This Timeline Should Be Required Reading for Anyone Who Thinks Hillary Clinton Is Playing the Woman Card

June 10th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's jab that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was "playing the woman card" in an April CNN interview has taken on a life of its own.

"The woman card" has become a cheeky feminist catchphrase on social media and within the Clinton campaign. It also inspired a fascinating timeline chronicling the little-known history of women running for president in the United States.

The chart was created by the Brooklyn-based graphic design firm mgmt design, and it was shared in a Wednesday Instagram post.


A photo posted by MGMT. design (@mgmtdesign) on

The timeline brings readers from Victoria Woodhull's presidential run in 1872 — almost fifty years before women could vote — to Hillary Clinton's 2008 and 2016 bids, and Dr. Jill Stein's 2012 and 2016 campaigns.

The timeline also marks Carly Fiorina's 2016 presidential bid. Fiorina, a Stanford graduate with a background in business, was the only woman in the crowded 2016 Republican primary field.

Margaret Chase Smith, who ran in 1964, was the first female candidate to appear on a ballot at a major party convention. Shirley Chisholm, a 1972 Democratic presidential hopeful, was the first Black woman to campaign for a major party presidential nomination, according to the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

In 1988, Lenora Fulani became "the first woman and first African American to gain ballot access in all 50 states," the timeline explains.

It matters that a woman is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, but not because it makes things easier for her.

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote," Trump said, the Washington Post reported. "The only thing she's got going is the women's card.”

Trump's remarks ignore the reality of gender inequality in politics and virtually every other sphere of life.

Whether you want to run for president, get a promotion, star in movies, or get treatment for a medical condition, being a woman almost never makes it easier.

Dan Cassino, a political scientist at Fairleigh Dickinson University, told NPR that he believed Trump's "woman card" talk was intended to channel male paranoia about female empowerment.

"This is an appeal, saying basically to other men — 'Hey, the women are ganging up on us, the women are using their gender to get power from us' — that's what the woman card is — 'all the women are gonna get together and vote for Hillary Clinton, we have to band together as men to stop Hillary Clinton,'" Cassino explained.