The rise of a new generation of women running for office this year is sometimes likened to a wave, an abrupt reaction to the cultural moment in which we find ourselves. I prefer to see it as a larger shift in the seas.
Waves come and go, but I am hoping for something more permanent, a rising tide finally sweeping away ancient fears of powerful women and tired beliefs that female leaders subtract from men’s opportunities rather than add to the broader good.
As a woman who grew up in India’s strict patriarchy, and who despite that has often found herself frustrated by the gender bias that still exists in a supposedly more liberated America, I am deeply heartened by the current crop of women mobilizing for political action.
But there is a danger in viewing 2018 as yet another “year of the woman,” which seems to suggest a single moment of hopeful triumph in what really needs to be understood as a much longer struggle toward a healthier and better society for us all, regardless of our gender.