To The Women Disheartened
Election Thoughts Hodgepodge: Brain Things from November 9th
#2: To The Women Disheartened
I was linked to an article about women who were extremely disheartened by the fact that Clinton didn’t become our first female president.
In all honesty, I forgot to be upset about that. I was too busy being overwhelmed by the fact that the first female candidate to make it to Election Day had been defeated by a blatantly sexist bigot who bragged about his sexual assaults.
I thought I had several reasons for why I didn’t dissolve into tears until twelve hours later, but I recognize now that it was really just one:
I was deluding myself.
I told myself that I couldn’t back Hillary 100% after discovering the corruption. I told myself that this gives an opportunity for a woman with better moral conduct to be our first female president. I told myself a lot of things.
If you too had been thinking those things, let me encourage you to give up on that sentiment.
The fact of the matter is, if the media doesn’t find some real dirt, someone will make something up. Whether it is true and whether it is relevant don’t even factor; the lies and the bullshit are a part of the game. Most importantly, with sexism inherent throughout our daily lives:
You can expect the media to be more unfair on every female candidate, not just on the women who try to be the first female president.
How else can you explain why Hillary gets criticized in her 2016 campaign for what her husband did 20 years ago in the Lewinsky scandal? It’s enough that the woman was humiliated then, and forced to undergo it again and again, in the ’90s, out of the ’90s, always within the public eye. But the fact that people have the gall to accuse a woman of enabling her husband’s cheating is outright sickening.
Staying in the marriage is considered passive — it’s her fault for not teaching Bill a lesson.
Attacking the other women is seen as focusing on the women — she’s letting her husband slide.
How can there be entire articles describing all the ways that she handled it wrong and making it her problem to fix when it was Bill who was at fault?
So if we’re not even leveling the playing field for them:
To require a female candidate to be a morally exceptional candidate for the sake of setting a good example leverages sexism against her.
Moral character doesn’t even seem to be a requirement for male contenders. Judging from his campaign performance, no one is a better case in point than Donald Trump himself.
In the article linked to me by my friend, there was a 34 year-old who said she couldn’t see a female president anymore. Hillary may not have been the first female president, but she has forged the path for women all the way to Election Day.
I do see a woman president, coming soon to America. Hillary’s defeat is no reason to give up on a female presidency. I may be struggling to come to terms with the fact that America no longer stands behind the Statue of Liberty, but on the issue of a female presidency I do not waver!
It may take a few election cycles, but my children will be accustomed to hearing “Mme. President.”
What I couldn’t stop thinking about at that time, though, was: why did she concede so fast?
She didn’t owe it to him.
I felt she didn’t owe it to him.
This was not about dragging out the battle. Yes, the popular vote had not all been counted, but the gap in the projected electoral vote was unquestionable. Even if Trump were to be convicted of severe-enough crimes pre-inauguration, or if he were impeached, neither happenstance would give the White House to the Democrats. The seat would fall instead to Mike Pence, who we have reason to believe is more horrible.
No, the reason I did not want her to give a concession speech is because:
I felt that giving a concession speech meant not just accepting Donald Trump, but conceding to everything he stood for in his campaign.
It seemed to me preposterous that she be asked to do such a thing, when she must have felt betrayed by the country she served all her life.
I felt like apologizing to Hillary. It is an awful end to the Clinton legacy, and given the Clinton administration had its share of political scandals aside from Bill’s history with women, it sure is interesting that it’s Hillary who gets hammered in the end.
We women have made friends with ironies like these, since it seems we just can’t get rid of them.
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This is Part 2 of the series Election Thoughts Hodgepodge. Click here to read Part 1: The Silent Majority.