Democrats made history on Nov. 6, 2018 by taking back the House of Representatives after years of Republican control. However, with such a monumental win comes controversy in the recent revelations that nominated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is opposed by many fellow democrats. On Nov. 19, The New York Times reported that a letter was penned by 16 fellow Democrats publicly announcing their disapproval for Pelosi as the next speaker. Many of those opposed support their stance by suggesting that, under the aggressive Donald J. Trump administration, the speaker of the house must be a more radical leader. The most notable argument against Pelosi’s nomination is the focus on her age, suggesting that the Democrats must have a younger representative who is more knowledgeable of current social issues.
Following the release of the letter, many supporters of Pelosi rushed to her aid, insisting that Democratic disapproval of her nomination is sparked by sexism. The Democrats who spearheaded the letter, notably most of them male, raise the question of this opposition: is this a battle against the gender, or is this focused on the radical Trump administration needing a more progressive speaker?
Since her first term as Speaker of the House from 2007-11, Pelosi has continued to launch initiatives to raise awareness to bring forth greater gun control, increase educational opportunities for our children and promote environmentally-focused leadership. As the first woman to have ever served as Speaker of the House, Pelosi far surpasses any qualifications needed for the position, therefore this opposition is not due to her lack of experience, but rather the fact that she is a woman. Regardless of how much is said regarding Pelosi’s age acting as the main deterrent towards her nomination, at the end of the day it comes down to the fear of a woman holding an authoritative position. If age were of such a concern for someone holding a political position, than the current President would not have been elected. Even in 2018, so many men remain fearful of a woman in power due to their fragile masculinity preventing them from fully accepting the progressive power of women. So many individuals fear, and are threatened by, Pelosi, a woman with great intelligence, power and authority, that under the Trump administration we have been forced to adopt a staggeringly regressive focus.
The radicalization under the Trump administration has caused an unsettling atmosphere since prior to his 2017 inauguration. With the constant belittling of minority groups, it has become increasingly important to remain united and promote an atmosphere of togetherness and opposition to the hatred from such a cabinet. While there may be other qualified candidates for such a position, disqualifying someone on the premises of age and gender is a backward thinking practice that needs to be reconsidered. If Nancy Pelosi were a man, would there be opposition to the nomination? Pelosi is a powerful woman who exemplifies the intelligence and elegance that America has missed. Even if Pelosi is not nominated as speaker, her voice will be heard; after all, the future is undeniably female.