Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The little girl in me is crying right now. The grown woman in me accepts that, in general, women are in a much better position now than ever before. The grown woman in me accepts that a woman coming thisclose to the presidential nomination is a big freakin' deal and is a victory in itself. The grown woman in me knows that for the women I know, all of their professional goals are possible. The grown woman in me KNOWS that other women will follow the path that Hillary blazed and that someday there WILL be a female president.

But the little girl in me just sees the boy coming out ahead yet again. The little girl in me remembers being the only girl on the math team and being made an alternate even though I was the fastest. The little girl in me remembers being told I couldn't play baseball or football, no matter how much I loved those sports. The little girl in me remembers getting funny looks from adults when I said I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice when I grew up.

The grown adult in me sees how much things have changed in just the last 30 years, since I was a little girl. I see that my daughter is more likely to get an advanced degree than my son. I see that my daughter won't get funny looks if she says she wants to be President someday. I see that the playing field is more equal now than it has ever been.

But for tonight, the little girl in me can't get past the fact that Hillary Clinton's mother wasn't quite right: in the end, she couldn't do anything she set her mind to. She could come thisclose. But she couldn't go all the way.


Anonymous said...

I've always thought that it would be a bigger deal to see a racial minority as president. People always think about equality of races. But woman were the last to get the right to vote. Woman led teh charge to end slavery and to give minorities (blacks) the right to vote. After they did, they were rewarded for their efforts by being abandoned. Their rights were cast aside for some 50-60 years. Now I wonder if it wouldn't have been a bigger accomplishment to see Hillary win.

Heather said...

I think you touched on something that the media has been avoiding discussing. I see the big difference between Obama and Clinton supports as not being one of racisim or sexism, but rather the difference between a generation that thought that they would never see a woman POTUS in their lifetime and a generation that never doubted that a woman would be elected to that high office, be it Hillary or someone else.

And when Hillary asked her supporters last night if they were in it for her (implying that their difficulty getting past her loss was out of loyalty to her personally) or for the cause, I thought she betrayed a tad bit of that self-centeredness that caused her to get tossed out of the Veep race. Because what I saw in those disappointed and disaffected Clinton supporters threatening to vote for McCain or stay home on November 4th rather than vote for Obama was not loyalty towards Clinton herself, but rather a committment to the election of her sex.

I understand that disappointment and share the desire to see a woman elected President, but I'm not worried. It will happen, and soon. And, in the meantime, Obama's got my vote.

S said...

I think you're right on, Heather. And I think I'm just bridging that generational gap. Perhaps that's why I was so conflicted during the entire primary season and basically refused to make a choice. For my mother's sake, I really wanted her to see that sex is no longer a barrier to any achievment. But having come of age when I did, I also for myself have different expectations of the future of women in leadership roles than my mother had growing up, or even than what I first thought when I was little.

I remember when there were only 2 women senators, but women who are just now coming to vote see women running for office (and winning) all over the place. So I can't blame the younger generation for not seeing the sex issue in the same way older women do.

FH, I am not the least bit surprised that a minority male got a presidential nomination before a woman did.

Having said all that, I will happily vote for Barack Obama come November 4. And I'm sure I will shed a tear of pride that I get to take that small step towards everyone achieving real, meaningful equality.

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