Perhaps if Hillary Clinton did not lose to an unknown African-American man with a threatening name it would be easier to make the argument that she lost because she is a woman. And maybe if she had not been considered a shoe-in and a force not to be reckoned with, this gender bias argument may hold a sip of water. But such is not the case. And if there is one thing that this democratic election has proved, it is that most Americans are no longer interested in the gender, age and racial rhetoric that the pundits insist on shoving down our throats. We are only desperately concerned with the state of our nation, this world and our childrens' future.
Our nation was given the choice between two strikingly similar candidates, each of whom offered a little something special to throw in the face of the Republican party- "maybe it will be a woman, maybe it will be a black man, either way, it won't be you (God willing). You had your chance and you have really made a mess of things. Now you need a time out!" (Forgive me, I am a stay at home mother of two).
I had every intention of voting for Hillary, not because she is a fellow woman, but because I know she would have been an improvement, a good president. And then I saw Barak Obama. I listened to what he had to say and thought "Well, he sounds very good too, but there is no way this country will go from re-electing George Bush to electing an African-American man. Let's count our blessings that we are ready for a woman." And then he started winning primaries. I was so filled with optimistic elation and hope and I threw all my support behind him. This would be the mark of true progress! Progress that would heal centuries of wounds and show the rest of the world how far we have come. We are not the ignorant, arrogant, racist country we have been duped into portraying all these years.
I recently heard one pundit explaining the generational divide in our country. Speaking of racial inequalities and gay rights, he says "to the younger generations, it is obvious." He is right, thank goodness. It is obvious that we are all entitled to equal EVERYTHING. It is obvious that believing otherwise has damaged our society and shamed our reputation in this world. And it is obvious that the ignorant and antiquated views that suggest otherwise have overstayed their welcome and are a fading phenomenon. Barak Obama's victory is just the exclamation point we needed to reinforce this statement.
I feel for Hillary Clinton's supporters. I understand what her victory meant to the women who remember the days when our kind did not have the right to vote, or whose votes were meant only to reinforce that of their husbands. But the death of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is NOT one of martyrdom. As a woman, I am grateful to Hillary Clinton for the work she does and what she represents and I would have been happy to vote for her. But that notorious "glass ceiling" she speaks of was shattered long ago by women who's battles to simply win the right to vote, enter the workforce, and have the right to choose what to do with her own body hold far more significance than the defeat of a once shoe in candidate who truly believed she was entitled to the presidency. To suggest that her failed efforts merely cracked it 18 million times is false and sends a message that sets back the hard work of all the trail blazing women before her. And the thought of this fallacy giving way to another foolish democratic loss this fall is infuriating. If you are a woman, and still feeling trapped, I suggest you snatch the remote control from your husband's grip and use it to shatter that ceiling yourself. It's just glass for goodness sake.
At the beginning of this election season, the question was, "is there anyone out there who can beat Hillary Clinton?" Now we are asking if American is ready for a black president. Clearly, one of these candidates has harder barriers to break through than an already shattered glass ceiling. I can imagine the conversation in some homes:
Husband: I'm sure as hell not voting for any black man with a terrorist name!
Wife: You're damn right your not! You're voting for a woman. Already got one in charge of this house, might as well put one in the White House to deal with them mess those men have made. Deal with it! (And I can hear the stomping foot steps over the broken glass to boot).
Yes, we have already won the gender battle. Let's not set ourselves back by pretending that Hillary Clinton's vie for the presidency was the defining moment for us. It is not just untrue, it is dangerous and unconstructive to the cause we are all working for-a better, stronger, safer America.
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