Women’s historical lack of agency over the presentation and preservation of their contributions to society leaves us with immeasurable gaps in understanding how they have shaped our modern world. Despite the political and social progress of the last century, the U.S. still struggles to reach equitable representation of men and women in our political system up and down the ballot. Due to a variety of social, economic, political, and interpersonal reasons research has found that this disparity stems not from women losing elections but not getting to the campaign trail in the first place.
Through a collection of oral histories of women politicians and political candidates, this project explores the nuance and importance of including the narratives of these self-identified outliers. While publicly the beginning of a politician’s journey is generally their campaign, in reality, there are many stepping stones before any of them get to that point. Regarding the women’s representation gap, getting to candidacy seems to be the final hurdle, while in their personal journeys to office it is just the beginning. These oral histories provide a deeper look into the impacts that masculine ethos, the gendered psyche, political ambition, self-confidence, familial roles, and timing have in these women's considerations of political careers.
- The Initial & Final Hurdle: Oral Histories of Women & Their Journeys to Political Office