The midterm elections were huge for women for so many reasons. We saw many firsts — from the first Muslim women in Congress to the first female governors in several states. Over 100 women were elected to office this year, and this election's legacy will impact policy for years to come.
But one place women — and their champions — didn't win big was in the Senate.
Yes, several women were voted to the senate, including stand-out Republican Marsha Blackburn, the first female senator to represent Tennessee. However, senators who championed the #MeToo movement had a hard night. How?
4 of the 5 Senate Democrats with competitive elections lost their seats (or are calling for a recount due to a tight race) — Sen. Donnelley, Sen. Heitkamp, Sen. McCaskill, and Sen. Nelson. All of them voted against Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation.
However, Democratic Sen. Manchin from West Virginia won his race. He voted to confirm Kavanaugh.
I'm not a scientist, so I can't argue that this is a causal relationship.
But I can say that it's likely more than a weird coincidence. There has been violent pushback against Brett Kavanaugh's opposition, both in liberal and conservative circles, by those who fear Democrats were threatening the rule of law by "indicting" Kavanaugh with little to no evidence.
We saw it on social media with the #HimToo movement and the #BeersForBrett posts. And we likely saw it at the polls.
This is just one illustration of the challenges women and their allies face in fighting sexual misconduct and violence.
In reality, less than 10 percent of sexual violence claims are false reports, while 75 percent of sexual harassment victims are retaliated against for reporting abuse. Yet this narrative of the false accuser and the evil woman who uses her sexuality to steal power from men continues to permeate our culture, even at the highest level.
If incumbent senators can't get elected because they questioned an alleged sexual predator, what do we think happens to everyday women fighting for their God-given right to not be abused? If I want to sleep at night, I try not to think about it. And I'm guessing that's why we're focusing on the positives instead of the negatives.