I have a confession. I love snark so so much. (This feminist killjoy needs something to fuel my rage and humor at the same time!) And so when I heard about the new snarky website that asks, “Bruh, can you not?” I just had to check it out. Underneath the snark was some important wisdom and social commentary: Perhaps well-meaning white bros should support diverse candidates that share their views rather than running for office themselves.
At our annual conference last year, one of our amazing speakers mentioned that on average a woman has to be asked to run for office seven times before she actually will. Not so for men.
There is a lot to unpack here, but ultimately the thing that matters to me is that if we want to see change―at local, state, and national levels―we need to do things differently. And maybe the change is having more women, and people of color, run for office and win.
After the Anita Hill catastrophe, there were a record number of women elected to Congress in 1992. We knew that in order to challenge sexual harassment and rampant sexism, women needed to be at the table.
We still need that. We need a diverse group of people weighing in on sentences for convicted rapists. We need a diverse group of people passing laws that enable welfare recipients to get their support without wasteful, costly, and inhumane drug testing. We need a diverse group of people fighting for reproductive freedom. And we need a diverse group of people challenging institutional racism, homophobia, and transphobia.
So, I am asking. Maybe this is the first time you’ve been asked or maybe (even better!) it’s the seventh. Will you run? Will you ask someone else to? We need you, we really do.