NOVEMBER 8, 2016
As the country sat in front of their TVs and computer screens, we watched in real-time as a reality star became President of the United States. But this isn’t about him. This is about earlier in the day when a mother brought her 10-year-old daughter with her to the neighborhood church, serving as the area polling station, before dropping her off to school. As she picked up the voting ballot, she turned to her daughter and asked her to remember that moment, because, likely, they would both be witnessing the first woman to become president. While the daughter shifted her feet in boredom, the young mother smiled as she filled in the oval next to Hillary Clinton’s name. This was a defining moment for many women who were excited to be a part of history.
That was four years ago. As television anchors and news pundits reported the voting numbers rolling in and the map on the screen turned red, a large segment of the female population across the nation slowly realized they would have to wait yet another four years (if not, much longer) before they could show their daughters that they really can be anything they want, even President of the United States.
BUT WHAT IF HILLARY HAD WON?
Politics aside, what would it have meant for the college-aged women to be able to point to President Hillary Clinton as the reason for going into law or politics? Women have crashed through the glass ceiling in virtually every single profession. They are running companies, traveling through space and serving on the Supreme Court. They just haven’t cracked the ceiling of the Oval Office.
Locally, we have a had several women serve as Mayor of Kalamazoo, and Karianne Thomas is currently Kalamazoo’s first Public Safety Chief. She is an inspiration to ALL young people wondering if they have what it takes to serve in the police force and beyond.
In today’s era, a woman becoming president shouldn’t be just a pipe dream, and it shouldn’t be an Earth-shattering idea in the political arena. Yet, we still have women’s issues being decided on daily by an overwhelming majority of male politicians.
So, what if Hillary had won? The Earth wouldn’t have fallen off its axis as many were predicting. No, life would have gone on as normal, but I would like to think that she would have straightened it out just a bit. Girls deserve to have a role model in every facet of life. They deserve to be firefighters, football coaches and farmers. In 2020, there should be no shards of glass on anyone’s shoulders, but yet, here we are. While she didn’t win, Hillary Clinton was a trailblazer, smoothing the road for the next woman daring enough to travel down it.
Here’s a thought… let’s hold out hope that we will see a woman become President of the United States in our lifetime. Not because she’s a woman but because she deserves to be there.
Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in the fall of 2020. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and fb.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor.