For many female voters, Sen. Kamala Harris is a compelling candidate for vice president. For evangelical women, who are more likely to scrutinize her policy ideas than her fashion choices, however, the prospect of the junior senator from California becoming one heartbeat away from the presidency sounds an alarm.
That’s not to diminish Harris’s pop-culture appeal. She graced the latest cover of Elle magazine, and last month, the Washington Post waxed eloquent on her collection of Converse shoes. Meticulously and aggressively, Harris has curated an image of the female candidate who is relatable, popular, and fun.
You’ll have to forgive more astute female voters for looking past the high heels and coifed curls to the perilous ideology Harris represents, for the issues that matter to evangelical women cannot be airbrushed by puff pieces on footwear. While Harris might be a good candidate for Annie Leibovitz’s next photoshoot, she is hardly the standard-bearer Christian women have been waiting for.
Harris doesn’t represent women like Selina Soule, for instance. Soule is the high school track star who missed qualifying for the New England Regional Championships — and the potential for scholarship opportunities that came with it — because two biological males who identified as females competed in the same race. In the Senate, Harris co-sponsored the Equality Act, which would force schools to allow biological males to compete in women’s sports.
Harris doesn’t stand for women like Rachel Lloyd, the founder of a nonprofit for sexually exploited women and girls in New York, and a former prostitute herself. Her organization, which fights the legalization of sex trafficking in the United States, recognizes not only the societal harm of legalized prostitution but the pain and trauma it causes the women who are caught up in the cycle of abuse. Yet the junior senator from California wants to decriminalize prostitution.
Harris doesn’t represent women like Chikara Parks, who supports school choice after moving her children to different schools when they endured bullying. Harris has long opposed policies that would allow minority children and their parents to enroll in the schools they choose.
Then there’s Nicole Saphier, a medical doctor and mother of three, who worries the possible legalization of marijuana will send the wrong message about the substance’s negative effect on their physical and mental health. She is one of a large segment of the female population who opposes legalizing marijuana. In the vice-presidential debate, Harris pledged that a Biden administration would “decriminalize marijuana and … expunge the records of those who have been convicted of marijuana.” Harris doesn’t represent women like Saphier.
And don’t forget women like Gianna Jessen, who miraculously survived an abortion by saline, an attempt to burn, blind, and suffocate her at seven and a half months in utero. Harris voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill that would have required doctors to give medical care to infants born after an attempted abortion. Harris doesn’t stand for women like Jessen, either.
During her debate with Vice President Mike Pence, Harris chafed at the charge that she would discriminate against a woman for her faith. She found it “insulting.” Yet for her entire political career, Harris has backed policies that marginalize real women of faith for their concerns.
No candidate can represent the lives and interests of every demographic, but for Christian women, Harris might be the most alarming candidate on the ballot. She simply doesn’t represent us nor our families.
A female candidate needs more than sequined All-Stars and a flashy smile to win our support. She needs a conscience.