Kaylee Sheppard

Kaylee Sheppard

This past week, Senator Elizabeth Warren suspended her campaign for the presidency.

Her departure means the Democratic field that began as the most diverse in American election history is now essentially down to two white men: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders.

This diverse field contained six women. Now, there are none left in the race with a viable chance of being nominated.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only woman left in the race. She is averaging one to two percent in national polls.

Truthfully, none of the women in this race were my #1 candidate. However, I am still immensely frustrated to have no representation left.

And you know what, that’s ok. It is OK to be discouraged by the system. It’s OK to be disappointed that we have to pick between two older white men.

As I discussed in my previous column, a huge question asked this election cycle was if a woman could win the presidency. Another huge concern was how a woman would fair in the general election against Donald Trump. Like I said before, a woman has already defeated Donald Trump in the popular vote.

But many voters of the Democratic party still believe sexism played a role in the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election.

I really think that is what led to Warren’s demise. She was once a frontrunner in this election, but her campaign reached a point where she placed third in her home state.

When I read the announcement of her suspension, I felt an overwhelming guilt.

As a woman who believes women are actually better leaders than men — that’s a topic for another column — should I have stuck by my desire for female representation? Or was it truly the ‘feminist’ thing to do to vote for the person I thought was the best for the job, regardless of their gender?

This unique internal struggle is something all women experience in political spaces. We don’t want to be accused of just supporting someone because of their gender, but at the same time we want to see representation in political offices all up and down the ballot.

I cannot wait for the day that we have a woman president. I cannot wait for the day we have equal representation in all chambers of government. But that day is not today.

I think it’s OK to be sad when pursuit for representation fails as it has in the Democratic Primary, but we must continue to move forward and support women at all levels of political office in hopes that one day it is no longer just a dream that we have a woman in the White House. It’s not if, it is when.

Kaylee Sheppard is a senior majoring in American Studies and Political Science. She can be reached at ksheppa7@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

UT Sponsored Content