I’m frustrated this week. Frustrated at low cut jeans, because well, I’m a 40-year old mother of 5. I’m frustrated that a new computer charger costs $100 here. I’m frustrated that I can’t eat bagels because my stomach has turned into a tantrum throwing 2-year old. But maybe something of a little more consequence has tagged me this week. I’ve been frustrated with my gender.
I’ve found myself more and more unsettled as this election has rounded out. This is not a political post, but a call for women to stop. This is my proverbial shofar call to stop talking about voting for Hillary because she was a woman. If you agreed with her platform and voted for her in response, then great. If you went to the voting polls and cast your vote for her BECAUSE she was female, that’s less than great. If we as women want to continue to make progress in salary equality and gender imbalances, we’ve got to stop doing things like this. While I haven’t asked Hillary Clinton personally, I have a hard time believing that she wants your vote simply because she was born with two X chromosomes. She would rather you make a smart, thoughtful decision about a person and a platform, not a gender. The former is simply patronizing. Like when the P.E. teacher picks the uncoordinated, awkward kid as captain of the dodge ball team. It’s a pitied choice.
Voting for her simply because of her gender isn’t actually breaking a glass ceiling, it’s reinforcing one. It’s walking up to that ceiling and smashing your face on it, looking childish and uninformed. I saw a similar phenomenon when Sarah Palin was first toying in public politics. People blindly followed her lead without having any clue as to what she thought on issues. If we as a gender want true progress, we’ve got to prove ourselves through education, information, question asking, intelligent dialogue, and working insanely hard.
We aren’t going to earn more respect in places by whining, remaining ignorant, complaining, and knocking one another down based on superficial criteria.
We are better than this. We can scream loudly for change when we actually have something worth hearing, otherwise it becomes screechy white noise.
While I disagree with some of her politics, I truly admire her culmination of 30 years of public service. My mom has worked in a male dominated industry for over 30 years also. It takes wisdom, intellect, perseverance, and gutsiness. These are the characteristics we teach our daughters. We don’t want them to expect doors to fly open simply because they are female. We want them to walk through doors because they’ve earned it. And when you walk through a door knowing you deserved it, you’re head is held high knowing you didn’t get there based on an invitation of pity.