One year ago, the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation launched Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a nonpartisan project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. The goal of the project was – and remains – to lend expert analysis to the dialogue around gender throughout the election season. With just over 200 days until Election Day, it’s worth taking stock of what we’ve been up to. Over the next week, we will post 5 key lessons learned. Today, we review lesson number one: Every presidential candidate – man or woman – plays the gender card. They just do it differently. (See hyperlinks for full analyses written over the past year.)
History was made on the primary debate stage as women from both major parties stood shoulder to shoulder with the men. From the onset, Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina each faced a unique set of challenges as well as a common obstacle. Two different candidates exposed the trials and triumphs of campaigning while female.
“Our country doesn’t win anymore. We used to win, we don’t win anymore.” Republican candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly characterized the United States as falling short of success across sectors, painting a picture of American decline in the modern age. But don’t tell that to the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, among the winningest teams ever in college basketball. Entering this weekend’s NCAA Final Four tournament, the UConn women have won 73 consecutive games and are highly favored to win their 11th national championship in just over two decades. The US women’s national soccer team might also reject Trump’s exaggerated claim that the US doesn’t win anymore on the international stage. Last summer, the US women won the World Cup, just three years after winning the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic games (their fourth gold medal in five Olympics).