Although there are plenty of #girlbosses in government, many go unnoticed (thanks patriarchal hegemony!!!) Tulsi Gabbard is the U.S. Representative for Hawaii and made headlines back in February when she dropped out of the DNC to support Bernie. But, there is so much more to our girl Tulsi G than just support for a socially and environmentally conscious Larry David look alike.
1. She Became the Youngest Elected Female State Legislator at The Same Time She Could Legally Drink
Gabbard ran for state senate when she was 21 and won. She was the youngest elected legislator in Hawaii and the youngest elected female state legislator in America. While most 21-year-olds were getting inhumanely intoxicated, she was passing bills in the state senate.
2. Voluntarily Served in Iraq as a Member of Hawaii’s National Guard
She stepped down from public office after serving her first term and voluntarily became a combat soldier in Iraq for a year because apparently, there’s nothing this woman can’t do.
3. Became the First Woman at Alabama Military Academy to Receive Honors
When Gabbard finished her 12-month combat tour in Iraq, she decided to attend the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at Alabama Military Academy (because why not?) and became the first woman in the school’s history to receive distinguished honors upon graduation. She can now add “military police officer” to her list of credentials.
4. She’s a United States Representative for Hawaii
Since 2013, Gabbard has been the U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. This makes her a part of the growing but still dismal 19.3% of women that serve as U.S. representatives.
5. She Is the First Hindu and First American Samoan Member of Congress
Since 2012, she has made a name for herself in congress not only because she’s a woman, but also because she’s American Samoan, and she’s Hindu. Triple Threat Tulsi is comin’ in hot.
6. Stepped Down as Vice Chair of The Democratic National Committee in Support of Bernie Sanders
Gabbard stepped down from the DNC in order to endorse Bernie Sanders—a move many people saw as bold and unfathomable. Her reasoning was that she couldn’t choose sides if she stayed in her position at the DNC and believed Bernie’s stance on military invention and social issues was more important than her title.
7. Went to Aid Syria on Her Own Dime
She travelled to Aleppo, Demascus, and Beirut to meet with the Syrian people and see the impact the war has had on them. Though the trip met every requirement of the House Ethics Committee, Gabbard reimbursed the group that funded her for the trip because she “didn’t want American taxpayer dollars to continue to be used in support of militant groups working hand-in-hand with al-Qaeda and ISIS in the effort to overthrow the Syrian government.” Boom.
8. Introduced a Bipartisan Bill to Stop Funding Terrorists on Either Side
Likewise, Gabbard introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, a bill that would prohibit U.S. government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS and any groups with terrorist ties, regardless of what side they were on.
9. Pro-Equal Rights, Even if Daddy Doesn’t Like It
Gabbard has been open about her stance on gay marriage and transgender rights. Although this is admirable on its own, what makes it noteworthy is that her father, Mike Gabbard, has been very adamantly opposed to LGBTQ rights on his platform. It takes quite a woman to be stand up to her own father’s platform in defense of human equality.
10. She Protects Our Environment
Gabbard has not only outwardly protested the Keystone Pipeline, but also started an environmental non-profit as a teenager (casual) and has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and Ocean Champions.
All hail Tulsi G, the gift that keeps on giving.
By Bella Engelhard