Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I've Come a Long Way, Baby

This year is a Presidential election year in our country. One of our two major political parties has two candidates running for the party nomination. One is a 68 year old woman.  We have never had a female president, or Vice-President, in our country.

So, I should vote for her, right? We women must stick together, right?

At one time, I would have felt that way.

I grew up in a country where help wanted ads had "Male" and "Female" categories.   Where, in a typing class, I was taught to aspire to the highest level - being an executive secretary.  Where pregnant teachers had to quit once they were "showing". Where, if I walked down the street, I could expect comments, whistles and other open displays of appreciation for being...well, young, or pretty, or (as they said back then) "stacked". Where someone suggested to me, as a teen, that I hide my books because being perceived as intelligent would scare men away.

I refused to hide those books.

Hillary Clinton, who is five years older than me, grew up in much the same world.  If we met each other, we might find we had a lot in common.

I lived in Arkansas in the early and mid 1980's, and Hillary was the wife of Arkansas' governor for part of that time.  Before Bill Clinton became Governor, Hillary and  Bill rented a house in Fayetteville about two miles from where my husband and I lived several years later.  Hillary's Mom bought Hillary's wedding gown in a department store in the Northwest Arkansas Mall where I shopped for my clothes.  Hillary and Bill may have walked on the same streets I did and bought food at the same stores.  I'll never know.

I can remember all the heat she got for keeping her maiden name, Rodham.

Meanwhile, when I lived in neighboring Springdale, Arkansas, I could not get a library card showing my own first name because I was married.

I have so much more to say but it would make my post too long. Suffice it to say I agree that women still have a ways to go to attain true equality in our country. 

Thankfully, though, it is better than in the 1970's, where our only equality seemed to exist in cigarette commercials.

I rarely get political in my blogs.  The fact that I have readers from outside the United States makes it even harder. But some things are universal in any democracy.

In the end, we must individually make up our minds and vote for the candidates (local and Federal) we feel will do the best job for our community, our state, and for our country.

When the New York State primary is held, I will have two choices as a Democrat:  Hillary (now a former Secretary of State and former First Lady when her husband was President in the 1990's), and a man by the name of Bernie Sanders.

I am going to vote for the person I feel can do the job of President best.  It may be Hillary.  It may not.

I will use various factors in my decision.  The candidate being a woman will not be one of them.  And, because I am not the only woman feeling that way, gender issues have hit our news in the past few days in a big way.  Some hateful things have been said.

I don't care. I may have when I was younger.  And, I have voted for women before - many times.

If my decision leads me to vote for Sanders, then I guess I will go out and buy clothes suitable for the special place in hell I will end up in.

Isn't that, after all, the type of choice women have worked hard for all those years?


  1. We have come a long way baby, but not far enough. Even so, speaking the truth makes you fire-proof. Don't worry about where you end up.

  2. I'll be voting the same day as you. I've already made up my mind, I'm voting for Hillary for a lot of reasons. One of them is that she is a woman. Or rather, that she is a woman who broke the barriers. It's the skill, not the gender, if you know what I mean. My daughters, in their 20's, don't really understand that. They grew up in a world where their mom, aunt and grandmother all went to work each morning in what were once considered "a man's job". Though if Bernie is the candidate, as a Jewish woman I get to enjoy seeing the first serious Jewish candidate for POTUS ...win/win.

  3. It's nice we've come to a place where we don't have to vote for the woman just because she's a woman. That's progress of a sort.

  4. Things haven't really come a long way. IN the end, you have to go with your gut and do what you think is right.


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