A woman who ran for president in 1872 was compared to Satan and locked up. It wasn’t for her emails.Breaking News
tags: elections, presidential history, womens history, sexism
Five women are running for president of the United States, and Thursday night, three of them will take the stage in Houston for yet another Democratic primary debate. But before Elizabeth Warren, Kamala D. Harris, Amy Klobuchar and even 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, there was Victoria Woodhull, who is often credited as the first woman to run for the presidency.
When Woodhull briefly entered the 1872 election as the nominee of her own Equal Rights Party, she was too young to be president and couldn’t even vote for herself, with the 19th Amendment still decades away. A political cartoonist compared her to Satan, and she was thrown in jail that same year for publishing an exposé of a famous preacher’s alleged affair.
Though America has evolved to the point where voters have multiple female contenders to choose from in 2019, notes of the sexism and backlash that Woodhull faced because of her gender still linger in today’s politics.
Woodhull’s candidacy was doomed from the start, and her embrace of what would now be considered feminist ideals ultimately led to her public downfall. But she was actually on a greater campaign: to expand what was possible for women of her time.
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