How Hillary changed the baseline for women in the presidential race.
This is not meant to be an endorsement for any candidates for the President of the United States, past or present.
But the fact is that Hillary Clinton climbed to the heights of that previously unsurmountable mountain for women as a candidate for President in 2016. Whether you voted for her, like her, or care either way, you have to admit that she reached the top of that mountain. She was there. She reached the top. She was up there on equal status with the opposing party, the male candidate, Donald Trump. She battled at debates, withstood the verbal punches he threw at her, and while still standing, she debated again. Watching the debates, I often wondered how she had the strength to withstand it all. Face it, no matter who it is, men and women are different and they fight differently, too. Inherently in our society women have been raised to stay more in their place, and they are just used to doing it. When they break out of that mold, flames ignite.
Women becoming CEOs is still even a novelty. It happens but that’s a role that a woman must also be tactical to get. For example, having the right education, the right career moves, the right network connections, and just sheer intelligence. And other things that I don’t know about and that’s why I’ll never be a CEO.
A woman becoming the President of the United States has not yet been achieved. One good forecast for the upcoming 2020 election is that any one of the current women candidates has a chance. The upcoming debates and time will show more. I’m not telling anyone how to vote but it would be nice to have a woman president. It’s not election time so I’m not ready to make up mind yet either. I do admire all of the candidates and I’m happy that they stepped up to the call. We, both the women and men of the U.S, need them and their representation.
I was born in the 60s and I first became aware of the Feminist Movement in the 70s. At that time, the news talked about women burning their bras as a symbol of their rebellion. They protested and spoke out. They were brave to fight a system that was causing oppression to women in the workplace, at home, and within their relationships.
There are many causes to fight and you might not think this movement had or has any merit. That’s fine — fight for your cause. It’s true there are many injustices in the world and one person can’t fight or stand up for every cause. In order to be effective, it’s best to pick and choose those that speak to you most and focus on them.
For the purposes of this article, I’m speaking about the fight for the advancement of women with my own personal perspective. I identify with it.
In the 70s there were many women I admired that seemed to be living effortlessly within our societal system. They were independent, successful, some beautiful, and as a young girl I looked up to them. I didn’t have to consider what they were fighting for at the time, nor before in the 60s. It appeared just to be a given that a woman could be whatever she wanted to be. To me, there was no need to declare myself a feminist nor a protestor. It just seemed like it had all already been achieved. I lived my life with a more lighthearted approach and with a whole lot of ambition.
It turned out I was wrong. In 2017, the #MeToo Movement came to the surface and unveiled a whole lot that still wasn’t right for women. And that’s not what the idealistic founding fathers had in mind and corrections were needed.
Declaration of Independence In Congress, July 4, 1776
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (also means women because we live here too) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Constitution of the United States (Preamble)
“We the People (women are people too) of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
I didn’t have much luck with my ambition. My main career was working in offices as an administrative assistant, a clerk, or just general office work. I did work for some really nice companies. I never often went above that status of office worker even though I tried. Nobody cared when I was just an admin. I was invisible. I wasn’t an offense or threat to anyone. Even though I went to college, great paying jobs were out of my reach. I tried though.
When I started to write as a way to make money, I think that began to create problems with others, but honestly, I can’t prove it. I just wanted a means to work from home (for my health) and writing made sense. However, I later sensed that some people would have rathered that I stuck to office work. Again, not sure, just an impression. And because my background was in admin work people might question my abilities as a writer. They might try to credit others for my skills or knowledge. Sorry to inform those skeptics, but I have my own intelligence, my own skill, my own abilities, and my own extremely defiant independent spirit. If I co-author, I note it. If my name is on my work, then it’s because I created it. I have just been an untapped resource (excuse my big ego).
Don’t fault me if I’m rooting for the female candidates. I can’t help it. I’d love to see someone I can identify with make it to the White House. I’m nowhere near as qualified, nor as educated, nor as successful, nor as tough as they are, but I can relate on the female species level.
And that’s what I want to bring up about Hillary. She climbed a symbolic Mount Everest to try to win the presidency. And she achieved a lot and got to the top on equal footing with Trump.
It was shown in the Mueller report that corruption did happen in the election. Further reading would have to be done for me to comment on its findings, conclusions, and whether final fingers were pointed anywhere other than at Russia. Time will also tell further results. But for now, it’s just apparent that dirty corruption was involved in the election. I can’t speak as to whether it affected the final outcome or not.
Dirty corruption exists everywhere and it’s not linked to any specific political party nor one person. It exists on its own. And the best thing is for everyone to steer clear from it. There’s never a benefit from crime. And the U.S. is better than that. Just read the ideals that the founding fathers had in mind for this country and why people from all over the world dream of being a part of it.
I love our country and what it stands for. It’s a land of hope and dreams. Yet it’s not a guarantee even for Americans that they will find success and riches, let alone be able to pay their bills. Not even for those born and bred here. It’s still an uphill battle but at least there’s a chance.
In the end, Hillary didn’t become president. Women have to give it to her though because she leveled that massive mountain for women. It’s not quite as high nor insurmountable as it once was. The baseline for women candidates is now different. Hillary went over the heap. She got to the top. She didn’t get to fly but she sure made an impact.
The mountain top for women is now lower.
For men, there has always been a minimal mountain to climb. It’s non-existent as far as their gender is concerned. Men have a chance at winning if they can just stand up against the competition. But for men there is in general no mountain to climb. For Obama yes, because he was also fighting against racial bias.
Hillary knocked the top off of Everest. That must be noted. Because it’s the same as when I didn’t realize the fight that the Feminist’s Movement began in the 60s made life easier for me. I never took anything for granted but I just wasn’t aware of any difference. How could I? The change had already happened.
I’m not trying to be a Hillary supporter. I just like to support women who are trying to achieve and go above what has been allowed before. And I realize Hillary didn’t make this accomplishment by herself. She had a team and a crowd of supporters. A woman standing alone trying to achieve something adds a bundle of barriers to her reaching success.
Many women have fought for women’s equality for years. Including as far back as when women fought for and achieved an Amendment to the Constitution in 1919/20, giving women the right to vote. The founding fathers didn’t include that but in America wrongs are able to be made right. The founders set the tone and now adaptions can be made. They made change possible; amendments are allowed. There’s no way they could have anticipated how the country would evolve years later but they left the documents open for corrections.
I don’t know whether I will vote for a woman in 2020 or not yet. I want to hear more from them all to be sure. But it sure would be nice if one of them did win. I can’t even imagine what that would be like.
I also know that I grew up in a different time. Now, there are more gender designations and most men are more sympathetic to the female plight.
What I do hope is that it will take away some of the vulnerabilities that women experience. I speak as a single woman who even in the U.S. has fears.
Please don’t target vulnerable women! That is so un-American. People come here from other countries because we are supposed to be so evolved and better than…everything. If you are lucky enough to be in this country, then honor it and respect your fellow Americans, no matter their gender. This country should be a safe haven for everyone.
Perhaps if a woman becomes president those vulnerabilities to our safety will diminish a bit. But I guess we should ask Obama whether race relations are any better after his presidency.
Maybe what we should ask of every American citizen to just behave, be nice, be kind, and respect their fellow Americans, and any visitors. We have our faults but because of our founding ideals we are worth saving. And with one step at a time maybe there will be a ripple effect elsewhere.
And let your voice be heard in 2020, vote!