Barriers are quick to go up; slow to come down.
With all the hoopla over Hillary Clinton breaking the glass ceiling and becoming the first woman nominate by a major political party for president, few people have stopped to consider that the ceiling is actually double-paned.
Real history won’t be made until we actually elect a women president, be it Clinton this year or someone else down the road.
It’s rather astonishing when you think about it that this is still such a big deal here. It’s 2016. Women are in positions of power across the globe, from German Chancellor Angela Markel to British Prime Minister Theresa May to South Korean President Park Geun-hye and many more. Honestly, is there anyone in the world who still believes that your capabilities are limited by your gender?
A January 2015 Pew Research Center survey on women and leadership found that, “most Americans find women indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, with many saying they’re stronger than men in terms of being compassionate and organized leaders.”
So why has it been so difficult for a woman to break down the door of the country’s last great boy’s club? According to the Pew survey, 38 percent of the respondents said women seeking political office are held to higher standards.
That’s true of Clinton. While opponents can argue against her politics or her personality, she has by far the deepest resume of any presidential candidate in recent times. No one, in fact, is saying she isn’t qualified.
In the Pew survey, 34 percent said women are better than men at working out compromise, compared to 9 percent who think men are better. Fifty-five percent said there was no difference.
There are cracks in the foundation – think South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley -- but still we remain a society where men dominate politics. That needs to change.
When we talk about the origins of our country, we focus almost exclusively on our “Founding Fathers.” But even back then, when women and minorities were basically treated as possessions and the phrase in the Declaration of Independence that says “all men are created equal” referred exclusively to white, male landowners, even back then there were strong women helping shape our country. Martha Washington and Abigail Adams are two that come to mind.
Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Ida Wells fought to give women the right to vote, and were successful when, on Aug. 26, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, making it unlawful to deny anyone the right to vote based on their sex.