It turns out those pink kitty-cat hats weren’t just for show after all.
Among its many electrifying aspects, the early Trump era has had a politically galvanizing effect on women. They are organizing in the streets and on social media, running for office in record numbers, training to enter future races, and volunteering on campaigns. And on November 7, they flocked to the polls to officially have their voices heard.
What they had to say more or less boiled down to: Things around here have got to change. Now. Which has many folks in the Republican Party reaching for the Xanax.
By now, you’ve likely heard some of the Election Day stats and stories. In Virginia, women went from holding 17 seats in the House of Delegates to holding 27. Winners include Danica Roem, who became the state’s first transgender delegate-elect by beating an incumbent who bragged of being the state’s “chief homophobe.” In the gubernatorial contest, women favored Democrat Ralph Northam by 22 points—5 points more than Hillary Clinton’s margin among them last fall. Particularly concerning for Republicans: Fifty-eight percent of white college-educated women went for Northam vs. only 50 percent for Hillary.
Among other spotlighted wins, Seattle chose its first woman mayor since 1926. Manchester, New Hampshire, and Provo, Utah, elected their first female mayors ever, as did tiny Milledgeville, Georgia. In New Jersey, Ashley Bennett, a first-time candidate, won a spot on the Atlantic County legislative board by unseating a guy who had irked her with his sexist Facebook posting about the January Women’s March. (Mock the pink hats at your peril, gentlemen.) The hot storyline out of this first election of the Trump administration: “Revenge of the Fired-Up Woman.”