If you were to go into my elementary school library you would find lots of books, motivational posters, and strung high above the shelves, portraits of all 44 presidents. I remember sitting in the library during class, noticing that not only did each set of eyes seem to follow me wherever I walked, but they were also all men.
So when, as a fifth grader, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it’s no surprise that my response was, “The first woman president.”
This wasn’t my immediate response though. I considered drawing myself as a veterinarian, but remembered that I’d have to put animals down, so I quickly vetoed that. Whatever I decided upon would go in the yearbook, so I knew it had to be great. Then I remembered those eyes watching me in the library, and realized that maybe I could be the first woman president.
So I drew myself in a pantsuit and came up with some reasoning for my choice. Here’s my final product.
As a first time voter I’m thrilled, because less than 100 years ago women could not cast ballots, much less have their names on one. So, even though Hillary Clinton might now make my fifth grade legacy obsolete and no longer possible, I do not care, because she is a qualified candidate. Her gender is the icing on the cake. Whether or not you support Hillary, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this is a historic election.
I can already hear the angry responses to this essay, I can see the comments: “You can’t vote for her just because she’s a woman.” But before you furiously bang your fingers against your keyboards, let me make one thing very clear: The point of this story is simply that I’m excited to have a female candidate.
It’s okay for me to be excited about a female candidate, because dammit, women have come such a long ways, but we still have so far to go. I can’t completely separate my pride in being a woman from emotions surrounding this election because, as woman around the world know, the personal is political.