Candidate gender has become a major theme in the 2016 presidential campaign. Secretary Clinton appears to be emphasizing her gender to a greater degree than she did in 2008, even invoking gender in primary debates as something that separates her from the political establishment. Her opponent in the general election, Donald Trump, claimed that Clinton was playing the “woman card” and that Clinton has little to offer as a candidate beyond her sex. However, scholars have little sense of the effectiveness of playing the woman card by emphasizing the historic first associated with a candidacy, a strategy with inherent risks. This project examines the effect of playing the woman card by emphasizing the historic nature of a female executive candidate, and demonstrates that playing the woman card may actually benefit female candidates among certain subsets of voters. Playing the gender card appeals to voters traditionally underrepresented in politics and to weak Democrats and independents. These findings suggest that playing the gender card may benefit female candidates, especially Democrats, in elections.