Emma Axelrod


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Teen who petitioned for female debate moderator: ‘No one — man or woman — could have done it better’

I don’t like to be told there’s something I can’t do. To be specific, I don’t like to be told there’s something I can’t do because I’m a girl.

Whether they meant to or not, and I’d like to think that they didn’t, that’s pretty much what the Commission on Presidential Debates has been indirectly telling every woman in the United States for 20 years by only choosing male presidential debate moderators for the past four elections. The last 12 debate moderators were all men. Twenty years went by without a woman on that stage, and that makes it a trend that started before I was even born.

I don’t understand why women were being passed by for this position repeatedly for 20 years when there has been such an abundance of great female journalists to do the job, but they were, and the message was clear. In my life, I never saw a woman on that stage acting as an authority over the two most potentially powerful men in America. Read more

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