Saturday, September 17, 2016
My daughter asked me why I was crying when Hillary was accepting her nomination for President of the United States.
She is fifteen. It is 2016.
She knows a world of celebrity selfies and transgendered you-tubers.
She knows her aunties are doctors, lawyers, business owners, sales directors, and technology architects.
They are wives and mothers, or maybe not.
She knows men who lean in.
She does not know how many times we have walked into the room of all men,
eager to contribute, yet all eyes rest on our bodies.
Our soft voices are overtaken by louder male voices.
Our ideas wither in silence.
We raise our voices to match the fire of our peers.
“You have too much passion.”
Hillary sat at Congressional hearings, propping her head in total disgust.
Stacks of emails printed as props, camera candy.
Mistakes displayed for judgment, and achievements hold no value.
We understood the ritual of criticism and critique.
Those moments strike the naked vulnerability in us.
Our collective memory of men parading young girls and elderly women
to judge them virtuous or witches.
Of men controlling women’s spirits until they are numb, frozen, cracked, and splintered.
She listened and conformed, draped in self-confidence.
My generation saw Hillary defend herself for refusing to sit at home and bake cookies.
The Mother Wars began. Stay-at-home Mother or Career Mother. Pick one.
Betty Crocker is offended.
We saw Hillary handle the public humiliation of her husband’s infidelities. Power is an aphrodisiac.
The Wife Wars began. Stand by your marriage or just leave his ass. Pick one.
Tammy Wynnette is offended.
We saw scandals materialize without understanding why, how, or where.
Why not George Bush? What about Dick Cheney’s underground server network?
Republicans are offended.
Forty years ago, Hillary did not know how to dream this big.
She graciously let destiny lead her on another journey.
She cracked a Ceiling. We were proud.
We know you cannot always get what you want in life.
Now, she broke through the Ceiling.
My daughter will know a world where the sky is the limit.