When you work in politics, it is hard to get away from Hamilton: The Musical, so much of it is so delightfully relevant. So too, today, when we are talking about celebrating Women's Equality Week.
At one point where the women in the piece are talking about the Revolution, they describe the Declaration of Independence, and they sing,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!"
That sequel has been a long time coming.
This week, there are numerous events to celebrate the long history of women fighting for equality. But let's not forget that the fight continues. During this last session of the Kansas Legislature, there were twenty-seven women in the House (of 125 members, or 22%), and thirteen of forty in the Senate, 33%.
In the primary, at least seven incumbent men were defeated or replaced by women on their side of the ticket. Only two women were defeated or replaced by men. And in the upcoming general election, there are eighty-seven women vying for a seat, 32% of the 274 candidates running. This isn't limited by party, either. At least thirty-two of those candidates are Republicans, and fifty-five Democrats.
And of course, we now have the first woman ever to head the Presidential ticket of one of the major political parties in this country.
Is that good enough? Is the sequel here? Of course not. When women make up half the population (our "better half," right?) they should represent more than a third of the electorate.
But as we always say, it take more than just voting. It takes people talking to each other, encouraging women to run for office, encouraging women to vote, and working for women's issues from both sides of the gender gap.
This week we celebrate Women's Equality. We encourage you to attend one or more of these to keep building momentum towards that sequel.
Remember, do more than vote.