What Political Experts and Historians Think of Clinton’s Unprecedented Win
This week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win the nomination of a major U.S. political party, “150 years, almost, since the first woman attempted to run for president, Victoria Woodhull, in the 1870s,” Ellen Fitzpatrick said during this astute PBS Newshour expert roundtable. Though many young voters were disappointed by Bernie Sanders’ loss in the Democratic primaries, Rebecca Traister said that enthusiasm for Clinton is stronger than ever. While Clinton’s experience and expertise make her a more than qualified candidate for president, John Lawrence said that she has had to overcome burdens that simply do not present themselves to men. Indeed, as women throughout the country watch this strong, confident, and intelligent woman near the most powerful position in the country — one that has been entirely dominated by men — they can’t help but feel the possibilities for women are rapidly expanding.
In Historic Senate Race, Two Women of Color Likely Heading to California Runoff
Irin Carmon, MSNBC
One of two Democratic women of color will represent California in the U.S. Senate in what is shaping up to be a rather unusual election. This race is revolutionary for two reasons: It may be the first time Republicans are absent from the ballot, and the outcome will either lead to the country’s first Latina or second black woman senator. But the contest between State Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez stands out even further in that, for the first time, gender is insignificant in an American political race involving women, freeing Harris and Sanchez to focus, instead, on their policy differences. While their competition is fierce and sometimes petty, these women are ignoring female stereotypes and by extension destroying them.
Why Samantha Bee is the Political Commentator We’ve Been Waiting For
Chava Gourarie, CJR
As the only woman on late-night television, it’s not surprising that Samantha Bee has been criticized as angry and vicious on her show, Full Frontal. But Chava Gourarie argues that Bee’s intensity simply matches the absurdity of American politics today. While Bee’s opinions are forthright and unapologetic, her evidence is factual and her audience is laughing. “But are those outbursts of anger,” Gourarie wonders, “or just good comedy?” While Bee is breaking ground in this male-dominated field, Gourarie is careful to assert that Bee’s fame is due to her personality, and not her gender. Bee’s passion may be misunderstood as anger for now, but Gourarie is confident that will change in a political climate that continues to demand sane political satire.
Pakistan: The Secret World of Women
Aela Callan, Al Jazeera
Women in Peshawar, Pakistan, are given few chances to speak to the world around them, yet are desperate to be heard. In a short documentary, Aela Callan, a reporter with Al Jazeera, follows a young female Pakistani radio journalist named Shafaq Saba as she fearlessly breaks down barriers keeping Pakistani women from opportunity in the workforce. Saba uncovers a story at an Afghan refugee camp, riddled with combatants in hiding, where busy mothers seeking time to sew carpets give their children opium to make them sleep all day. In one of the worst places in the world for gender disparity, Callan explains that “women are really the only ones who can tell these stories.” Pakistani women are far more than the restrictions put on them, and with role models like Saba they are finding purpose outside of family honor and freedom beyond the gaze of men.
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