Kamala Harris: Breaking the Glass Ceiling for Young Women


Kamala Harris at a drive-in rally.

Lily Ismay, Staff Writer

Disclaimer: The opinions and viewpoints expressed in the following article do not necessarily reflect those of NDP Gateway, Gateway staff, or Notre Dame Preparatory School.

Senator Kamala Harris made history on November 7th by accepting her title of Vice President-elect, making her not only the first woman to win the nation’s second highest office, but also the first woman of color to do so. Being the first black woman appointed as California’s attorney general, this is not the first glass ceiling Harris has had to break. She is also the first Asian American and second black woman to be elected as a California senator.  

Joe Biden choosing Kamala Harris has his VP running mate was not just a way to gain minority votes; it was acknowledging that there are countless women who have everything it takes to be in positions of power. Harris becoming Vice President-elect shows that America is waking up to the fact that women do belong in politics and won’t be pushed back into the kitchen and nursery. The media has also started reporting more on up-and-coming women in politics (notable women being Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other members of ‘The Squad’). 

It’s crucial to recognize that black women have always been a core pillar in Democratic history. From Shirley Chisholm’s run for the Democratic nomination in 1972 to Charlotta Bass’ run for Vice President in 1952, black women have worked long and hard to clear the path for Kamala Harris’ victory.  

After decades of performative femininity, a stereotype set by brands such as Barbie that is characterized by the idea of pastel dresses, bleached hair, and standing by the man’s side, Harris’ win shows America that the future of womanhood is going to be very different from now on. Although it seems shallow, the way that women in the public light dress sets the stage for the younger generation. Throughout the campaign, Harris has dressed “business casual,” projecting to young girls that you can crave success and still be dedicated to family. 

During the course of the campaign, Kamala appointed “Work That,” by Mary J. Blige, as her “walk out song.” Blige’s song is all about women empowerment and really embodies how so many Black women have allowed for Harris to become a true trailblazer in politics.  

While Harris so eloquently put in her acceptance speech, “I may be the first, but I won’t be the last,” on behalf of young girls everywhere, I thank her and wholeheartedly encourage her to “work that.”