More

He actually said this woman with kids shouldn't run for office. She shut him down.

The public believes women are just as qualified as men but often still don't vote them in.

He actually said this woman with kids shouldn't run for office. She shut him down.

An Ohio woman was recently cautioned against running for office because she's a mom. Yes, this really happened. In 2016. WTF.

Jennifer Herold is running for state representative in Ohio's 7th district. Her opponent, a man by the name of Tom Patton, suggested that she, as a mother of two, should wait until her kids are all grown up before she considers running for office.

"The gal that’s running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of two infants," Patton said in a radio appearance. "I don’t know if anyone explained to her you have to spend three nights a week in Columbus. So, how does that work out for you? Umm, I waited until I was 48, till my kids were raised and at least adults, before we took the opportunity to try."


Again: W-T-F?

Of course, Herold wasn't having any of this and issued a statement shutting Patton's sexist nonsense down with a few examples from history.

As Herold points out, Patton's argument relies on a persistent and outdated sexist double standard. After all, it's not like there are any other politicians who've balanced work and parenting. Right?

Unless you count President Obama ... oh, and Presidents Bush (both of 'em), Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, or, well,  you get the idea.

And those are just the presidents. 

"There are numerous examples of women with children who have admirably served our nation," Herold writes, referencing Sarah Palin, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, and Rep. Christina Hagan who gave birth in December and is already back at work. She also mentions Ohio Gov. John Kasich's teenage daughters and Speaker Paul Ryan's weekly commutes between D.C. and Wisconsin to see his family.  

"So I ask Mr. Patton, by your logic, are you saying that 2 Vice Presidential nominees, the highest ranking woman in The House Leadership Team, our sitting Governor and Lieutenant Governor and a colleague in the Ohio Legislature are all unfit to serve?" Herold asks.

"Further, are your colleagues in the Ohio Legislature, the majority whom have had young children while serving, aware of your views? Do you draw a distinction between whether that representative is a mother or a father who is serving?"

Here's Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in 2012 with his wife Janna, mother Betty, and children Sam, Charlie, and Liza. Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

Herold isn't the first mom to deal with this. In 2000, Heidi Heitkamp shut down a similar question with a totally iconic response.

Back in 2000, Heidi Heitkamp was running for governor of North Dakota against John Hoeven. While Hoeven would regularly get questions about policy issues, Heitkamp was frequently asked about her two kids, Nathan and Ali, how she'd handle splitting time between raising a family and running the state, and other issues women in the workforce seem to get asked about on an all-too-regular basis. One day, a reporter asked how old her kids were. Her now-famous response? "They're the same age as my opponent's kids."

Herold and Heitkamp are not alone in having to answer ridiculous questions like this. According to a 2014 Pew survey17% of Americans think the reason more women aren't in office has to do with their family commitments. (Not so sure men are being held to that same standard, guys!)

In the end, Heitkamp lost the race for governor, but she made a powerful point about the double standard women are held to when it comes to pursuing their professional goals. Women are asked questions about "having it all," while, it's generally just understood that men don't have a problem doing the same.

Heitkamp eventually ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, eking out a victory over Republican Rick Berg.

While she lost that 2000 battle for the North Dakota governorship, Heidi Heitkamp did come away with an epic one-liner. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

People should be judged on the basis of their qualifications, not on their gender, race, sexuality, or other demographic factor.

After Jennifer Herold's Facebook status started gaining attention, her opponent issued a statement to the Today show, saying, "I used a poor choice of words to express what I know firsthand — raising young children and working is tough."

"I would ask to be judged on my hard work and advocacy for working families," Patton added, echoing exactly what mothers everywhere have been asking for all along.

So let's do that, shall we? Not because Patton finally got with the program, but because it's the right thing to do.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is joined by 65 women elected to the House of Representatives in a ceremonial swearing in. Over the past 20 years, the number of women in office has doubled, but it still remains disproportionately low. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less