theSkimm with Erin Loos Cutraro
Women’s History Month is here. To celebrate all month long, we’ll be highlighting some of the different orgs and people making waves for women’s representation.
Next up, Erin Loos Cutraro, founder and CEO of She Should Run. Since 2011, the nonpartisan org has encouraged more than 40,000 women to consider their leadership potential. Because, despite some gains, women still only hold around 30% of elected offices in the US. And data has shown that while nearly 60% of men have thought about running for office, nearly 60% of women have not. Here’s what she had to say about the barriers women face in politics, and how She Should Run is working to change that...
Q: Historically, women have been less likely to run for office. Why?
Women are less likely to see themselves as elected leaders. It basically starts at puberty, with girls being more likely to identify others — specifically white men — when they’re asked, ‘What does a politician look like?’ They just don’t see themselves in that role … And because our current elected bodies — we have over 500,000 elected offices in the country, by the way — are predominantly represented by men, it’s not surprising that history repeats itself.
Q: What would you say to women considering a run?
Our research is really clear that there is a political ambition gap … If the thought even crosses their mind, they’re immediately thinking about the ways they can become better informed on everything there is to know about every policy. When in reality, what’s most important is that fire in the belly — to be connected to a policy that you care about … Because women often aren’t in the rooms, especially marginalized women. That fundamentally changes the outcome of policies, and we need them there.
Q: Once a woman decides to run, what other hurdles does she face?
Likely, that she has to make a case for her qualifications. It’s not assumed that she has what it takes. Even if the list [of her qualifications] is long she may have to lead with that list. It may be that she has to work harder to build the network, to break through what could be a 100% built-in old boys club … Then there are double standards when it comes to how voters perceive women, not just in terms of qualifications, but also in terms of their ability to lead … We still live in a reality where women’s experiences look very different than men’s.
Q: She Should Run wants to see 250,000 women run for local, state, and federal offices by 2030. Is that goal in reach?
Yes … It’s not She Should Run alone saying women should run for office. It’s She Should Run giving individuals the tools that will help them find the women in their lives — and we all know them — who should be thinking about running for office. We can be that catalyst that plants the seed and says, ‘You should think about running for office’ … So, how are we gonna get to 250,000 women? Well, we’re going to do it together.
Psst, this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
While Taylor Swift kicked off her Eras Tour, Lana Del Rey gave fans a taste of her new album. In fashion, celebrity stylist Law Roach is (sort of) out, but toe nail art, skinny scarves, and naked dresses are all in. If you also dare to bare, here’s what to know. Oprah said ‘Hello Beautiful’ to her 100th book club pick, while “The Bachelorette” extended a rose to its next star. Meanwhile, “Swarm,” the buzzy, Beyoncé-inspired TV series from Donald Glover is now streaming. But a star-studded Nancy Meyers rom-com won’t be. And in sad news, fans and colleagues are mourning Lance Reddick, aka Lt. Cedric Daniels from “The Wire,” who passed away yesterday at 60.
The first round of March Madness kicked off with some big upsets in both the men’s (see: Fairleigh Dickinson, Furman, and Princeton) and women’s tournaments (see: Mississippi State). Don’t worry if your bracket is already busted — the odds were definitely not in your favor. Meanwhile, FIFA’s sometimes controversial president Gianni Infantino was re-elected, so he’ll oversee a bigger, maybe better World Cup in 2026. That’s also when he hopes to finally have equal prize money for men and women. We’ll believe it when we see it. Speaking of women’s teams, Ireland’s female rugby team is switching from white to navy shorts after players’ concerns about period anxieties. Relatable. And, along with a new record, World Cup skiing champion Mikaela Shiffrin also has a new female head coach.
Fathers got some good family time during the pandemic — and want to keep it that way. If it feels like getting together with loved ones is harder than ever, you’re not alone. Although, if you find yourself always asking them for a “sense-check,” it might be time to start trying to navigate tough convos on your own. Feeling burned out? Turns out, you don’t need crystals, cleanses, and other forms of “faux self-care.” But a ‘to-don’t list’ might help. Oh and sorry, everyone still needs water.
*Slams laptop shut until Monday.* We know the feeling. And we’ve got some tips for escape.
Books and TV shows are a perfect escape from reality — especially during the coziest months of the year. But if you’re ready to emerge from your winter slumber, there’s no reason why you can’t steal a scene from your favorite fantasy stories to inspire your real-world adventures. Here are a few novel ideas...
Take a tour. If you were obsessed with “Twilight,” consider a visit to Forks, WA, which has become a tourist hot spot, thanks to the vampires. Did “Outlander” get you through the coldest days of winter? Then you can’t go wrong with a trip to Scotland. Meanwhile, fans of “Game of Thrones” might try a trip to Croatia (if they haven’t already). Even farther afield — and back in fandom lore — are the stunning New Zealand landscapes seen in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Another option: Honor your favorite authors by creating your own tour of places where they found inspiration, like Oxford University (for C.S. Lewis) or Cannery Row (for John Steinbeck).
Go to a theme park. Theme parks are perfect for thrill seekers who want to fully immerse themselves. Potterheads can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California, Florida, Japan, and China. While Shrek fans should consider going to Shrek’s Adventure in London for an epic time. And for all the Dr. Seuss fans, think about a trip to Seuss Landing in Orlando, FL.
Visit a museum or exhibition. Even if travel isn’t in your plans, you can still get away with virtual reality. For example, those in the tri-state area can become Hogwarts students at Harry Potter New York. Or, you could see if there are any nearby authors’ homes to visit. Fans of “Little Women” will appreciate a trip to Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Massachusetts — where she wrote (and set) the classic coming-of-age story. For those down South, consider stopping at the boyhood home of “Roots” author Alex Haley or Ernest Hemingway’s Florida dwelling, where you’ll likely come across a few cats. Meanwhile, theater lovers will enjoy touring the Danville, CA home of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill.
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