Hillary and Gender: The Long Game
We are firm supporters of Hillary because we believe she is the most qualified--in values, experience, intellect, character, temperament, passion, integrity--to be our next President. We would also be absolutely delighted if gender were no longer a barrier to reaching the highest office of the land. And, of course, we are enormously proud of a woman who is one of the most prominent and accomplished members of our own cohort.
That said, what would it mean for women particularly if Hillary were President?
When women are at the center of the most important decision making on earth, the image of women in action at the highest levels becomes part of the social and political fabric and our collective psyche. The body politic will think less of gender and more about the things that matter, like experience, values and character. It is time for America to join the ranks of countries like the UK (Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990!), India (Indira Ghandi was PM from 1966 to 1977 and 1980 to 1984) and Germany (Angela Merkel became Chancellor in 2005) where women were able to reach the pinnacles of power some time ago. We need to take it for granted that women are as able as men to fill these central roles. We already trust women to raise our children. We can trust women with our children's future in the wider world too.
We also believe that female qualities--empathy, inclusion, relationships, compassion--can only improve our country, and our world, both increasingly divided. Gender, race and income inequality are among our priorities--not only because they are morally required, but because none of us can live much longer in a world where inequality exists. Working people and their families cannot go back to the old economy--but they certainly cannot be left behind. We cannot and do not want to live in gated communities. We are in the world. We want to stay there.
Having said that, however, we are under no illusion that the discrimination that has impacted women over the years will go away overnight, or even during a presidential term. We too were bursting with pride when we elected a black president--but our race issues are far from resolved. So, too, the election of a woman president alone will not end gender discrimination.
But we are playing the long game. The election of a black president, and a woman president, will forever change the world of our children and our children’s children. America stands for possibility, fairness and equality. What better way to prove to generations that follow that America really is the shining light on the hill, a vibrant community moving toward a better future, where everyone can realize their full potential, regardless of race or gender or ethnic background. We must make sure that promise is realized. It will be our greatest legacy.