While I have been studying politics for nearly four years at this point, I am still a relative neophyte to the national players and inner-workings of Washington. Recently, I was asked, how do I feel about women in Politics? In short, I love women in Politics.
The most obvious question in connection with women in Politics surrounds Hillary Clinton. Did some people not vote for Hillary because she was a woman? Do people look at female politicians the same as with male politicians? Is there a political glass ceiling? The answer to all of these questions is yes.
Personally, I have no issue with women politicians. I believe that a lot of women have more sense and better understanding of most issues than most men. Plus, what sense does it make to have 51% of the population only representing 20% of Congress? What sense does it make that the committees fighting against Planned Parenthood are predominantly White, Cis-Gendered, Anglo-Saxon Males. Most would flunk sex-ed if given a basic test and have control over the legality of what women do with their bodies? That is ridiculous to me in every form of the word.
On the other side, when looking more at the voting records from the last election. We neglect that some families vote together with wives sometimes oppressed by husbands to support certain ideals and often women support the concept of patriarchy as much as men do. Patriarchy and subtle forms of misogyny still influence both Men AND Women to act in ways contrary to their best interests.
On the topic of Hillary Clinton, I think she lost because of multiple reasons. She had very poor messaging throughout the primary, the timing of the email leaks, voter suppression, fracturing in Democratic base that often creates people who don’t vote or votes Independent from the Democratic base while the Republican side is loyal to the point of fault, and even my personal issue of her is the lacking of authenticity. She was a relatively scripted, traditional politician that had problems connecting to people. In my life I’ve seen at least three versions of Hillary Clinton and frankly could have done without. Yet, I still voted for her because she was the better Politician than 45 by light years. Hillary Clinton would have done a great job no matter what the public said about her. Only one political candidate for President rivaled her resume: George H.W. Bush. The irony is ridiculous.
Problem is, I don’t believe the average person looks at female politicians the same way as male politicians. The idea of women being overly emotional really is deep seeded in a lot of men. Then, when a woman uses the same leadership tactics as her male-counterparts, then women are looked at as “cold and unladylike.” Some men and women fully believe that a woman cannot lead as effectively as a man. This is truly baffling as studies show only partial differences in leadership styles with many women showing better rates of success because of socialized behaviors creating better cooperative teams.
With that said, there are amazing women involved with the government daily that have had a lot attention recently that always have seemed to excel to me. Auntie Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, Valerie Jarrett, and Sally Yates (I love everything about these women) to name a few are at the forefront of women that have stood by their values and have the proficiency to deflect any negativity with ease. In 45’s world, the only ones to truly show a backbone and solid record of resistance from in Congress to protesting on the streets are women. An immense 86% of calls to congress are from women. Women really do the majority of the heavy lifting in almost every field.
Do I think there is a glass ceiling in politics? Yes. Do I think it can be broken? Absolutely. Was Hillary the one to do it? No but that’s okay. We must continue to inch towards progress no matter the resistance. No matter how you are viewed. No matter your success, because Hillary’s near victory hopefully inspired the next woman to give it a try. Just like there were many black candidates (including a Black Woman) to attempt to run before Barack could fill that illustrious position of President of the United States, I see something similar for our first woman President. Angela Merkel is doing a decent job in Germany (without complete understanding of Germany politics) and we have seen women leaders be perfectly capable of changing the world in positive fashion. Women politicians are dearly needed but Patriarchy has to be dismantled for that to happen. Here’s to starting one day at a time!
Turn Your Brightness Up!