Daughters and Hillary

The post-debate bump has pushed Hillary Clinton farther ahead of Donal Trump in the latest polls.

I have a two-year old daughter. She’s curious, fearless, and not-just-a-little defiant. As I believe most men with daughters would attest, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. She’s informed the way I see the world and how I hope the world can be. With regard to gender inequality, we still have a long way to go, but I think we’re headed in the right direction. This aside from the fact that I’m inundated on social media with how often we’re headed in the wrong direction. So many stories break my heart.

That said, I think it’s likely that we’re going to elect a woman president in November. This gives me joy to say. Like a generation of African-American children and families that can grow up having watched the Obama family play on the South Lawn with the realization that that is where their ceiling is, little girls like my daughter can see the Presidency of the United States as a place she can realistically go. This is, regardless of where your politics reside, something positive. I can’t understand raising a daughter and not feeling this way.

My issue with Hillary Clinton is that she doesn’t inspire me. I don’t see how she inspires anyone. She speaks like a politician we’ve seen countless times. No doubt there may be a limit to what she can say — she is, after all, still a woman seeking to be first and there’s a delicate tread — and she can literally not say anything and be the less foolish one at the debates. This is probably an issue, individually to the minority. Sure, there are other people she does inspire. I’m sure there are a great lot of them. I’m just not one of the voters worshipping at her alter. I love what she represents and I agree with her politics. But I just can’t find myself feeling excited about her.

I struggle with these thoughts because I wonder how much of them are embedded sexism. In other words, do I struggle with watching a powerful woman about to take the oval office? Is there some bias within me that looks at a confident, educated, competent woman and is skeptical? Turned off? What is the right word? I don’t know. Is there a subconscious part of me that disassociates women from leadership roles? Do the traits we give to a President more often seem like positive in men and negatives in women? Is it part of being the first at something? Again, I don’t know.

Look, I don’t think there’s anything Clinton can do to have me not vote her way in November. She can play it safe, right? Like Tiger with the lead on Sundays back in his prime. I understand the dislike, I guess is what I’m saying. Neither of these candidates are ideal (as much as she has my vote, I do believe the Democratic game was rigged for her from the beginning), but if she’s an extension of her predecessor, then that’s the way I’ll vote.

And if you’re someone who likes having affordable health care, maternity/paternity privileges, wants affordable wages, wants Wall Street regulated, supports gun control, believes in science, supports efforts to further examine what we can do w/r/t climate change, is a woman, has gone to college, or cares about national parks, and, especially, if you have a daughter and want to show her exactly what a woman can accomplish in America, you should too.


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