Jumpers, I am pleased to announce that I am officially free of pre-invasive and invasive cancers (in at least two organs, haha)! They got a clear margin with the LEEP, which is suuuuuch a relief. Get vaccinated (or get your kids vaccinated) and make sure the womenfolk in your life get Paps at least every two years—yes, two years, even if the doctor says you can go three—because false positives (which this was not) are way better than cancer, dammit. Anyway…
I got into another tussle with a denizen of the internet recently, this time over Hillary Clinton. Her interview with Diane Sawyer made me realize that I really want to vote for her. Not because our politics are 100% aligned, but because I want to see that glass ceiling shattered. I keep swearing I’m going to start voting for the Green Party because of Big Money all up in the two-party system and the environment and immigration and a dozen other things, but I think I’ll make another exception if Hillary runs. Here’s why, her presumed platform aside:
She actually stands a chance, unlike third-party candidates.
Voting for third-party women might be a political statement, but putting one into the highest elected office, well, it would make me happy-ugly cry. I was in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2008, so I know what that reaction looks like on a Jumbotron. I would gladly risk becoming an internet meme for the cause.
Not much policy will change regardless of who gets elected, but our culture might!
Ours is a slow-moving democratic system, so I am willing to risk small steps forward or backward on policy matters for this one giant advance on behalf of half the population. If I’m being honest, no, I don’t also feel this way about Sarah Palin or Tea Party women generally. As for Republican women, I guess it would depend on the individual and her voting record; maybe if there were a female Jon Huntsman, though…
I realize this won’t magically fix everything overnight, but I still think it’s worthwhile.
It’s important that women made it to the C-level of Facebook, Yahoo, etc., but do I think Sheryl and Marissa are looking out for women generally? Nope. I would hope that things would be different with Hillary, since she’s devoted much of her public life to advancing human rights, particularly for women and children. But I suffer no illusion that she’ll be able to eradicate systemic problems for women. What a Hillary presidency would do is help normalize female U.S. presidents, which seems like a damned good goal to me.
Imagine an America in which the President calls out sexism!
Hillary used to try not to ruffle any feathers in the face of sexism, but that seems to have changed lately. Maybe it’s a political ploy to mobilize women voters, maybe it’s not. Who cares! Even if she can’t advance women’s rights over their own bodies, fix the wage gap, etc., her candidacy—and definitely her presidency—would put this conversation at the forefront for awhile. To potentially have some badass responses of hers [to the inevitable sexism she’d face] go viral would be the icing on the cake. It might even make it more okay for the rest of us to be outspoken in the face of sexism. After all, not all of us can be as bold as Emma Stone, especially at work.
Hopefully, a female Commander in Chief would be able to better address military rape.
Some members of the military will never budge in their beliefs about women, but hopefully respect for a higher rank would win out in others. This doesn’t seem like a good prospect, especially since she didn’t serve, but with even a few changed minds, it might be possible for women in the military to benefit from the “brotherhood” that would defend a fellow [male] soldier’s honor to the death. I’m not saying the only way to prevent rape in the military is for non-rapist men to defend the poor helpless women; I’m saying that I believe things would be better in a world where female soldiers are afforded the same fierce loyalty that men who serve often feel for one another. Maybe being necessarily subordinate to a woman would help; maybe it would backfire first, but help in the future; maybe it wouldn’t help at all. But I would hope she would use the position to inspire a culture of shame around men who betray their sisters in arms and thus their country.
Two words: Todd. Akin. Okay, four: And friends.
Akin himself is no longer a problem, but I wonder whether equally delusional Congress critters would have the bad sense to say wildly offensive things about women with a woman leading the country. If so, I hope Hillary invites them to the West Wing to say them to her face.
Lastly, once done, it cannot be undone. And it is about damn time.
A better solution is past due on climate change, yes, but there is no guarantee that what goes on the books will stick. Ditto immigration, marijuana, gay marriage, and other issues Progressives champion. The impact of a female presidency, though, can’t be amended away, struck down, filibustered, or repealed. An entire generation could grow up thinking that it’s normal for gay people to get married, sick people and adults to have access to marijuana, and presidents to be female. As a little girl, I remember my mom’s mom saying she didn’t think the President should be a woman. I remember not understanding how she could think that, since I was totally one of those little girls who planned to be President, before I grew up and realized that idealists aren’t electable under the current regime. If I have daughters, I hope not to have to explain to them why some people don’t ever want a female to be President.
What do you think? Would you vote for a woman whose politics didn’t match yours because it’s that important to see a female take office?