When conservatives scoff at the progressive slogan “The Future is Female,” they are usually responding to the insecurity that comes with knowing, deep down inside, you are in the wrong. The strides that women, people of color, and the LGBT community have made in organizing around the 2018 midterm elections is staggering. It’s absolutely terrifying to the Right, and you are seeing desperate and craven attempts to bully and suppress the levels of democracy they’ve inspired. In January of the last two years, beginning on Donald Trump’s inauguration day in 2017, Women’s Marches have taken over the streets across not just the United States, but the world. These marches were not simply a public protest of our current misogynist in chief; they were a call to organize and take back our government.
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers compiled statistics on how historic the results of this election were and will continue to be for women.
A tally by the Center for American Women in Government at Rutgers University shows at least 1,743 women won state legislative seats in last week's midterm elections. That number will grow; 185 races with at least one woman still in the running have yet to be called .
With 276 women in office already—whose seats were not up for election this November—that puts the total number of women in office over 2,000. Depending on how things break with the elections still undecided, that number could reach 2,200 women. Women make up no less than 50 percent of our country’s population. The harsh fact of the matter for conservatives is that the reason the “future is female” is because, in order to finally reach something like parity in our democracy, a whole lot of women are going to continue to run and win elections. The New York Times explains that these historic numbers are not comprised of officeholders found all across the political spectrum.
The number of Republican women in Congress next year will actually drop, even as the ranks of Democratic women swell to record heights. With a few races still undecided, the new Congress will have at least 105 Democratic women and 19 Republican women.
But that is not all: From Congress to governor to state legislatures, far more Democratic women ran in this cycle than Republican women. And that means fewer Republican women on the bench, gathering experience and credentials to move up to the next level.
The scales have been pushed down for so long, white (mostly) men have deluded themselves into thinking that there was a good reason for this state of affairs. There wasn’t. Like slavery and Jim Crow, like denying women the right to vote and outlawing same-sex unions, the reasoning was simply the stew of fear and power and anger and ignorance that we call by such terms as “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia.”
The Republican Party has always been on the precipice of losing more and more women, the same way they have lost people of color and members of the LGBT community. The right wing of our country cannot help itself. It doesn’t have the ideas or the capacity or the trust needed to allow for the messiness and uncertainty that comes from having a real democracy. It is the reason that the people bankrolling them believe in a world where the few rule the many—they don’t want democracy. They don’t believe in democracy because in an unfettered arena of ideas, their ideas lose. Every time.