Since Hillary Clinton lost her race for presidency, millions nationwide have been mourning the death of what might have been.
Clinton becoming the first woman president of the U.S. would have been ground breaking for women all around the world. Instead, a man who has a strong and well-detailed history of misogyny will replace Barack Obama in January.
For women of all ages, this terrifying election reality has been discouraging. The glass ceiling has been an obstacle for women forever. Even in the modern day, women aren’t encouraged enough to pursue leading positions at work or careers in science and technology. In fact, women are still perceived differently than men when in these types of positions.
When a woman voices her strong opinion, some men become intimidated or scared because they feel uncomfortable with a woman leading a discussion. Why are people, men particularly, so bothered by a woman being a leader?
Throughout this presidential election, Clinton was targeted for things a man would never have been targeted for. Donald Trump repeatedly accused Clinton of lacking stamina, which translates to “women are weak.” He also called her a “nasty woman,” implying Clinton breaks away from typical gender roles usually assumed by “proper women.”
Rience Priebus, the current head of the Republican Party and future chief of staff for Trump, Tweeted that Clinton needed to smile more. Again, a man putting emphasis on a woman’s looks, as if that should be at the top of Clinton’s list of things to do. When men say things like this and women brush it off, nothing changes.
The idea that women are expected to be one thing is ridiculous. You wouldn’t tell a little boy that his one and only goal in life is to be a professional wrestler because it’s “manly.” Women shouldn’t ever be expected to follow one path. A woman should be given the choice to do anything with her life.
No woman should be made to feel like she isn’t worthy, qualified or pretty enough to do something. Looks don’t matter. What’s inside your mind and heart matters. If you have the intelligence, drive and talent to accomplish a task, don’t give up until it’s fulfilled. Clinton isn’t going to give up because she lost the presidency. In her concession speech, she left her supporters with an important message to never stop trying to unite and join together to make this country better.
Clinton said: “The American dream is big enough for everyone. For people of all races and religions, men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and people with disabilities. For everyone.”
I am still feeling gloomy about the election results because I wanted Clinton to be the first female president so badly. However, I remain hopeful because I believe somewhere in the United States, a woman witnessed this tragic election outcome and decided she isn’t going to let someone like Trump win ever again.
This election was a long and strenuous one, but it hopefully opened the eyes of millions around the world about the hardships women, immigrants, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities face. People are becoming more aware of the horrific realities people face around the world every day. I hope with this new found knowledge comes further education and support for those without voices.
Email Laura Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org