Nancy Mace on Republican Women in Office: We Have Been Breaking Glass Ceilings Our Entire Lives

By Madeline Leesman

October 5, 2021

On Tuesday the Republican National Committee (RNC) released the tenth installment of its “Real America” podcast hosted by Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. The latest episode featured Representative Nance Mace, a Republican representing South Carolina’s first congressional district. In the podcast, Mace discussed her journey into politics, the “Free Britney” movement, and female leadership in today’s GOP. 

Mace, who assumed office in 2019, was previously a state lawmaker and small business owner. Before that, Mace was notably the first female graduate from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where she started 25 years ago. Coming from a family with ties to the military, Mace said “[w]hen The Citadel decided to let women in, I raised my hand.” 

Before enrolling at The Citadel, she had dropped out of high school following a sexual assault and was working at a local Waffle House. While she was working, she earned her high school diploma by taking college courses in her spare time.

“The Citadel changed my life,” Mace said. She became their first female graduate in 1999.

“Republican women have been breaking glass ceilings their entire life,” Mace explained. “This is not a monopoly owned by Democrat women. We don’t get a lot of recognition for the barriers that we’ve broken, but we’ve been doing it our entire lives.” 

RNC Chairwoman and “Real America” host Ronna McDaniel agreed. “Women in our party are not celebrated by the mainstream media,” she added. “If we’re breaking glass ceilings or doing things that are outside the norm, it’s muted because we’re Republican, which is shameful.” 

In the interview, Mace donned a “Free Britney” t-shirt, and explained how she is working on a bill with a fellow House member – a Democrat – that would free individuals like Britney Spears from abusive conservatorships.

“This is an issue where the right and the left can come together. It’s not a right or left issue. It’s right versus wrong. And we want to right the abuses that she’s [Spears] detailed. And there are over a million people in conservatorships around the country. Abuse has been happening long before she ever topped the charts. So, this is a way for us to work together in a very divisive environment. Up here, there are places where we can reach across the aisle, like Reagan taught us to, and work together. And that’s what I’m doing with this bill,” Mace said in the interview, noting that abusive conservatorships are “something you do in communist China, not something you do here in the United States.”

Currently, Mace is one of about 30 Republican women in the House. She’s a single mother of two children and credits her kids for inspiring her to run for office. But, as mentioned before, she is well aware of the double standard in the mainstream media regarding the treatment of Republican women versus Democratic women.

“The mainstream media wants to talk about equal opportunity, but there is no equal opportunity when you’re a conservative woman or Republican woman on your achievements. It’s not the same. We work just as hard. We break just as many glass ceilings,” Mace said.

“There are two things that I care about,” Mace added. “I care about my kids and I care about my country. I often tell people, ‘I’m married to the job.’ I’ve been doing it seven months. I love it. It’s tough. But, I was built for tough. And this is a time where we’ve got to be tough.”

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