July 24, 2018
A newsletter to keep you informed about all things women and politics from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University.

In 2018, Will Misogyny Disqualify Men from Political Power?
Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis
In an analysis for Gender Watch 2018, CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar examines whether a greater political mobilization among women and the coinciding #MeToo era might lead to greater accountability for men in politics who have made disparaging or exclusionary statements about women or who have been accused of sexual harassment. She notes that a number of politicians over the past two years have been forced from office amid sexual harassment scandals, but remains skeptical that open misogyny will be, in and of itself, disqualifying.

As if on cue, The Associated Press and CNN's KFile this week provided some answers to Dittmar's question. The AP ran an analysis of state legislative candidates and found that 25 state lawmakers accused of sexual harassment are running again in 2018, and, of those, 15 have already won their primaries, with 7 running entirely uncontested primaries. Meanwhile KFile discovered old comments from Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis from his conservative radio career in which he, among other things, laments the bygone days when it was (apparently?) acceptable to call women sluts.

Will misogyny be disqualifying this year? I guess we'll find out.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Myth of the Morena Tide
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the campaign trail
Also on Gender Watch 2018 last week, Anna Sampaio of Santa Clara University challenges the assumption that the success of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is somehow emblematic of greater success for Latina candidates this year, and shows that Ocasio-Cortez is more outlier than exemplar. Sampaio notes, for example, that the vast majority of Latina candidates are running from a very narrow set of locations, with 42 of the total 51 Latina House candidates running for seats in just five states, while in New Jersey and Colorado, states with large Latina/o populations, there are zero Latina candidates running for national or statewide office. Still, Sampaio ends on a hopeful note with a discussion of mobilizing Latina/o voters and says that, despite underrepresentation among candidates, "this year's Latina tide may instead come at the ballot box."
The Seneca Falls Convention convened 170 years ago this month.

Women still make up less than 25% of office-holders in
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NEW LeadershipTM Arrives in Eastern Washington
NEWL Eastern Washington students on a field trip in the 
Kendall Yards neighborhood of Spokane
Twenty-two students from colleges across Washington State participated in the inaugural session of NEW LeadershipTM Eastern Washington. Hosted by Washington State University-Spokane and Gonzaga University, and made possible by a grant from the Women's Funding Alliance, the six-day institute introduced students to leaders in politics and higher education, including State Senator Kelly Short and Brandy Cote, Director of the Office of the Mayor of Spokane, who spoke at a panel discussion about careers in politics. Students also attended a Spokane City Council meeting and participated in a political action project centered on affordable housing. The keynote speech from the event was delivered by Carol Evans, Chairwoman of the Spokane Tribe of Indians.
Newseum Media Briefing: Women Running for Office in 2018
Tomorrow, July 25 th, CAWP Director Debbie Walsh will present an overview analysis preceding a panel discussion on women running for office this year. The non-partisan event is co-sponsored by the Freedom Forum Institute, the Women's Media Center, and Swanee Hunt Alternatives, and will include Glynda Carr of Higher Heights, Julie Conway of VIEW PAC, Muthoni Wambu Kraal of EMILY's List, María Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino, Rebecca Schuller of Winning for Women, and Andrea Dew Steele of Emerge America.  While the event is  invite-only, you can follow a livestream here starting at 11:00 AM EST.
Women Embrace Their Own Campaign Narrative

There has been a recent spate of media stories about women seizing control of their own campaign narratives and breaking free from the consultant-driven constrictions that have typically steered women candidacies. The Washington Post takes a look at the power of the viral video to elevate lesser-known women candidates this year, highlighting ads from candidates like M.J. Hegar, Amy McGrath, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others that tie an inspirational hook from the candidate's biography to a conversation about concrete policy priorities. The New York Times, meanwhile, focuses on a number of women around the country throwing out the "put on a suit and recite their résumé - and smile" rulebook for women candidates by showing voters a fuller-- and more authentic-- version of themselves. In a related video, the Times's Kate Zernike says that "a shift in the way women can campaign really means, ultimately, a shift in the way we view our leaders." From NBC, we see women discussing their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. By standing up and continuing the conversation around the #MeToo movement, women candidates are, again, reconstructing what it means to be a candidate in 2018.
Hands on the Rudder

Women are re-defining what it means to be a woman and a candidate, but how does increasing women's representation affect the way governance is conducted? 

For Reuters , Charlotte Greenfield goes on a global tour of legislatures to examine how greater numbers of mothers of young children serving in office are changing the rules of legislative bodies to be more accommodating to the necessities of parenthood, including the U.S. Senate's new rule allowing infants on the floor of the chamber. Senator Tammy Duckworth, who pushed for that change after the birth of her daughter, spoke with Marie Claire about the challenge women face in weighing their careers and their families, legislation to establish a family leave system in the United States, and the media scrum around the birth of her child. "We've got to get to a point where it doesn't raise eyebrows to have someone give birth in office," Senator Duckworth says, "Just like it shouldn't raise eyebrows to have a woman be a senator or a woman in the cockpit or a woman in the boardroom."

Bustle, meanwhile, examines how women politicians govern differently from their male counterparts. Women office-holders tend to secure more funding for their districts, sponsor more legislation, have different policy priorities, and are more eager to work across party lines in order to accomplish their goals. These findings are consistent with CAWP's research on women in Congress, which you can find in our Representation Matters report and in a forthcoming book from CAWP scholars titled A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters (Pre-order today!). As Jane Timken, the first woman chair of the Ohio Republican Party, puts it in a Plain Dealer article about her desire to recruit more women candidates: "Women just tend to cut through the baloney and just get things done."

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
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