Friday, July 29, 2016

History is Happening

I’ve been contemplating for a while if I was going to talk about the election on my blog. I try and keep things light and talk about health, fitness, food, my dog, you know, easy topics. Mainly because I feel that my religious and political beliefs are private. It’s no one’s business what I believe or don’t or why.

But after a historic week at the DNC, I needed to get my thoughts out.

When I was a girl, my parents always told me that when I grew up I could be anything I wanted, even President. But really, could I? History showed me a long line of male leaders. I vaguely remember Mondale / Ferraro in ’84, but even as a little kid, my perception was that it was a joke. A woman running for Vice President? You have to be kidding. The don’t stand a chance, and they didn’t. A woman President was a theory, something intangible, a pipe dream. Sure it “could” happen, but, would it?

As a kid, I was called “bossy” (and I still am). Don’t be so bossy, stop telling others what to do, don’t try and manage everyone. I could go on, but you get the picture. Girls aren’t supposed to take control, they aren’t supposed to be “in charge”. You’re told you can do anything you want and be anyone you want, as long as you don’t push too hard. As long as you stay lady-like and likable, you can be successful. Not as successful as a man, but that's good enough.

As an adult in a male-centric field (Sales) and a male dominated industry, I’ve been told to “not be so direct”. Right? I’ve been in Sales my entire career and I shouldn’t be “direct”. Several times I’ve been given feedback that would never be given to my male counterparts. Women in business fight every day to push against the glass ceiling. Women are paid less for the same job, we’re reprimanded for behaviors that are applauded when they come from a man. These are the facts. They’re the truths that I have experienced, as have thousands of other women just like me.

Last night a night a huge crack was put in that glass ceiling. On Wednesday I watched as the DNC broadcast pictures of every President, stopping at the image of Obama. It paused, then the sound of breaking glass reverberated through convention hall. The live feed of Hillary Clinton appeared as she thanked the convention for the Democratic nomination for President. Last night tears streamed down my face as I watched history happen and she officially accepted the nomination.  

Love her or hate her, Hillary made history. I can’t even begin to fathom the walls she had to push through, day after day, to get to this moment. I’m not here to debate her politics or practices. All I know is that the little girl inside of me was inspired by what I saw, and adult me had hope. Hope that one day women would be viewed as equals in the workplace.

Sometimes I wonder if my path would have been different if 8 year old me would have been able to see strong female leaders in positions of power. I don’t know. What I do know is that future generations of bossy little girls won’t have to wonder if they have a chance of becoming President one day, because they do.

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