Twelve of the 25 cabinet-level or cabinet-level positions in the Biden administration will be held by women, assuming they are confirmed, beating former President Bill Clinton’s second-term record of nine women serving at the same time. Biden’s cabinet will also include eight women of color.
“’Nobody asks you to vote or support women just because they are women. But we believe that the diversity of gender perspectives and racial perspectives at any table will enrich the conversation. ” ”- Kelly Dittmar, Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University
In a Teen Vogue opinion column, for example, writer Lily Herman argued in December against a focus on “superficial representation.” He pointed to Haines’ previous role in the Obama-era drone strike program, as well as the possible job of Homeland Security candidate Alejandro Mayorkas heading a department with “deep-seated historical problems.” “Considering that Biden would not be in office if it weren’t for Black, Indigenous and Latinx voters, as well as capturing the majority of the electorate among women, youth, and low- and middle-income voters, it is crucial to keep the feet of his transition team on fire and hear what those constituents want from his term as president, ”Herman added. “If the barely existing attempts at diversity by the Trump administration have shown us anything, it is that superficial representation is not enough if it is not combined with strong ideals and actions.” (A transitional spokesperson for Biden did not immediately respond to a request for comment on these criticisms. Haines’s advocates say she “helped establish safeguards on the use of force and greater transparency for the drone program.” , reports the New York Times.) It’s important not to confuse ideology or political positions with gender or race, Dittmar said. Highlighting the importance of representation and identity, he added, does not mean that identities such as race and gender are the only perspectives that individuals bring. “We know that not all women have the same ideological or political points of view and, in the same way, not all Latinos have the same position on immigration,” she said. “When we think of representation from an individual level, we are recognizing that they bring with them multiple, overlapping, and intersecting identities.” That means factors like educational and professional background, as well as race and gender, are parts of the puzzle in informing how someone approaches policies and prioritizes issues, Dittmar said. “But the reason we often focus on race and gender,” he said, “is because of the particular historical marginalization or exclusion of particular race and gender experiences and perspectives lived from these high-level positions.” “Nobody asks you to vote or support women just because they are women,” added Dittmar. “But we believe that the diversity of gender perspectives and racial perspectives at any table will enrich the conversation.”