Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren Lead an Incredible Field of 2020 Women. How Are They Trailing Pete Buttigieg?
It’s now a practically boring fact that women are running for political office in record numbers. And they’re winning in record numbers too—there are now 127 women in Congress, including 47 women of color who helped decisively flip the House.
Still, we continue to hear about the “ambition gap” encouraging women to just “lean in”—as if more confidence is what’s needed to pole-vault over centuries of structural sexism—even with five women in the Democratic primary for president. Women’s lack of ambition is not the reason white men are leading in that race. Rather, it’s some dubious notion of who’s “electable” against Donald Trump. (Read: not a woman.)
That’s why watching South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who represents a population smaller than a New York City council district, outpoll Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren makes many of us want to eat glass; an entirely rational reaction to a datapoint that might discourage anyone without a Y chromosome. What the 2020 presidential primary is already making clear is that, as one of us wrote about Ivanka Trump, it’s time to ditch empowerment politics that places the onus entirely on women to succeed and allows men to feel like they’re doing something for women without giving anything up.