by Dr. T
The “battle of the sexes” is not a myth or a metaphor; it is a reality. The characterization of women as the weaker vessel or lesser being has long-standing and historic roots. Although many younger women seem to minimize the historic candidacy of the first woman in U.S. history to be the nominee of a major political party, rx doctor the possibility that we could actually elect a woman to be Commander-in-Chief is a seismic paradigm shift. The historic advancements made by women and the feminist movements, advice particularly over the last few decades, have been formidable, but having a woman as the Leader of the “free world” would be earth-shattering change. Equality for women is still measured in increments and moments of transformation, none of which should be minimized. However, having a woman as the leader of this nation, as the Head of State at the table, instead of merely being “invited” to be seated at said table or relegated to just setting the table, sets in motion both a ginormous shift in the way women are seen and the manner in which women participate as citizens of the United States of America.
The election of President Barack Obama as the first African American to hold the office of POTUS was something many African descended people never believed would happen in their lifetime, and changed the global view of what the United States of America was actually capable of given our historic legacy of white supremacy, genocide and over 150 years of chattel slavery. So too would the election of a woman as President of the United States create iconic change in perception worldwide. In fact, the treatment of women and the lack of equality evidenced institutionally and systemically here in the United States is so insidious that it often goes unseen and unacknowledged. This is mostly because we tend to focus on other nations throughout the world. We so often point to other countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as notorious for their overt and clear mistreatment and violence towards women and girls, that we neglect to recognize the hypocrisy and double standards we embrace here on our own soil as tolerable and progressive.
Although the recent 5-3 decision by the SCOTUS ruling against what was fundamentally a challenge to Roe v. Wade by the state of Texas was extremely significant, the fact that we are still litigating the issue of a woman’s right to choose after 43 years is stunning. Given the battle of equal pay for equal work still faced by women in this country, and the persistent and irretraceable attacks on the longstanding battle over women’s reproductive rights, it is baffling that many Millennials have not yet connected to the struggle for women’s rights as one that is paramount for them. Or that rallying around a woman, as a real contender to ascend to the highest elected office in the world is, arguably, a cornerstone to moving women and the struggle for those rights measurably from the margins to the center of public discourse and institutional change.
Nonetheless, the long struggle continues. Since the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, we continue the battle, challenging systemic and institutional bias and pushing down barriers that required legislation for the right to maintain our legal existence (personhood) after marriage to the right to vote; from equal pay to legislation against marital rape, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, violence against women, equal access to education, sex-based job discrimination, fair pay restoration (giving women the right to sue “after the fact” when not compensated at the same rate as a man for the same work) and more. The upcoming election could signal more than support of the right or the left positional posture, it could be another historic shift with seismic global impact.
Up Next Week: What is an American?