Unbeknownst to us all, 2012 became the year of the woman.
According to The Huffington Post, “The 113th Congress will have 20 female senators, the mostever in U.S. history.” As we near the end of 2012, we want to look back at this tumultuous year and acknowledge the leaps and bounds made for diversities in political representation. I say diversities because in addition to electing female identified persons, we have voted in the first lesbian, the first Hindu, the first Asian-American woman, and Tulsi Gabbard and Tammy Duckworth, both of whom have military combat experience. As a matter of fact, Duckworth, who is also under 40, “is a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot […] she was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq until November 12th, 2004 when her helicopter was hit by an RPG. Tammy lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion.”
For an fun interactive infographic showing the results of the 2012 congressional election click here.
What all this says is that even though 2012 was the year of the woman, the next 4 years are going to be more crucial in terms of voice and agenda. The next 4 years will determine the next 20, 40, 60 years. In other words, we have leaped far but “we” must ensure that our impact makes bounds. I say we because voting women into the senate and congress is not enough. As citizens, we still have to hold all of our representatives accountable to the issues that matter the most to us, and we need to make certain that there are tangible results. One of the most important ways to do this is to get involved in the political process. Another way to make a difference, of course, is to help diversify the media by representing your own voice in the public sphere. So, go ahead––write an op-ed!