Here’s what we do know: white men account for about a third of the U.S. population but dominate our political system. It’s not because they’re more “authentic” or “electable” or any of the other vague terms thrown around when candidates are discussed, but rather because white men run for office more than anyone else. In the 2018 election cycle, women and people of color were just as likely as white men to win their races once they were on the ballot, according to a report by the Reflective Democracy Campaign. And with Democratic women running in record numbers, it was women–and, importantly, diverse women–who flipped the House from red to blue.
Imagine, in Washington and in state legislatures across the country, women being represented by people who innately understand their experiences because they have lived them. The only way to get there is to vote more women into office–and not only that, but women of color; LGBTQ women; immigrant women; women with young kids; women with no kids; women from different economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds. There are gains even in the trying. Having multiple women in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary has already changed the discourse of the election. In the first two debates, candidates talked about abortion access, the Equal Rights Amendment and the wage gap–with women onstage addressing those issues, the men have been forced to do so as well. The female candidates have also led the way on proposals for paid leave and affordable-child-care policies.
So go ahead, vote for her–and her, and her, and her–right down the ballot. If someone asks why, don’t hesitate to give the short answer: Because she’s a woman. It’s as good a reason as any.