Clinton, Patriarchy, and the Election

Of patriarchy, which is the key to understanding our very backwards society, Law Professor David A.J. Richards writes that it “supports and. . . enforces antidemocratic structural injustices of extreme religious intolerance, racism, sexism, and homophobia.” In addition, patriarchy, according to Richards, “elevates some men over other men and all men over women, within the family. The father (pater) in the family structure occupies “authority” over all affairs of daily life and it is this troubling arrangement.

The last line: “all men over women” is the story of 2016 right now. Are we ready?

No matter what happens in November 2016 at the election, Hillary Clinton, a woman, becoming the Presidential nominee for one of the nation’s two major parties is a very big deal. I say it is time to take pause and think that through. We are talking about a society that has always elected a white man for President and all of the candidates (for the major parties not the other parties) were men as well.

Women are a majority but somehow are kept out of the decision making roles we respect. Women do not earn as much as men in the same job. Women did not earn the right to vote until the 20th century. Women are still fighting for control over their bodies in our legal system on a variety of issues. The list of real slights is long.

As the writer Jennifer Howard noted on Facebook today, she is of the generation where women were totally held back from the office of President so this makes it even sweeter. Howard also noted that her 13 year old daughter thought that it was not strange that a woman had achieved such a level of accomplishment.

My daughters (I have three) share similar sentiments. While the achievements of women are notable to them all the time (especially African-American women like Michele Obama or say, the Williams’ sisters in tennis), they feel they can judge Hillary Clinton on the merits. I suspect that if Donald Trump wasn’t such a racist demagogue unapologetically and the GOP had a decent candidate, the debate in our home on politics might be more nuanced.

Yet, I cheer today for all women worldwide. As I said, I have three daughters. The best candidate, in my mind, for them is Hillary Clinton, even if it is a symbolic choice and even if I personally do not like many of the things she has done and her views on lots of issues.

Recently, I revealed to them that I did vote Barack Obama mostly for history even though I did agree with many of his policies. Considering that I believe Trump is one of the worse candidates for President ever, and a terrible human being, shouldn’t I do the same again here and vote Hillary Clinton? Strike a blow for the cause to begin to smash patriarchy in America?

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