A century ago Congress, now a bid for the White House

Portrait by Maia Morgan | Washtenaw Voice

Portrait by Maia Morgan | Washtenaw Voice

Jenee Gregor
Deputy Editor

This is the 100 year anniversary of the first woman elected into congress; now, 100 years later Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential candidate.  1916 was four years before women as a group had the ability to vote in elections.  This is a marker in the power that women hold increased in the government and the society that they are part of in the United States.

Women’s rights movements have made huge steps in the settling of issues but there is still quite a way to go to level the playing field.

The Washtenaw Community College political science club has been assisting students to find out if they are registered to vote and find their polling location to get students involved in this unprecedented election.  Rosie Van Alsburg, the club’s president and Bella Pense, the club’s treasurer mentioned they were not old enough to vote and why they wanted to be part of the cause.

“We would like to be able to vote but we can’t, so when we see people who can and don’t, it’s a little frustrating,” said Van Alsburg.

And this year makes a huge jump for women in politics. A woman running for the Democratic National Candidate.

Hopefully it sets a standard for the future, mentioned Pense.

“The historic possibility of the first female US president has been drowned out,” said Donna Wasserman, a Ph.D. in political science and WCC instructor.

“Clinton has been around for a while and she’s been in the public eye for 30 years, that she’s a candidate that happens to be female, but she’s a politician that has been around for a long time,” Wasserman said.

Our Presidents have fallen into the white male category, the barrier was broken with Barack Obama, being a the first black president and now the possibility of a female president,  mentioned Wasserman.

A 100 year anniversary for the first woman that was elected into congress, now may be president of the United States.

3rd parties have had female candidates since the late 1800s, it is nothing new to them, it is a big deal that there is female in one of the major parties, mentioned Wasserman.

Although there are two candidates that are women, the 3rd party categories are not strangers to female perspectives.  Jill Stein is running for president this term, she is not the first to do so.  Stein is running with the Green Party in 2016.

A candidate that has gotten very little media play in this election is Gloria LaRiva who is running for the Party of Socialism and Liberation.  According to International Business Times, there was a hope that Sanders’ would have brought more voters to this party but there seems little interest from voters going that far to the left.

Women’s rights have increased greatly over the years, but the next step is moving into the office of President of the United States, opening the door to anyone being president.  Showing that with work and diligence it is very possible for women to attain what they desire, and the U.S. is on the way to seeing that happen.

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