My wife gets the bulk of the credit for this one. It’s her astute observation, not mine. I hate to say that I didn’t even notice it, perhaps blind by my comfortable seat in the world. We are on the cusp of a real historical event: the election of the first woman as President of the United States. The election is marred by an awful tone, but I think that’s been true any time in our past that barriers were broken. When Jackie Robinson broke the race barrier in baseball, it was an open invitation for some of the worst parts of America to come out and make their voices heard. We’re seeing plenty of that these days, emboldened by the candidate the GOP primary voters picked to face off against Hillary in the election; a person who couldn’t be more opposite her in many ways, including his sex and gender. On the brink of this historical event (one that is not yet certain, but odds remain quite good), where are the stories of how much this means to people? The answer: they’re out there, but they aren’t easy to find.
I went looking though, good husband that I am, trying to give my wife the gift of company she’s been craving. To show her the stories of the women who feel like she does, that this is a big f&%$@g deal.
The Chicago Tribune published an opinion piece called, “I just voted for Hillary Clinton. I cried.” It had a list of reasons that the author was crying as she voted (early voting) for Hillary. It’s worth reading:
Because my grandmother was not allowed to vote until she was 24 in 1920.
Because my smart, business-savvy mother was always hired as a secretary where she could have been the boss.
Because of all the limitations placed on girls throughout my childhood when our only school-sanctioned sports were cheerleading, tumbling and modern dance. Being student council president was out of the question.
Because Sears wouldn’t give me a credit card in my own name in 1975.
Because I was always paid less than my male colleagues for doing the same work.
Because a neighborhood teenager’s dad wouldn’t let her baby-sit for my kids because I was a single mother.
Because I was told it was risky to hire me since I’d probably “just get married and leave.”
Because good, reliable child care was so difficult and expensive to arrange.
Because it was OK for an employer to ask me what those child-care arrangements were.
Because of that car salesman who told me to come back with my husband.
And because of the boss who told me during a performance review, “You have great legs; you should wear shorter skirts.” You know who you are.
A post on Twitter shows a woman crying (tears of joy) voting for Hillary in Ohio:
But, my lovely wife, as often is the case, is right. Stories like these are hard to find. The #ImWithHer hashtag isn’t a bad place to look for some love though.
The stories are there…we just need more people to tell them.