Fusion’s ‘The 30’ Series Highlights Millennial Women Changing Politics In The US Today

fusion-the-30-series

We are in the full swing of the 2016 US presidential election and not a day goes by that we don’t hear about certain candidates, certain measures they want to implement, and of course the usual round of mud-slinging that goes on. Since we like to avoid that stuff generally in our content, we were pleased to stumble upon a new web series from Fusion called ‘The 30’ which focuses on a group of political activists who they claim will change the course of the election, and the future of politics in America.

This particular group happen to be millennial women who are, you guessed it, all under the age of 30. It’s about time the news media and politicians started paying attention to millennials, and women especially. Data from the Pew Research Center released in 2015 said that millennials now outnumber baby boomers as the largest living generation in America today. While not all millennials are eligible to vote, that hasn’t stopped them from getting involved in grass roots organizations and dipping their toes into the political world, motivated more by policies than candidates themselves.

“They come from across the country and across the political spectrum. One is a Dreamer in charge of Latino outreach for Hillary Clinton. Another is a Republican who won a seat in the New Hampshire legislature at the age of 19. They’re fighting for issues as diverse as their backgrounds. Social justice. Debt-free college. Immigrant rights. A livable minimum wage. Answering climate change. Stopping campus sexual assault,” says a description about the Fusion series on the website.

They are as diverse as they are passionate that by harnessing the power of politics for their generation, they can make a real difference in the country and in the world.

Symone-Sanders-Bernie-Sanders

“One came out as transgender in her school newspaper and became a national advocate for LGBT equality. Another is a 22-year-old Muslim who posted a response to Donald Trump and became a viral sensation, a voice for tolerance and inclusion. Together, they reflect a young, multicultural America—a group that will help determine who wins the White House and then will chart the future of the country,” continued the description.

The first woman featured is Symone Sanders, a 25 year old, a black activist, former communications officer and current national press secretary for Bernie Sanders (no relation!) presidential campaign. Unless you’ve been living under a rock and don’t use social media or venture on the internet at all, it’s hard to escape Bernie’s face, voice and news all over the place. His effective and impactful presence is thanks to a woman like Symone, who says she agrees with his policies.

Bernie’s team found out about her through her activism in the area of criminal and racial justice and the organizations she was involved in, putting to rest the criticism he hasn’t done enough to reach out to the black community. In an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine in August 2015, Symone shared her thoughts on why it’s important for young women to get involved in politics and be vocal about it.

“We need young women in organizing work. We need them doing this political policy work. First, I would encourage them to seek out organizations that are involved in something that they’re interested in. The next thing I would say is, be vocal about what your goals are. Don’t be afraid to show up. Don’t be afraid to not only sit at the table, but to speak up when you’re at the table, because your voice is valuable and important,” she said.

As a millennial woman she recognizes that a generation known for innovation and wanting to change the world, politics is an area that gives people the chance to do that.

“Politics touches every single avenue of life. Education. Health. If you like to be able to go to the grocery store and get affordable groceries in your neighborhood—that’s all politics,” said Symone in the Fusion video.

Aside from the fact that Bernie Sanders is supported entirely by every day votes, no super PACs or billionaire backers, a grassroots activist-fueled movement that mirrors the background Symone is familiar with, she also likes his stance on women’s issues.

“I appreciate the fact that he’s right on our issues, and that he likes women so much he employs a lot of us in really great positions,” she said. She’s not wrong there, Bernie has been a consistent pro-choice advocate and fully supports Planned Parenthood and the services they provide to women.

Any political candidate who ignores the need to reach out to millennial voters is clearly an idiot. The fact that the entire Republican field is openly stating they want to defund Planned Parenthood, make abortion illegal and restrict access to birth control is appalling. The other democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is employing a different kind of strategy to reach millennial voters, by amassing an army of female celebrities such as Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, and Demi Lovato. She will be making an appearance on ‘Broad City’, a Comedy Central favorite among feminists, and even managed to score the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro Choice organizations due to her unwavering support of women’s reproductive health (and the expansion of them by introducing key pieces of legislation over the years).

hillary-clinton-women

“The Clinton feminism of the 2016 election, though, is worlds away from the ‘women’s rights are human rights’ Hillary feminism of the 90s, and certainly a departure from her 2008 decision to downplay gender entirely. It is both linguistically and politically reflective of today’s online feminism, which means interacting with female-centric popular culture as an inroad to talking about the realities that shape women’s lives,” writes Jill Filipovic in a piece for the Guardian.

There is criticism she is not doing enough to reach out to and focus on women of color, but with a Latina DREAM-er on her campaign team, who is featured in Fusion’s series, we have a feeling it will exemplify more of her diverse millennial base.

Although polls and hyped up media articles are hell bent on portraying Hillary as out of touch with millennials and women, when you scratch a little deeper you hear the every day voices of women and men who are banking on her policies, not necessarily her popularity, and that’s what it should be about at the end of the day.

“As a millennial feminist, one of the main issues that’s important to me is reproductive justice. I’m excited about candidates who have a long history of supporting women’s access to safe and legal reproductive healthcare and Secretary Clinton is that candidate,” said Jaclyn Munson, a first-year law student at Northeastern University who spoke to democratic political site Blue Nation Review recently.

fusion-the-30-series

These are the women who are a generation of millennials raised in the social media culture, and who possess a keen understanding of how the political process can be used to their advantage. These are the female role models we need to see more of in the media and in our communities, as their voices are making a real difference on what certain candidates campaign for and focus on.

The fact that women make up less than 20% of government in the US today, and that the only time they manage to outnumber men is on a day when a major snow blizzard is raging on the East Coast so that all the men stay home and only the women show up to the Senate and Congress, is a real problem. Women’s voices cannot be added to the political landscape by accident, they have to become an integrated part of the process. If we ever hope to get rid of the separation between women’s issues and the economy as a whole, we need more women getting involved in politics and community activism from the ground up.

We hope Fusion’s ‘The 30’ series will inspire more young millennial women to raise their voices publicly about issues they care deeply about. Take a look at the trailer below, and be sure to watch all the videos as they launch on Fusion’s website.


 

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.