Although the 2016 presidential election did not turn out in favor for a large portion of Americans, it still should not sully the historical strides that Hillary Clinton has made for women in America.
This election has been so polarizing and strange that many have forgotten that it has produced something historic that will be talked about for decades.
Yes, all elections are historic because they introduce a new leader, but this one is especially awesome because Clinton is the first woman to be elected to run for president of the United States.
Just 96 years ago, in our almost 250-year-old government, women couldn’t even vote.
The Woman Anti-Suffrage Association of New York, founded in 1897, stated that they opposed women’s suffrage because “it is not a privilege to be enjoyed, but a duty to be performed.”
The reasoning behind these statements were that “there is no reason why women should assume this duty in addition to those they already carry” since “women are not suffering from any injustice which giving them the ballot would rectify.”
And finally, “the basis of government is physical force … Women could not enforce the laws even if she made them.”
At seven years old, an equal amount of boys and girls say they want to be president of the United States when they grow up. At 15 years old, boys keep their answers the same while the girls stop striving for presidency, creating a massive gap, said Caroline Heldman, Ph.D., in the documentary “Miss Representation.”
This is because there is still a lack of representation of women in positions of power.
Women fought for their right to be a part of this country’s democratic process, and today we can see the fruits of their labor, not only by how far Clinton went in the democratic process, but in the amount of women who voted.
If women had been the only ones who voted in this election, Clinton would have won 37 states, gotten 458 electoral votes and ultimately would have been our 45th president, according to fivethirtyeight.com.
Although Clinton didn’t win, there are things to celebrate. Kamala Harris became the second black and first Indian-American woman elected to the Senate. Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American legislator. Kate Brown became the first governor to be openly a part of the LGBT community. Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina senator in US history.
A truly moving moment happened yesterday when hundreds of people lined up at the Susan B. Anthony’s tombstone in New York City and placed their “I Voted” stickers where her body lays. They wanted to pay homage to the struggles Anthony went through in order to get the social equality she saw women being robbed of.
It cannot be stressed enough how revolutionary this election was. Even if you don’t like Clinton, denying that this is a testament to the truly awe-inspiring power of democracy and progression in America is plain ignorant.
This is not to say that she has only gotten this far because of her gender, rather, she came this far despite her gender.
When Clinton ran in 2008, Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” had a guest named Marc Rudov who answered the question: “What is the downside of having a woman become the president of the United States?” by saying, “You mean besides the PMS and mood swings, right?”
This election has shown a truly horrifying side of America–the side that hates or fears (or both) a woman in power.
Many of the merchandise sold in opposition of Clinton don sayings such as “Life’s a Bitch, Don’t Vote for One,” “Trump that Bitch,” “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts, Left Wing” and “Hillary Sucks, But Not Like Monica,” which all serve to undermine her campaign solely on her gender–eerily similar to how the opposers of women’s suffrage did.
While Clinton clearly was not the ideal choice for many, she does open gateways for women. Hopefully her losing this election will not give opposers an excuse to point to her gender as the reason.
This should not deter girls and women from trying to hold positions of power, it should be fuel to the fire.
Even though Clinton lost, she’s still a good role model for young women everywhere, and the fact that she got as far as she did is still an amazing feat.