A black woman, a Latina, and two Muslim women all walk into Congress… Nope, it’s not a joke. It’s what the new women’s wave looks like in Washington, D.C.
A diverse group of women ran for public office at all levels of government in the midterm elections, hoping to challenge the status quo in American politics.
Needless to say, they did it. This year, only 58 percent of all candidates were white men, the lowest percentage in the past four elections, according to the New York Times. The new class of the 116th Congress is already forming the “dream team” we’ve been waiting for.
Twenty-eight-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the youngest women elected to Congress, posted a photo with all-star Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar all sitting together at a table in Washington, D.C.
Ayanna Pressley is the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress, while Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota are the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress.
Instagram users online marveled at the fresh faces that will be representing them in Congress — women of color.
“The new face of American politics, gotta love it,” wrote one Instagram user.
Another Instagram user commented on Ocasio-Cortez’s photos, pointing out the “backdrop of all the paintings of old white dudes.” With a 75 percent increase in minority women congressional candidates in this election compared with the numbers in 2012, these women of color have accomplished their mission of making Congress a little less male and a little less pale: “Times they are a-changin for the better. Thank you ladies,” commented Vukonich.
Pressley also posted a photo of herself, Omar, and Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, alongside Sharice Davids, another newly elected Native American, sitting at a table in D.C. at the orientation for new members of Congress with the hashtags #changecantwait and #bringyourownchair.
These women have broken through “concrete ceilings,” unseated white male incumbents and made history — but they’re not stopping there. In another Instagram post of the four representatives-elect from Rashida Tlaib, they’re already voicing their mode of attack, “fighting for #JusticeforAll” on Capitol Hill.
“Someone call Marvel, it’s the new Avengers,” one woman commented on Tlaib’s photo. Omar posted a similar shot to her Instagram of her sitting with Haaland and Presley to send a strong message to Washington, D.C.’s old boys’ club: “We did not come to play.”