Women Need Power

March 6, 2020

Representation is key.

The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top stories of the week.

The Fight Goes On

On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren exited the 2020 presidential race, leaving two white men as the frontrunners and many women across the progressive movement wondering what path, if any, a progressive woman has to the presidency. “Today American women lost that chance for representation, and right now it’s unclear when they’ll ever have it,” writes Samhita Mukhopadhyay for TeenVogueIn politics and beyond, women have to come to terms with America’s sexism over and over again, and we as a nation still have a lot to learn. “Whoever the nominee is, their campaign is going to have to come to terms with the intense misogyny so many female voters have dealt with—and understand that it’s an issue we care deeply about,” says GENMag columnist Jessica Valenti.

  • Nevertheless, she’ll persist: Warren is, of course, already looking ahead. “Choose to fight only righteous fights, because then when things get tough—and they will—you will know that there is only one option ahead of you: Nevertheless, you must persist,” she said in remarks to her campaign team. “I’m sad that @ewarren is no longer in the race, but I’m not disheartened,” tweeted former Roosevelt Network Director Joelle Gamble. “I know that she will still be a tireless advocate for a just future. I also know that progressives winning does not rest in just one candidate. It rests on all of us continuing to dream big and fight hard.”

Repeating Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month, and the conservative backlash to women’s rights remains unrelenting with Roe v. Wade under threat yet again. For the blog, Roosevelt Health Equity Director Andrea Flynn explores why women can’t afford to relive our pre-Roe history: “As we honor the history that women have made—and that we have yet to make—let’s not forget that an attack on abortion rights is also an attack on women’s financial security. Roe paved a pathway for women to hold more individual, social, and economic power, and the relentless attacks on that landmark decision are at their core attempts to strip women of that power and exert control over every aspect of our lives.” Read on.

  • Another angle: For Slate, Dahlia Lithwick explains why access to fundamental reproductive health care is bigger than a single ruling: “We may feel powerless to change the composition or the ideology of the current Supreme Court, or the federal courts that will decide the scope and nature of women’s rights. But the one power that should not be given away is our awareness of how very much is on the line and the salience of so many other cases that will affect women, their bodies, their incomes, and their families for a generation.”

Women Who Lead

As a co-author of the Green New Deal, Roosevelt Climate Policy Director Rhiana Gunn-Wright made GreenBiz’s list of 25 women who are leading the way in today’s climate movement. For Roosevelt and well beyond, Gunn-Wright grounds her work at the intersection of racial equality and environmental justice. “All of my power analysis comes from Black feminism,” she told The Root in December. “I think that if not for my background in Black feminism and other people’s backgrounds who work on the Green New Deal, we wouldn’t have gotten to this place.”

What We’re Reading

In Her Words – New York Times

North American Investment Law and Policy: Developments in 2019 – Roosevelt Institute

The Problem with Telling Sick Workers to Stay Home – The Atlantic

Our Lack of Paid Sick Leave Will Make the Coronavirus Worse – Washington Post

Kept at the Hospital on Coronavirus Fears, Now Facing Large Medical Bills – New York Times

Here’s What the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Has Done – CNN

Even with the Recent Strong Economy, Many Americans Are Struggling—Ex-Fed Chair Janet Yellen Explains Why – CNBC