While at a political meeting, I engaged in a discussion about women in politics with another woman. She offered that she was 75, and that she's been around politics for quite a while. She was around when Ann Richards was the popular Governor of Texas, and she was around when Wendy Davis tried to reach that office, unsuccessfully.
My first reaction when she said this was to kind of agree: we live in a very red, very masculine state. Maybe there's enough of the good ol' boy ethos to cost a woman a few points, and with it, an election.
But here's the thing: we won't know if Texas is ready for a woman unless we try.
I have spent a lot of time over the last 6 months wondering how much different politics in the US would be if we had more women in government. We have quite a bit of evidence to give us an idea. Businesses with a higher proportion of women in upper management outperform those run mostly by men. Countries with more women in government often have more robust policies in regards to education and paid leave.
Not trying is not an option. We do ourselves and our children a disservice if we don't try. We can't know how many positions we could achieve if we don't try. We miss opportunities for changing our culture and our country if we don't try. Most importantly, we cheat ourselves and our daughters out of the possibility of winning if we don't try.
And in simply trying, we open doors, and options. We provide examples for younger women and children, so that they starting thinking that it might be possible. We shift the conversation away from "no, we can't" to "maybe we can". And we form a foundation and gather information about what works, to be used when the next woman decides to run.
Sometimes we simply win. But we can't know if we don't try.