When I was a little girl, I loved hearing stories about my mom marching with the National Organization for Women in the 70’s and fighting for women’s rights. But I also remember being appalled at the sheer number of sexual harassment incidents she endured on the job and how she was passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She never stops telling me how I will have to fight harder and longer to be taken seriously as a woman, and she always insists that I never allow others to define me as a woman, a student, a writer or a thinker.
As I reflect on her position, I cannot imagine the challenges she faced, nor do I have the same frame of reference she had growing up in the 70’s. There were struggles she took on that I don’t have to fight. Not that the fight is over; it’s far from over, but she endured things she never should have.
So with the nomination of Hillary Clinton, as the first female representative of a major political party, the historical impact is far greater than the political impact. Whether or not you agree with me that she has the skill and leadership ability necessary to lead this country, the fact that a woman was nominated, finally, is what is especially exciting. The glass ceiling no longer exists.
So as we reflect on the historical significance of Clinton’s nomination, let’s discuss what she brings to the table as a woman that may change the political environment forever.
Margaret Thatcher once said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” I believe what she professed was that women have the ability and the gumption to get things handled. Maybe for too long, we as women have wanted to be recognized as equal to men when what we should be doing is demanding that we be recognized for the differences we bring to the table. We bring a different way of thinking, negotiating and problem solving. Yes, we should be treated equal in terms of rights, but it is now time to bask in the change that Hillary Clinton, as a woman, a mom and a champion for civil rights, will bring to the table.
And even though women have begun to take on a more significant political role in this country, the powers that be are still predominately men. All you have to do is watch a State of the Union address to know that. It’s time for policy that thinks like a woman, cares like a woman, has compassion like a woman and puts children and families first. Men may think they are better politicians because they don’t allow their emotions to lead them. I happen to believe it’s time for a woman who is proud to lead with emotion as the motivator for change.
As her husband Bill Clinton said during his speech at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary is the “best darn change-maker I’ve ever met.”
Collegian Arts and Culture Editor Randi Mattox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @randimattox.