100 years ago, Susan B. Anthony died, more than a decade before she could legally have voted. But legalities did not stop this courageous woman from casting her first vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential elections. She was soon arrested. Fourteen years later, in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified granting women the right to vote.
In 2008 many believed, including myself, that there would never be a more monumental election than that of Barack Obama. Yet here we are just eight years later and once again we find ourselves on the edge of history.
“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” ― Susan B. Anthony
Now here we are in 2016 and another presidential election is upon us. As women we often take for granted what Susan B. Anthony and all the brave suffragettes fought so hard to achieve and here we are with a woman candidate who may very well be our next President of the United States.
Our past is an honorable one of hard work, dedication, perseverance and belief in a better tomorrow. As we cast our votes today and every election in the future let us not forget what it means to our ancestors legacy and future generations of Susan B. Anthony’s and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s, who will continue breaking through that glass ceiling.
“Not necessarily attractive.”
“Maybe Hillary should smile *less* …
“Well, I just don’t think she has a presidential look,”
This week’s debate marked a milestone in American History. The first female candidate of a major political party sparred with the male counterpart on the opposing side. Yet analysts and viewers alike still find a way to make sexism a part of the conversation.
Fox News’ Brit Hume said after this week’s debate, “I Think, For The Most Part, [Clinton] Looked Composed, Smug Sometimes, Not Necessarily Attractive” and twitter was alive with comments saying she smiled too much. Since when is a candidate deemed qualified based on their appearance? And to Mr. Trump who stated, “Well, I just don’t think she has a presidential look, and you need a presidential look.” She has been criticized for her voice, her clothes, her hairstyles and the list goes on.
We are about to elect the leader of the greatest country on earth and for many it is coming down to looks and well let’s face it gender. I may be wrong but some people I know who are staunch Trump supporters cannot give me a concrete reason for voting for him except they refuse to vote for Hillary.
Now we can all make assumptions as to what their reasoning is. I have no problem with someone who says they believe Trump is more qualified (well actually I do but we will save that for a later date), or they prefer his policies. But when they have no reason other than they hate Hillary? Well I find that a bit disconcerting.
I always thought being a President was different than a beauty pageant, although I am sure she would have scored high on smiling! Maybe I am out of step with reality. We live in a world of reality tv telling us to be more like the Kardashians and the Real Housewives of Atlanta and where ever else they find mothers in heels and dresses sipping wine. I must have been doing something wrong in my sweats, minivan and convenient store coffee driving kids all over town. Heels? Really?
The sad fact remains, we as women are still judged on our looks and gender. Progress has been made but we still have a long road ahead. Perhaps, just perhaps if Hillary wins in November, we will have a new definition of what Presidential looks like.