What A Hillary Clinton Nomination/Presidency Means to Women's Fight for Equality

By: DiversityWorking Press
Date Posted: June 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton has become the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee – as she has garnered enough number of delegates to secure the nomination after Tuesday's primaries.

But whether or not she eventually becomes the first woman president of the U.S., she has already paved the way for girls and women to venture boldly into breaking their own glass ceilings in their respective fields of endeavor, or even to that “ultimate top, as a future president of this country.

In the words of Hillary herself in her official Twitter account: "To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want -- even president," Clinton said. "Tonight is for you."

Clinton's latest victory sent some of America's notable women heaping praises on her. Among those who expressed their support, as well as seeing in Hillary their hopes for young girls and women – to follow in her footsteps – include Gloria Steineim, Alyssa Milano, Donna Brazile, Barbra Streisand and other remarkable highly-respected women. (See Breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, CNN)

What Hillary's Supporters See in Her

These women supporting Hillary sees in her a living proof that women have the capability, strength and will to achieve whatever they set their hearts on. Hillary's nomination is perceived thus far as sending a strong message that it's time indeed to break gender stereotypes.

Certainly, there have been other women leaders aside from Hillary Clinton: business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, investors, scientists, philanthropists, CEOs; and in politics, others have made their mark as well.
There was Victoria Woodhull, who became the first female presidential candidate in 1872, and other female aspirants for the U.S. presidency and vice-presidency. (See Wikipedia)
In the list too are 2 women who have won the vice-presidential nominations of major parties, Geraldine Ferraro for the Democratic Party in the 1984 election, and Sarah Palin for the Republican Party in the 2008 election.

With Hillary becoming the “first female presidential nominee from a major party,” she is just a few months away from the country's topmost position, granting she can beat Trump, who continues to alienate and scandalized many sectors. An honor and pride supposed to be for women of this country.

Yet – not all women are with her in the run for the presidential post.

What Hillary's Non-Supporters Think/Say About Her

A report by The Guardian noted: it’s true that, as a whole, women support her more than both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, but that support is not nearly as overwhelming as black voter support was for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Millennial women, for example, prefer Sanders to Clinton and 49% of American women give the secretary of state an unfavorable rating.

A sense of disconnect between Hillary and women is generally perceived.
She is regarded by many women as being 'tone-deaf to race' and out of touch with the real issues affecting women, especially the younger ones, low-income earners, immigrant women, and women of color.

A Financial Times article, 'Why don’t more women like Hillary Clinton?' notes that there is something in Hillary that turns off voters, saying that “roughly three-fifths of US voters had a negative opinion of Clinton, according to polling by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. So did one-third of the voters in her own party. More troublingly for this particular election is the fact that Clinton has struggled to drum up support among many young, liberal women (and some moderate, older women) who should have been among her core base.”

Hillary, according to the article, is perceived as “remote and distant,” aggressive and ambitious, among others.

This has often been a problem with powerful women – their assertiveness seems to make people uneasy.

We may just not like seeing a woman act like a boss. Research has found that women face a backlash — both personal and financial — when they act assertively at work. Female leaders are more likely to be called abrasive, strident, aggressive and even emotional. (See 'Our Problem With Powerful Women,' NY TImes)

Why America Needs Hillary

Even then, Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party wrote in her recent opinion article (CNN), “It's not enough to have more female politicians. We need female political leaders at the top.”

Indeed. And it is a good move forward, at this time. Most of all, for diversity, Hillary's victory in the campaign is a pivotal moment in American history.

Women are a majority of the US population, making up 50.8%; however, although they hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions, according to a report by the Center for American Progress.

The Pew Research Center likewise made a study on the lack of women leaders and found the problem does not lie in women themselves, for a majority of Americans, “women are every bit as capable of being good political leaders as men” and even as corporate leaders.

The number 1 reason that hinders women from getting to he very top is being held to higher standards.
“...about four-in-ten Americans point to a double standard for women seeking to climb to the highest levels of either politics or business, where they have to do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves. Similar shares say the electorate and corporate America are just not ready to put more women in top leadership positions,” the study revealed.

Hillary's Clinching the Presidency Will Boost Women's Equality Fight

But Hillary Clinton's triumphant journey to the White House is going to change all that. In her own words, as she celebrated her historic Tuesday primary win, “Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win,” she said. “This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us. This is our moment to come together.”

As Gloria Steinem was likewise quoted by CNN as saying: “When Barack Obama entered the White House, a building partly constructed by slaves, that sight alone was worth a lifetime of campaigning. When Hillary Rodham Clinton enters the White House, the sight of a woman honored not just as a partner or mother of someone else -- but for her own brain and heart and work -- that sight will begin a new era, too.”

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