My Republicans friends…I love you but this post is not for you. It’s for us left-leaning Democrats and Independents. See you next post, okay?
My friends who love Bernie…it should be no secret that I am a Hillary supporter. I know that you have your ideas about Hillary but please hear me out. I don’t want to discuss what she has or hasn’t done. I don’t want to discuss the polls about Bernie vs you-know-who. I especially don’t want to discuss all the endless rhetoric and speculation about the Clintons and their private and public life. What I do want to tell you is why this election is so important to me.
It’s important to me for two reasons. One has to do with my personal journey as a woman. The other has to do with my lifelong fascination with the era of the 1940s and World War II.
It was a different world when I went out into the workforce in the 1980s. Women in leadership positions were seen as cold heartless bitches…like the Sigourney Weaver role in Working Girl. Think about the title of that movie….back then the term GIRL was used to demean women. Would you say that girl ran for Congress? That girl was head of her own company? That girl won the Nobel prize? But isn’t a girl a female in her teens or younger? Sadly, that term was used towards grown women. Today we are used to seeing women in positions of power…or at least many more than used to be. Back then it was a novelty. I went to work as a store manager for a large retail company that had 337 stores in 13 states. Of those 337 store managers, approximately 30 of us were women, and in every store I managed, I was the very first woman who had ever managed the store. I had customers ask to speak to the manager, even after I said I was the manager. My district manager told me that the regional manager said in a meeting that women weren’t qualified to run stores. He didn’t think we could cut it. As a woman I had to work twice as hard as my fellow male managers to prove myself. I was very lucky in that over the years I worked there I had two district managers both who believed in me and supported me. I heard horror stories from other districts about how the female managers were treated. And some of the other store managers were very condescending towards females. It was a very tough road.
Over the years many times I have been treated like I was less than a man, like I didn’t have as much worth because I was a woman. I am a feminist, plain and simple. Being a feminist means that I believe that women are equal to men. Not better, equal. That we should be treated the same. It’s a really simple concept that can be so twisted and misconstrued by people. When I opened up my shop 12 years ago, there were people who treated it like a hobby, because in their minds, a woman who opens up a shop is just “playing store”. Unlike a man who starts his own business. Never mind that I have a business degree in Marketing and have over 35 years of retail experience, including a stint as a regional manager responsible for 33 stores! Even today I had a customer walk through my shop and ask me if the items in my shop were my own collection and how long did it take me to accumulate them! Because they evidently couldn’t wrap their brain around the idea that a woman could have a professional curated vintage shop, that’s been going strong for 12 years. And this is 2016! There are still plenty of people that have a hard time valuing a strong independent woman. We still have a long way to go.The fact remains that men run things, with a few exceptions.
Did you know that Hillary Clinton was voted the most admired woman in the world for the past 20 years? That’s right…from 1995 to 2015. The most admired woman. In the world!!! That’s worth three exclamation points, at least. Gallup Poll. Look it up. I am thrilled that Hillary is the Democratic nominee. She’s strong, capable, tough as nails, supremely intelligent, pragmatic, deep-thinking, diplomatic, and has an amazing network of capable people around her that she has built up over the years. I am equally thrilled that it’s FINALLY A WOMAN. Yes, I said it. I want a woman president! Isn’t it about time? This past week has been very emotional for me, as I watched her become the nominee. This is a big deal for me. A really big deal. And I am asking you, my Bernie friends, to understand that and give me the opportunity to be proud to be a woman who has fought so hard over the years to finally get to this point.
I know where you are at. I know that you are profoundly disappointed that Bernie won’t be the nominee or our next president. I have felt your pain. I feel sorry that you have to go through this. Please be happy for me…at least a little. That’s all I ask.
As for my 2nd point……I have studied at length World War II. I know a lot about Hitler and authoritarianism. Imagine you were a German citizen back in 1932 and you didn’t especially like Hindenberg and you couldn’t bear to vote for him because of your feelings. Hitler’s running too, and while he and his followers have already displayed arrogance, authoritarian leanings, brute strength, and beatings of bystanders at rallies…you decide to vote for him. Or you decide to not vote at all or vote for a third candidate with no chance of winning, which is a vote for him. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?
Do I have to point out what’s the worst that could happen if He-who-shall-not-be-named becomes president? Do I really have to? You are smart, truly you are…all my friends are intelligent. I know you know this. You know what will happen. And if you truly love Bernie and his beautiful message, you couldn’t possibly want the idiot T to be our next president. You can choose to not vote for Hillary…that’s entirely up to you. Bernie has pledged to do everything in his power to make sure idiot T doesn’t become president…because that’s the kind of man Bernie Sanders is. You can choose to do your part in making sure T doesn’t become president. Or you can choose not to….but either way I will still love you. But either way, just remember…talk is cheap. Actions speak.
thanks for listening,