Women in 2018 Midterms: How did they fare?
This morning I woke up and quickly googled the two races I was most interested in: MJ Hegar in Texas and Stacey Abrams in Georgia.
If you aren’t familiar with them, MJ Hegar is a badass Air Force combat veteran; a helicopter pilot who was shot down in Afghanistan. She ran as a Democrat in a VERY Republican district, against a long-standing incumbent. She took a different approach. Rather than just running as a Democrat, she made every attempt to connect with her community and show them that they were more alike than different, even if they felt different on certain issues. And she nearly won! She took 49% of the vote. But more importantly, she gave hope to the community. She inspired. But I’m still sad she lost. I think she would have been an amazing voice for women. But I also don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of her.
And then there’s Stacey Abrams. This woman took on the good ole boy establishment of Georgia, with her visions for equality, growth, and improvement. If elected, she would be Georgia’s, and the nation’s, first black female governor. It’s been a contentious and nasty race. As I write this, she is trailing, but CNN has not called the race yet. There are still votes from predominantly black communities that have not been counted, and Stacey Abrams is not willing to concede until every vote has been counted. Our fingers are crossed for her. She is an educated, compassionate, strong woman, and she inspires hope for change and progress.
When I saw MJ lost and there’s a good chance Stacey may not pull this off… I felt sad and defeated. My own state stayed very rooted in its old-school, status quo position, which, as a progressive woman makes me feel lost, alone, and without a support framework within my government. (But I know that’s not true. They are there, they are just currently the minority.) I was sad to see Beto O’Rourke lose to Ted Cruz. Because he was so dang inspirational and a glimpse of what life could be like with politicians who actually are interested in their citizens and needs of their communities.
I also felt sad because, not shockingly, we haven’t cured racism and bigotry in the last two years. We haven’t shown that children’s lives matter to us more than immigration policy…
People still largely vote based on fear and what they hear from their friend or fake news than what is actually best for our citizens.
So what do we do? We can choose to be angry and defeated and disappointed, or we can look to areas of hope and change. Because people and their views do not change quickly. Before I fell into a total state of depression that there was no hope for our country,
I decided to google “how did women fare in the midterms?”
Ladies. It was an amazing night for women and the LGBTQ community! Yes, we lost some big ones. But look at what we gained!
And WOMEN are responsible for DEMS taking back the house. Go ladies, go!It was an amazing night for women and the LGBTQ community! Yes, we lost some big ones. Yes, bigotry still exists. But look at what we gained! WOMEN are responsible for DEMS taking back the house. And we will continue to see this change. Click To Tweet
Look at these headlines:
Let’s examine some of the wins:
- The first Muslim women, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to the House
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman elected to the House
- Sharice Davids, a lesbian, lawyer, and former mixed martial arts fighter defeated a Republican incumbent in Kansas
- Debra Haaland of New Mexico is the first Native American women elected to Congress
- The first Latinas from Texes were elected in the House
- The first Native American woman statewide in Minnesota was elected
- Nine women won governorships, tying a previous record
- For the first time ever, there will be over 100 women in the house!
These women didn’t just turn over the house, they burned the house to the ground.
There is still work to be done
We still need more women leaders everywhere! We still need moms getting involved in policy and issues. We still need to use our voices and to put forward candidates that are electable. We’ve got a big election coming in two years. We need to RISE UP and keep working. Because we’re making progress.
Women in the 2018 midterms showed us that change isn’t just coming. Change is HERE.
Apathy did not win in this election. People may not have voted like I would have liked, but they voted. Now it’s time to start changing hearts and minds… and it starts with us. It starts at home. And in our communities. And with love.Apathy did not win in this election. People may not have voted like I would have liked, but they voted. Now it's time to start changing hearts and minds... and it starts with us. It starts at home. And in our communities. And with… Click To Tweet
Are you ready to get involved?
If you aren’t sure how, I encourage you to start with our latest book: Lose the Cape: The Mom’s Guide to Becoming Socially & Politically Engaged (& How to Raise Tiny Activists).