The Election of Kamala Harris; What it means for women in the United States

The Election of Kamala Harris; What it means for women in the United States

Maya Gincherman, Co-Editor-In- Chief

November 4, 2020. Millions of people across the United States awoke desperately checking their phones, searching for some indication of the results of a monumental election in deciding the direction of the nation for the next four years. In reality, it would take almost two more days to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President- and Vice President-Elect of the United States for the next four years.

 The success of Joe Biden in finally winning the presidency after many failed bids for presidency and tragedies in his personal life was inspiring to many. However, an arguably far bigger story of the election was the election of Kamala Harris, who is the first woman to ever be elected as Vice President in the history of the United States, not to mention that she is also Black and Asian American. With such a dramatic evolution in the characteristics of the vice president elect, many have been asking what does it mean for women in the United States moving forward?

In July of 1848, The Seneca Falls Convention, a massive convection regarding women’s rights, was held in Seneca Falls, New York. A leader of the convention and significant women’s rights activist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, read emphatically from a Declaration of Sentiments, “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal.”  Now, over 150 years later, women have taken a step forward in achieving one of the highest demonstrations of political power through the election of Kamala Harris. Throughout the history of the United States, patriarchy has reigned, with women not even receiving the right to vote until 1920, let alone run for vice president. Her election is the reflection of hundreds of years of work by women in the United States, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton of the 19th Century to Stacy Abrams of the 21st. The election of Kamala Harris demonstrates that women can win tremendous political power in a patriarchal society in which the role of women is so often overlooked. 

Harris’s election not only demonstrated this emergence in women’s rights in general, but specifically the possibilities and importance of the Black women in America who are so often forgotten. In this year’s election, 91% of Black women voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. In short, the Democratic ticket would not have won this election without the support of black, female voters in the United States, demonstrating the importance of these women in the society of the United States.

 In her victory speech, Kamala Harris vowed “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”  Possibly most importantly, Harris’s election has paved the way for the future generation of young girls. Regardless of who they supported in the election, all women have been shown that they have the power to create significant change in today’s society through Harris’ election to the Vice Presidency.