Well, in short, she is a transcending woman on track to further creating cracks on the glass ceiling that limits women in the workforce, especially in politics. But, the long version of her story is much more interesting, so here it is:
Who is She?
Sharice Davids beat out five other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for a seat in congress, representing Kansas’ third district. But, what makes her so special is the fact that she is a Native American ex-MMA fighter that could be the second openly lesbian member of Congress, after Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. Raised by a single mother, Davids made it from Johnson Community College to Cornell Law. After graduating from law school, Davids worked as a lawyer for an Indian Reservation in South Dakota and then became a fellow under the Obama administration. Her dedication to being a civil servant on top of her intersectionality is what makes her unique. Davids is a representation of the diversity which should be introduced into our government. Her projected and much anticipated win in the November primary would amplify the voices of those members of society who are not well represented in politics.
Davids uses her career in mixed martial arts as a metaphor to describe the fights marginalized people like her have to put up against the men in power. She says in one of her campaign videos, “it’s 2018 and women, Native Americans, gay people, the unemployed and underemployed have to fight like hell just to survive, it’s clear: Trump and the Republicans in Washington don’t give a damn about people like me or people who don’t think like them.” As a woman, Davids has most definitely been told “no” to opportunities, but as a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community one can assume she has been pushed down. However, she has not let that stop her from kicking at the glass and open doors for a community whose perspectives, ideas, beliefs, and desires are not seen up to par with the norms.
What does her nomination say about Kansas?
Her nomination in itself reveals much about the changing general opinion in the state. Kansas is deep-red state, and this nomination win for a democrat shows that Kansans are ready to be led by someone different. Her nomination and support from northeast Kansas is taking her one step closer to becoming the first Democratic female to represent the district. Supporting Davids means supporting the top priorities on her agenda which includes fighting for protection of DACA recipients, gun violence, abortion rights, and opposing Trump’s tax cuts.
What does Sharice Davids’ Democratic nomination mean for representation in politics?
Come November and Sharice Davids wins the primary it means that progress is being made in terms of including more women in a position of power, politics, and civil-say. It means that although the government is made up of mostly straight white middle-aged men it does not need to stay that way. The voices of women have been proven to be more powerful than ever; however, there is still discrepancy. Approximately, only 84 women (nineteen percent) serve in the House of Representatives and only 322 women have served in the United States’ Congress to this date. Women like Davids, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (the Latina who beat New York’s fourteenth congressional district incumbent) and Rashida Tlaib (the first Muslim woman most likely to be elected to congress), are the ones will start to shift those numbers. If the voices of people of all backgrounds, communities, experiences, sexual orientations, and opinions are not represented in our congress our government will never be efficient.
Alexa Brady is a rising sophomore at NYU studying Journalism, Media, Cultures, & Communication.