Cracking or resealing the glass ceiling?

Illustration by Carson McNamara
Illustration by Carson McNamara
Illustration by Carson McNamara
Illustration by Carson McNamara

During any other election cycle, Trump’s campaign would’ve been over the moment it began.

When Trump’s lead in the polls began to disintegrate, the Republican presidential nominee fired his second campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Kellyanne Conway became the first female to manage a GOP presidential campaign.

Conway first ventured into the 2016 spotlight when she began appearing on talk show as a surrogate for the Ted Cruz super PAC, Keep the Promise, before she started working with the Trump campaign in July.

Conway’s resume includes working with a long list of noteworthy Republicans, including assisting Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s 2012 Presidential bids in the 1990’s when Gingrich was speaker of the House.

In short, Conway is a force to be reckoned with. She deftly maneuvers her way through spin rooms and Sunday morning talk shows. She exudes poise and politeness, all while making voters look like the fool for question her support for a candidate like Trump.

The latter is precisely what highlights the quagmire in Conway’s case, though.

Although she’s making history and breaking through the glass ceiling as the first female GOP campaign manager, Conway’s simultaneously resealing those cracks in the ceiling by supporting her boss’ atrocious policies.

For example, when a male cohort said Conway can’t be a campaign manager because she’s a mother, she responded in the vein of a true feminist trailblazer: “This smacks of misogyny and sexism, to suggest that I can’t do the job of a campaign manager — I can only go on TV. How about if I could do all of the above?”

But then, in total contrast to her admirable statements against sexism, Conway’s response to Trump’s now-infamous sexual assault comments was lackluster. “It’s his campaign, and it’s his candidacy, and in the end, yes, I feel comfortable with his voice and his choice,” she said.

It is difficult to celebrate Conway’s accomplishments when she actively supports a candidate who strives to rip apart policies such as Roe v. Wade or “punish” women who seek an abortion, even if the mother’s life depends on it. These are policies women desperately fought for with the intent to specifically benefit women.

Women did not gain the right to vote by remaining silent; we did not get the freedom of choice for our bodies by not showing up; our voices will not be heard if the majority representing our interests are old, white men.

Regarding women’s roles in politics, this isn’t the first time the GOP has made history, though. Back in 2008 when John McCain appointed Sarah Palin to be his vice president, it marked the first time a GOP presidential nominee picked a woman as running-mate.

Nationally, there are only three Democratic and three Republican female governors. Republican governor Susana Martinez is not only the first female governor of New Mexico, but the first hispanic governor of the state. In 2014, Utah elected the first GOP African American female to congress.

For a party that seems to garner so much criticism for it’s lack of diversity, the GOP seems to have quite a bit of female representation… right? Well, yes and no. Perspective is important when comparing the GOP and the Left regarding their inclusivity of women.

Despite making history for having their first female campaign manager for a presidential election, the GOP is still about 28 years behind. The Democratic party had their first female presidential campaign manager in 1988, when Susan Estrich managed Michael Dukakis’s bid.

The same applies for nominating a female vice president. Democrat Geraldine Ferraro was nominated 24 years before Palin, in 1984. Despite these stark differences — neither party is making way for women to the extent they should be.

Out of the total members in Congress, women only comprise 19.4 percent, with 20 women in the Senate and only 84 in the House. Democrats may have nominated the first female candidate for President, but this is the first time in the party’s history, since its founding in 1828.

The bottom line: women need to run for office, regardless of party affiliation. The sheer fact is there’s 157 million women in the U.S and yet we make up only 19.4 percent of Congress and of 50 states only six women are governors.

The only way we can move issues affecting our daily lives from the shadows and into the light is by voting women into office. So, to my fellow women and those who identify as such, if you have ever had the dream of running for office: do it.

There is no better way to run than to run like a girl.


Laura Bryant, Contributing Columnist


STAFF ILLUSTRATOR

Carson McNamara. photo by Julie TrippCarson McNamara
Carson McNamara is a senior in Communication Arts who loves contributing to narratives through Editorial Illustration. She drinks a lot of coffee and reads a lot of books for toddlers.
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  1. ‘Glass Ceiling:’ A Rebound Buzzword? – impactyourlifeblog

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