With 2020 being an important year for elections, the Women’s Resource Center hosted a showing of the Netflix documentary “Knock Down the House.” Students were able to come and watch the film Tuesday, and it was followed by a short discussion.
The documentary features four women who ran for congress during the primary elections in 2018. The primary focus was on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran for congress in New York.
The event was organized by the Women’s Resource Center Graduate Assistant Erin Stanton.
“I think it is important to learn the difficulties that women face when running for congress, especially when they don’t have a big backing or a lot of money,” Stanton said. “It also gives you a really good insight on how politics work because I feel like there a lot of people that don’t quite understand.”
After watching this documentary, even Stanton expressed interest in learning more about how our political system truly works.
The goal of showing this documentary was simply to educate and inform.
“Hopefully they don’t feel their political decisions need to be swayed in any way,” Stanton said. “I just want them to learn how politics work and the struggles that anyone has to go through, whether they are a woman or not.”
The documentary showed many of the “behind the scenes” scenarios that happen in our political system. One thing that students learned was how difficult it is to get on the ballot if you are from a grassroots campaign.
“I didn’t realize it was so easy to get rid of a signature,” said ISU student Hannah Hinkle.
In the documentary, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discusses that 1,250 signatures are required to get on the ballot, but you truly need closer to 10,000 signatures because of how easy it is for them to toss out “faulty” signatures.
One thing that was striking to many students was a democratic debate that happened in the film. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was running against Joe Crowley, but Crowley sent a representative to this debate on his behalf. The representative did not know how to answer any of the questions presented.
“I personally was like wow, that was rough,” said Hinkle.
This was a great opportunity for students to not only learn about women in politics, but about the difficulties that all working class people face when trying to run for office.