I’m not one for discussing politics on my blog – or anywhere else really. Not because I don’t have opinions or positions I can’t defend. It’s mostly because I’ve found many people I’ve tried to have mature discussion and debates with turn into toddlers with the fingers stuck in their ears screaming, “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” within a few minutes. There are so many people who are unwilling to even listen to a different opinion that I save everyone the time, frustration (and sometimes embarrassment) and change the subject. That is till now.
This post is less about politics and more about history actually. I’m not going to be telling you who I’m voting for, and why you should do the same. I’m going to talk about a moment in politics that impacted me more than I thought possible.
Not long ago I sat on my couch beside my daughter, just shy of her 18th birthday, and watched the first woman in US history accept the nomination for President by a major party. As I watched history unfold before my eyes, I cried.
I kept thinking back to when I was a little girl. I heard over and over and over that a woman would never be President. That no woman would be smart enough or capable to even be nominated. I remember all the jokes, even from beloved family members, that women were too emotional and would start a nuclear war during “their time of the month.” I was told women were not strong enough to make tough calls and too dependent on men to make an important decision. I was confused and angry. On one hand I was being told I could be anything I wanted. On the other I was told over and over again that I could never be President. Not that I wanted to be, I just hated to be told I couldn’t.
As I grew-up I saw so many firsts for women. The first female astronaut. The first women becoming pilots in the military. The first female senior business executives, the first women senior officers, and high ranking government officials. The first female Supreme Court Justice. I remember how proud I was when Linda Weaver was appointed the Chief of Police in my hometown, making her the first female Police Chief in the state of Pennsylvania.
These are all amazing things and brought women closer to equality. But there has always been so far to go. Men still get paid more than women. Women in the workplace still have to work at least twice as hard as men. Every day is still a struggle with harassment and discrimination.
As I sat there and watched Hillary Clinton accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States, all of these things played through in my head. I head the voices from through the years saying a woman could never be President. I cried because they were finally wrong.
My daughters will never know the same struggles I did as a women (though I’m sure they will have their own). To them it’s common place to see women in the military, in the Chief Executive Officer’s chair at major corporations, and now as a Presidential Nominee who has an excellent chance of being the 45th President of the United States.
When my daughter asked why I was crying I could put it into words. All these weeks later I’m still not sure I can find the right words. I just looked at her and said, “She did it. We can finally be anything now.”