In the presidential race, some women stayed at home because they didn’t want to vote against their husbands. Now they have had enough.
In the months before President Donald Trump become the president, women like Tara Zrinski talked with voters about environmental policy. She hoped that the conversations might help elect Hillary Clinton.
“We heard women saying that they didn’t want to vote against their husband,” Zrinksi said. “That they weren’t going to vote because they didn’t want to cancel out his vote.”
Women are realizing, I’ve got to step up, I’ve got to take care of myself, I’ve got to take care of my kids
The loss was devastating for activists like Zrinski. But it was also galvanizing, to an extent that has begun to look bad – possibly alarmingly bad – for Trump and Republicans. Because one year after the presidential election, a wave of first-time female candidates stood for state and local office in Northampton County and across the United States – and they won.
“It was a huge Republican bloodbath, is the only word I can think of for it,” said Peg Ferraro, a popular Republican who narrowly retained her seat on Northampton’s County council.
For the past year, the Guardian has been exploring Trump’s win in Northampton County for our series The Promise. As summer has turned to fall, doubts have grown locally about whether Trump could win the county again, which could have implications for his national staying power. And women are at the center of the story.
Democratic and progressive women in Northampton County have been motivated by frustration with Trump, but their feelings of disenfranchisement go beyond the president, they said.
“I really describe it as a kind of quiet rage,” said Vanessa Williams, 35, a local activist and organizer. “And you see it explode every once in a while. It’s really come out a lot again with all the sexual assault allegations that are coming out.
“Women are just pissed, frankly. They’ve had it. I think up to now it’s been a lot of talk of, ‘There, there, we’ll take care of it, we’ll take care of you’.
“And it’s not happening. And women are realizing, I’ve got to step up, I’ve got to take care of myself, I’ve got to take care of my kids.”