Expanding the Playing Field

Wednesday, I saw a tweet from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota that made me smile and giggle (smiggle?). It said:

“New senators here. W/ 20 women we had our first-ever in U.S. history traffic jam in women senators’ restroom. #somerecordsmustbebroken”

This past election concluded with some amazing feats that took a giant stab at the glass ceiling, and I am proud to say I was heavily involved in it at a state-wide level. Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 election results:

  • For the first time in United States history, we have a record twenty women elected to the United States Senate (including Senator Amy Klobuchar).
  • Within the mix is U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, who is also the first openly homosexual senator.
  • In New Hampshire, they are boasting the first-ever all-female congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, Representative-elects Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, and Governor-elect Maggie Hasan.
  • Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will be the first Hindu American to serve in Congress.
  • Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts became the state’s first female U.S. Senator.

It is also worth noting that men with extremely oppressive views on reproductive rights ended up losing their elections, such as Representative Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock (whomp whomp whomp).

While this election brought a deeper level of diversity to Washington D.C., it is only the beginning. We need to take this momentum and influence our she-peers in their youth to pursue public service fearlessly.

Wednesday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was asked by NBC Reporter Luke Russert about her decision to stay in her position despite her age (72). Her response, while definitely fiery, is something to think about strongly, especially as women students who may be overwhelmed with the idea of pursuing their career dreams while juggling other dreams such as family. Despite all the various important priorities of a woman’s life, it is possible, and it is imperative that we try from our younger days.

With that being said, the Women’s Center has an awesome opportunity coming up next semester to cultivate young women leaders on our campus to become fearless and pursue positions in student government. The training is called Elect Her, and I promise: you will leave this training prepared and inspired. We hope that out of this training comes an influx of women of all identities pursuing student government leadership, and from there, becoming elected officials in various branches of government.

Women near and far, our time is now. There is no better time to shatter the glass ceiling than it is now. I hope to see you all next semester at the Elect Her training. Stay tuned–the application will be released soon!

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