Now, like then, women have come out in droves, not only to support Hillary Clinton but to seek public office themselves. “For the first time in recent memory, half of the challengers in GOP strongholds are being targeted by Democrats – the 38 toughest, most competitive House races out there — are women.” (Ibid, pg. 22) Trump threw down his gauntlet and, not put off by his tiny hands, women have accepted the challenge.
When they seek public office they fare as well or slightly better than men, though they are slow to enter politics. They know they will face prejudice. They know they will be put under a microscope, scrutinized for the political positions, yes, but also for their choice of shoes or velvet headbands. What’s more, they worry about their families and the cost in terms of time and publicity for them. (Ibid pg. 23.) Because of these fears, as writer Laura Reston points out, “Women currently hold fewer than one-fifth of all seats in Congress and fewer than one-fourth in state legislatures.” (Ibid pg. 23.)
The current election seems to have blown a breath of fresh air into the women’s movement, however. As one observed, “There’s no room for such a mean-spirited person as the leader of our country.” (Ibid, pg 23.)
Emmeline Pankhurst and the other suffragettes can sleep well. Thanks to Donald Trump, the 19th Amendment is alive and kicking.