More depressing, however, is the impact it could have on women: it’s not too difficult to see how Harris becoming the target of ridicule could dissuade young girls from taking such positions in the future. For them to see a woman finally make it to the position of Vice President and then fail so ignominiously is a massive discouragement to every girl dreaming of a big future.
But this is also the problem with quotas more broadly. Equality and empowerment can’t be achieved through bureaucratic box-ticking. It has to be fought for and earned. Harris, however, is a clear example of someone who has acquired her position due to her immutable characteristics, rather than her own abilities and achievements. The consequence of this isn’t hard to discern: any successful woman will wonder if she, too, were hired to fulfil a quota requirement, asking if she earned her position or were handed it.
What today’s activists fail to understand is that the key for any woman to succeed remains the same as it has always been: to prove that she is capable. Simply ticking the boxes of “female” or “minority” and expecting a good outcome might make you feel good about yourself in the short term. But in the real world, it is never enough. In the case of Harris, it is a recipe for incompetence.