Women on Fire: How Trump and the #MeToo Movement are Shaping the 2018 Elections
On March 22nd, the Goldstein Program hosted speakers to discuss the political ramifications of the Presidency with a focus on women running for political office in the 2018 election season. Dr. Melissa Deckman mediated a discussion on the influence of women on current political trends; speakers included Vanessa Williams fromThe Washington Post, Dr. Kelly Dittmar from Rutger’s University’s Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Krish Vignarajah.
The speakers found that men’s reasons for running for office were career-driven, and the decision to run was made largely without the input of family or friends. However, women’s reasons for running are based on political discontent and a desire to change current policy. Vignarajah specifically spoke to this fact, as her own feelings of dissatisfaction with the Trump Presidency have been the biggest motivator for her political action.
The discussion also spoke to intersectional disparities facing women. Williams and Dittmar discussed the overwhelming dearth of female candidates of color and elected officials specifically, and perhaps surprisingly, within the Democratic party. Dittmar also stressed the importance of these candidates running–even if female candidates are unsuccessful, it is still immensely important that they ran at all and that they continue to run.