Story By Julia Hettiger Illustrations and Design by Jacobo de la Rosa
With just a simple movement, a whole row of dominoes tumbling-one by one knocking each other down. This is known as the domino effect, but it can be a social occurrence in more than just its traditional meaning. When presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced her campaign for the presidency in 2014, there was an uproar from the female population. It seemed to have a prolific shift in females' roles in politics, increasing women's participation. Along with the spike, there has been debate about whether women are clearly informed about Clinton's political agenda or whether they are simply voting for her because she is a woman.
Social scientists classify this as the demonstration effect. If a woman is a heavily involved in politics, she is more likely to become involved as well. April Rumgay, a graduate student in political science, says that while this may cause more women to become involved in politics, there will still be a dramatic gap between men and women. "The demonstration effect plays a role in this, however, I do Do not believe that it will play a significant enough role where the right number of women will become involved in politics, "April says. "Right now, women are disproportionately underrepresented in politics and that number is not going to get any better, I do not think, with a female president."
The same effect happened when, in 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for presidency. There was a surge in the number of African Americans taking new interest in politics, but there was little to no effect on the number of non-Caucasian politicians.
According to the South Asia Institute at Harvard University, the demonstration effect could help increase the number of women involved in political leadership roles, but the method would take many years to provide significant results.to a study by The Nation Magazine, women hold less than 20 percent of congressional seats in the United States, less than 25 percent of the statewide and state legislative positions and only 12 of the major 100 cities have female mayors. p> Despite being underrepresented, those women who hold government positions are treated differently than men. Lydia Ness-Garcia, co-founder of the awareness group Stand with El Paso Women, a group dedicated to shining light on women's rights and issues, said she has noticed a dramatic difference between the way men and women involved in politics are treated, respectively. .
"I think that women in politics still have a hard time being judged by a double standard in terms of having to look both like they are competent, but without being too aggressive," Ness-Garcia says "You hear certain questions that are asked of women in terms of who their hair is, who dressed them and what kind of clothes are they wearing. "
Women's lack of participation in politics is not the only issue highlighted by Clinton's presidential aspirations-women's understanding of other candidates' political agendas has come into question as well. Of the number of women taking a new interest in politics because of Clinton's campaign, it is hard to determine which ones truly understand the issues.
Although Clinton is the DNC candidate and has demonstrated strong female following, not all women are supporting the former first lady. As of July, she has won less than half of the female vote, with 36 percent supporting Donald Trump and 21 percent still undecided. This is due in part to women standing behind other candidates' agendas, but also because many young women do not want to be held accountable for voting only because she is female.
"The common thing I hear I do not look at gender. I do not look at skin color, which is a problem, "April says. "If you do not know my gender, if you do not know the color of my skin or my sexual orientation, you do not know what I go through because of it. And if you do not know this, how are you supposed to make things better? "
Other women may also vote for her because they want to demonstrate the fight for women's rights. April says she believes there is more to it than just voting for a female president. "Being a woman in politics does not inherently make you an advocate for women's rights, but the women, we go through different experiences than men do, and having women in politics offers that different opinion, that different outlook, which is essential in democracy , "She says. "So voting for Hillary because she's a woman does not seem crazy, and I'm okay with that."
Only time will tell if the number of women involved in and understanding of politics will change because of Hillary Clinton's possible presidency. "From what I've seen, there's been a lot of difference in politics over the years, but because Hillary is running for president, it's obviously something that has flipped the coin," April says. "I've heard debates about whether or not a woman is capable of being an executive, which is the same thing I heard eight years ago, and to me, that does not spell change"
He passed with President Barack Obama, which led to greater participation by the African American community, and Hillary Clinton's candidacy that has energized women in the United States.
The disproportionate representation of women in political positions and their way of deciding which candidates to support are also issues that have received attention thanks to Clinton's aspirations to re-reside in the White House - now as president. "She has brought a lot of women-related issues to report on and has given many women the opportunity to support these issues," says Lydia Ness-Garcia, co-founder of the Stand with El Paso Women group dedicated to drawing attention to women's rights issues.
Clinton and her important role in this year's elections may have increased women's focus on politics, but according to April Rumgay, a graduate student in political science, is not sufficient. "The demonstration effect has a role to play in this, but I do not think it's a really meaningful one where the necessary number of women get involved in politics," says April. "Today, women are disproportionately underrepresented in politics and that number is not going to improve, even with a woman president." According to The Nation magazine, women occupy less than 20 percent of the seats in the congress, less than 25 percent of state posts and only 12 of the country's 100 largest cities have a woman in the mayor's office.
Ness-García thinks there must be more behind the decision when a woman goes to the polls. Voting for someone based only on women, in their opinion is counterproductive. "I've seen a lot of reaction as to 'if you do not vote for her it's betrayal for being a woman," says Ness-Garcia. "I do not think the same, and I think that attitude is just as sexist"