This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.
A new documentary series coming to CNN profiles the ‘Badass Women of Washington’ who haven’t let gender hold them back from becoming involved in politics, the military, and business.
In the series, CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash sits down with some of D.C.’s most high-profile women and gets them to open up about the unique struggles of being female in United States politics.
Bash said she was inspired to create the series following Hillary Clinton’s loss of the 2016 presidential election. ‘What did that [loss] mean for women?’ Bash asks viewers in a note posted to the docu-series’ website.
‘The answer – and the need to broaden our lens – seemed clear: Women are already breaking barriers in a man’s town, muscling their way into power and staying there.’
The multi-part project turns the camera on women who come ‘from a wide range of backgrounds and generations’ but have all managed to grapple their way up the political ladder.
Notably, the series features women from both sides of the political aisle. Bash told Glamour that it was ‘so amazing’ to find out how women in politics share ‘so many experiences’ that ‘completely cross party lines.’
In a clip featuring California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the multi-term politician reveals that when she began her political career in the 1960s, she was labeled ‘crazy’ and left people thinking ‘something must be wrong with her.’
Though times have certainly changed – literally and metaphorically – Feinstein acknowledges that ‘being a woman in our society, even today, is difficult.’
Another episode, in which Bash speaks to Lieutenant General Nadja West, gives a more elusive glimpse into the life of a military woman. West revealed cruel hazing she underwent at West Point Military Academy, courtesy of her male classmates.
‘That was a motivator for me,’ West said of the difficult time. ‘I can’t not make it now.’ But the struggle continued – West said a close male friend doubted her success and that, following a promotion, told her that the rise in rank was likely due to her sex and not her ability.
The episode featuring Trump’s Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao features her unique tale of arriving in the United States aboard a cargo ship when she was just a young girl.
As an adult in the political sphere, she shared her experience being married to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and says that her decision not to have children was a ‘trade-off’ she needed to make for her career.
Many of the other women share similar stories of overcoming doubt and outright hostility in order to achieve political recognition – but all of them ultimately hope their stories of struggle will uplift, and pave the way for the next generation of women in politics.
The seven-part series, which is currently available to stream, has an episode dedicated to Dianne Feinstein, Nadja West, Jeanne Shaheen, Herrera Beutler, Catherine Cortez Masto, Ronna Romney McDaniel, and Elaine Chao.