I’m feeling more emotional than I expected with just two more weeks between history and the election of our first woman president.
In my lifetime! What a thrill!
Oddly enough, her opponent’s misogyny may be what finally makes women — and many men — yell out our windows, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
During this 2016 campaign, President Obama has repeatedly said, “Never a man or woman — Not me, not Bill, nobody — is more qualified than Hillary Clinton” to be president.
When he-who-shall-not-be-named blathers about Hillary’s presence in the political arena for 30 years, I ask, why did it have to take so long for her to become the first female president? It’s no secret that women have had to work harder, longer, and with more (Yes!) stamina than men to scale the heights of success. Damn, we still don’t receive equal pay for equal work.
Inside the workplace, and out, women’s bodies have been groped, grabbed, and if not subject to physical manhandling, they have too often been figuratively under men’s thumbs.
It wasn’t until the 1970s in the United States that pregnant women were allowed to teach in public schools. Women may be blamed for a groper’s behavior, because gee, if only that “nasty woman” hadn’t worn a short sundress on a 100-degree summer day. Or, there’s the ultimate interloping of old white guys who staunchly support the “right to life” in a woman’s body. Whose life is it anyway?
Just as the 14th Amendment (my favorite!) hasn’t fully upheld “equal protection under the law” for women, the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, didn’t assure equal voting opportunities for black men. But no such voting right was even afforded women until 50 years later, when the 19th Amendment became the law of the land in 1920.
That’s history, or herstory. The arc of history moves slowly.
But get this: A child born eight years ago will be 16 before seeing a possible non-black or non-woman president. That is YUGE!
Twenty years ago, at the National Association of Booksellers Convention, I spoke with Hillary Clinton about promoting literacy with young children. That was what we women discussed.
Very soon we will have our first woman president.
Why did it take so long? NYT columnist Paul Krugman ponders, was Hillary “coldly ambitious and calculating?”
In fact, says Krugman, “She’s been a formidable figure, and has been all along.”
Misogynists prefer to call Hillary a bitch, crook, criminal, liar or worse. She’s been investigated more times than any white male politician, with no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing, let alone a hint of evidence to “lock her up” (a favorite political phrase at her opponent’s tumultuous rallies).
Finally, we may be able to thank him for something. At the end of the third presidential debate, his disrespect brought forth thousands who are proud to stand with Hillary, encouraging us to grab the mantle of “Nasty Woman.”
Go Hillary! Women — and all decent, women-loving men — let’s join together to turn Arizona blue!