I was born in 1957. I remember watching the Vietnam war on television, and assassinations, and variety shows. A common thread was the lack of a female presence. The war was men, both fighting and broadcasting it. The people getting assassinated were JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy -- all men. The variety shows usually had a comic on, and it was almost always a man, but once in a blue moon, I'd watch a Joan Rivers, or a Totie Fields... sometimes an Ann Meara.
I always liked it when the female comics said things that were different than the messages I got every day. I liked that they looked different than the women I usually saw on television too.
Girls and women are told they should smile more. Always look attractive. Be an object of love like Little Joe's girlfriends on Bonanza, but you are not the main character if you are a woman. You are an attractive and supporting character in a man's story.
When Title 9 passed, and equity in sports in the schools was the law of the land, it made a huge difference in the lives of girls growing up after me. But I often remember the grumbling and the grousing about gym time. Not just back in the 1970's either. In the year 2000, I heard a hockey parent complain about girls getting too much ice time, and blaming a 'misdirected' Title 9.
I began my first fast food service job at age 15, and our uniform tops had a zipper with a large hoop pull at the neckline. I was told by a co-worker that if I put a safety pin through the zipper, it would prevent the managers from unzipping the shirt and exposing my bra. Which is what the managers did to the young women working there, if they neglected to put a safety pin in the zipper. "You should smile more" was what female employees were told. But not the men.
These constant messages girls and women hear have an effect.
When I was in high school, Roe v. Wade was passed, guaranteeing women the right to make decisions regarding our reproductive health. We had a choice. To not have that choice is unimaginable.
Not until last night did I understand the depth of hatred toward women in the United States. Sure the people voting were also able to declare their hatred of marriage equality, minorities, common sense gun laws and Islam. But mainly this country hates women. Unless they are very tall, very beautiful and in close enough proximity to grope.
Realizing how much hatred and anger exists toward all women, based on this election, is sad, but not surprising, having seen evidence of it my entire life.
In a very moving moment of a mostly male movie called Spartacus, one character stands up and says "I am Spartacus", and then another character stands up and says "I am Spartacus" and another and another. There's a show of unity among the oppressed. Standing up and standing together. Today my fellow Americans I just want you to understand, I AM HILLARY CLINTON!