By: Nichole Sand/Lift Off to 30
We all witnessed history on Tuesday evening when Hillary Clinton was named the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. This means that only men (44 of them to be exact) have represented our country as our commander-in-chief since 1789- that’s over 225 consecutive years of male leadership!
As a woman and Democrat, it isn’t surprising that Clinton’s platform heavily includes a wide variety of issues that affect females. She stands in alliance with Planned Parenthood on affordable and easily available reproductive health services, vows to close the ridiculously archaic wage gap that still exists between men and women, believes in paid work leave for new mothers, and has recognized the need for victim counseling and fair processes in sexual assault cases on college campuses, among a surplus of others.
There have been many references and mentions of Clinton’s nomination, as “breaking the glass ceiling”, that she has plowed through the veiled barricade that prevents females from holding the highest corporate and political positions available. At the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, Clinton made reference to it again. She briefly appeared via satellite after a video montage of our past presidents. There was a glass shattering video effect that crumbled to reveal a confident Clinton, smiling bright to overwhelming cheers, applause and even tears.
“Hello Philadelphia. I am so happy. It’s been a great day and night. What an incredible honor that you have given me and I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. Thanks to you and to everyone who has fought so hard to make this possible. This is really your victory. This is really your night. And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say, I may become the first woman president but one of you is next.” With her nomination clinched, her closing words clearly recruited young girls everywhere to officially know that they too can now run with the boys.
While this is absolutely an amazing achievement for young girls to witness and a stellar opportunity for them to proudly reel in some self-worth and confidence, we cannot exclude the effect this should have on young boys as well. Girls will see Clinton’s nominee and think “if she can, I can too” which is definitely powerful. Clinton will serve as a great example to young girls of what is presently possible but it would really start to chip away at gender inequality if young boys saw Clinton’s nominee and didn’t think anything of it at all. They wouldn’t think twice that our President could be a woman because they would view men and women as equal. It would be a non-issue.
If we teach boys from an early age that men and women are capable of the same goals, wouldn’t they respect and accept women as equals? If we teach boys from an early age to respect women’s efforts, accomplishments and ideas, would there even be a wage gap? And if boys grew into men who evaluated people based on their skills, work ethic, intelligence, experience and heart, without adherence to their gender, wouldn’t some of the same women’s issues Hillary is fighting for naturally and organically heal and possibly even disappear?
Concerning gender issues in present day, this is an important moment for young girls. For the growth and development of gender issues in future generations, this is perhaps a bigger moment for young boys. History has been made and every person, male and female, regardless of political party or candidate opinion, should at least be able to see the importance and significance of a female presidential nominee. Hopefully at some point in the future, we won’t be making history anymore.