. It's time for a new era, in which women are capable of writing the rules rather than having to follow and fight against them.