“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.”
~Clare Boothe Luce
I was outside tonight watering the garden, thinking about Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency. That here I am at the age of 41, seeing a woman for the first time as a real Contender. That here I am in the process of starting a family with my husband, and thinking, it’s possible that my child will know what it’s like to be born with a woman leading our country.
It still makes me teary-eyed. And the knowledge of the media, the internet trollers, and as importantly, the mindset of so many in this country – of all genders – who call themselves Americans yet judge half of our population so very differently. Even those who call themselves liberal in thought are often guilty of this seem to hold a double standard when it comes to this particular moment in our history.
I keep thinking of how many women I’ve spent time with who are ardent feminists yet don’t want to be loud and proud about supporting Hillary Clinton, who because of her imperfections – no worse than any other politician out there, including our current POTUS – are holding back from showing the true solidarity of women that is needed for us to elect a woman as President.
Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive.
When I started my blog six and a half years ago, we were preparing to vote for a new president. After years under a man who never won the popular vote, started multiple wars, and took us back socially and fiscally into a very dark place, we had two especially wonderful candidates for the Democratic primary for the first time in, well, EVER. We had Hillary and Barack.
I voted for Hillary. And then I voted for Barack. And I voted for Barack again. And during Obama’s first term, I watched an evolution of Hillary to an international stateswoman, more involved than any other SoS in history, traveling to 112 countries and over 1 million miles in four years. And, as Policy.Mic summarized, “Her tenure as secretary of state is filled with accomplishments that taken together demonstrate the resurgence of U.S. diplomacy and restoration of American credibility. Her specific successes – such as Burma’s opening to the world or crippling effect of Iran sanctions – are important, but so too are her focus on people-to-people diplomacy and economics.”
In addition, ForeignAffairs.com’s Michael Hirsh admits (even while calling her good, but not great, in the role), “Clinton helped undo the damage that the habitual unilateralism of the George W. Bush administration had done to the global image of the United States.”
History is herstory too.
~ Author Unknown
During Obama’s two terms, I’ve watched the racism seeping with great ease from way, way too many Americans, from the hate-filled diatribes from politicians who would rather destroy our country than work with our elected leader to improve the health of our country and its relationships with the rest of the world, to the twisted insecurities of those who claim patriotism yet have zero tolerance for others who are different from them. We’ve seen states pass laws to strip women’s rights to their bodies, to protect homophobia in the name of “religious” rights, and defend unlimited rights to guns while cops continue to kill men and women of color with no accountability.
With a woman in office, I’m sure much of the negativity is because people have never seen it happen. In Gloria Steinem’s Women are Never Front Runners, she called out the unlikelihood of someone of the female gender running for office with Obama’s exact credentials. It’s not a pissing contest of race vs. gender, but rather an insight into why gender in politics is seen very differently than skin color.
In What Has Politics Done to Women?, accountability is placed on the shoulders of both sexes, as is the media. Lorraine Devon Wilke kicks off the article with, “let me start by putting blame squarely on the media for its hiring of and pandering to female pundits and commentators who seem hell bent on competing with the worst of the guys.” Amen.
As predicted the hatemongers like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush are in full force, looking for ways to tear down and viciously degrade those who believe in equal rights for all, who believe in people before corporate profits, who believe in nonviolent methods of foreign relations instead of our centuries-long history of male-dominated government’s policy of “teaching them a lesson” via slaughtering of our fellow human beings, and who believe falsely that this country was founded on Christianity (it was not), then spread this lie to push their religious beliefs on others and provide tax exemptions and other privileges for churches that clearly blur the line between religion and government. Many of which directly violate women’s rights and keep women from positions of power (female pope, anyone?).
There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody.
~ Florynce Kennedy
I think about the recent victory of high school girls fighting for the ability to have their games at “prime time” … because as we all know, sports are considered inherently masculine and therefore when women play, they always receive less media attention, often pooh-pooh’d as being less skilled athletes. Any retailers having a huge sale right before women’s basketball championships, or any grocery stores selling food for tailgate parties at major female-driven sporting events? Do you see millions of women fighting for other women’s sports to get equal time on the evening news, or are most falling into line with the masses (you know the answer)…
How good does a female athlete have to be before we just call her an athlete?
~ Author Unknown
That’s why I’m volunteering for this campaign. It’s my obligation as a woman and as an American to support Hillary Clinton as President. She is a strong, smart, amazing woman who has fought for the rights of women and the poor and the underserved.
I’m 41 years old and for the first time in my life, we have a Contender. For the first time in our country’s HISTORY, we have a Contender.
When Obama was the Democratic nominee, 93% of blacks who showed up for the polls voted for him. That’s what I call solidarity. I am damn proud of voting for Barack Obama. And I’m damn proud of voting for Hillary Clinton. And this time, it’s our turn.
So, what’s it going to be?