More women in government than ever before!
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Politics and Activism

We've Got More Women In Office Than Ever Before, And We Don't Need To Stop Here

There is no limit to what women can accomplish

We've Got More Women In Office Than Ever Before, And We Don't Need To Stop Here

There's a famous quote from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: someone asked her, "How many women should serve on the Supreme Court?" and she said, "Nine."

That number sounds staggering for many of us. The first time I heard this, I thought to myself, "That's a bit presumptuous, isn't it?" But it shouldn't be. Nine female Supreme Court justices should be every bit as acceptable as nine male Supreme Court justices; the people who are most qualified to do the job should be the ones doing it, and if nine women are the ones selected to serve on the nation's Highest Court, then nine women should be able to serve on the nation's Highest Court, just as nine men did up until Sandra Day O'Connor joined the Court in 1981.

You're probably thinking, "Yeah, okay, this is old news." You're right, but in a sense, you are also wrong. RBG's famous quote applies not only to the Supreme Court but also to every other government institution. The limit to the number of women should be equal to the limit for the number of seats, no more no less. The person most qualified should be serving the country, and if 535 women are more qualified to serve in Congress than our their 535 male opponents, then we should have a 100% female Congress. Of course, we all know that the most qualified person often does not get the position when it comes to a democratic vote, and that's the way it goes.

But in the 2018 midterm elections, we saw something completely unprecedented. We saw more than 100 women elected to Congress. This is still far below half of Congress, but it's noteworthy that so many women are now serving in the nation's legislative branch. There is significant research to show that women are more likely to foster bipartisan outcomes, and to show that descriptive representation for women makes women more likely to be involved in government on a more local level, which in turn shows that the needs and voices of "the other half" of the nation's population are heard.

All of this is to say that the election of more than 100 women to the United States Congress is pretty remarkable. It's easy, right after the midterms, to get caught up in the fact that Congress is now even more entrenched in gridlock than it was last week. It's easy to focus on the fact that Jeff Sessions was forced to resign or to focus on all of the ways that the end of the midterm elections means the beginning of the 2020 presidential election.

We must avoid getting too swept up in these things by taking a moment to remember that 2018 was a historic moment when women gained historic levels of representation. And, to paraphrase RBG's quote, we will not have reached the "limit" of female representatives until every better-qualified woman running for office has been elected to her office.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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